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Short hops

• Forsythe (sore right knee) ran in the outfield during morning drills on Thursday. Black said the infielder is close to returning to full drills, as is center fielder Cameron Maybin (sore right wrist).

• Black said pitcher Tim Stauffer, in camp on a Minor League deal, is progressing well. Stauffer, who is six months removed from flexor tendon surgery on his right elbow, is following a program that allows him more rest between bullpen sessions. "We're bringing him along slowly," Black said.

• With Friday being the first of 38 exhibition games this spring, Black said you might not see as many regular position players much throughout the first week. And with the start of games comes the chance to evaluate players in a competitive setting.

In terms of evaluating pitchers, Black, pitching coach Darren Balsley and the rest of the staff will look for how the ball comes out of a pitcher's hand, his delivery and what kind of swings the opposing hitter takes. "Competition is the best gauge," Black said.