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Diaz transitioning back to starting role

Pitcher scheduled to throw in Friday's Cactus League opener
MLB.com @AJCassavell

PEORIA, Ariz. -- If the Padres wanted Miguel Diaz to pitch in relief, the 23-year-old flame-thrower would have a decent shot at working his way into the big league bullpen.

But the Friars didn't select Diaz from Milwaukee in the 2016 Rule 5 Draft with the long-term vision that he'd be a reliever. He combines an upper-90s fastball with two impactful (yet still raw) offspeed pitches. The Padres think Diaz is worth more in the long run if he's a part of their rotation.

PEORIA, Ariz. -- If the Padres wanted Miguel Diaz to pitch in relief, the 23-year-old flame-thrower would have a decent shot at working his way into the big league bullpen.

But the Friars didn't select Diaz from Milwaukee in the 2016 Rule 5 Draft with the long-term vision that he'd be a reliever. He combines an upper-90s fastball with two impactful (yet still raw) offspeed pitches. The Padres think Diaz is worth more in the long run if he's a part of their rotation.

Spring Training information

That's just fine with Diaz, who makes his spring debut Friday when the Padres open their Cactus League slate against Seattle. Diaz will pitch that game in relief (with an excess of starters in camp who also need innings). But make no mistake, the Padres will extend Diaz on a starter's progression.

"Last year was a little difficult for me, because I had never been a reliever," Diaz said. "The biggest thing for me has been just getting back that starter's routine and going through that five-day routine. I've prepared for that coming into this Spring Training. I ran more. I was in the gym and thinking in terms of endurance."

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Diaz posted a 7.34 ERA in 31 appearances last season, three of which came as a starter. His struggles were probably predictable, after making the jump from Class A Advanced straight to the Majors. Per stipulations of the Rule 5 Draft, Diaz needed to stay on the big league roster an entire season or be returned to his former club.

In one sense, Diaz missed out on a year of development in the Minors as a starting pitcher. But neither he nor the Padres view it that way. Instead, Diaz has critical big league experience that other young pitchers do not.

Diaz is almost certain to begin the 2018 season in the Minor Leagues, possibly with Double-A San Antonio. And there are plenty of Major League lessons he can apply there.

"It's about the experience I was able to get last year," Diaz said. "But I did come into this Spring Training more focused on throwing my pitches for strikes and getting to know how to attack hitters differently -- what to throw in certain counts, how to use pitch sequencing. That's what I've been working on, and I'm going to continue to do so."

Kennedy starts Friday

The Padres have mapped out their pitching plans for this weekend's slate of games, with right-hander Brett Kennedy getting the ball for Friday's lid-lifter. Tyson Ross will follow Saturday, and Bryan Mitchell will start Sunday.

Kennedy posted a 3.70 ERA for San Antonio last season, with 134 strikeouts in 141 innings. Also slated to pitch Friday are Diaz, Kyle Lloyd, Buddy Baumann and Tom Wilhelmsen.

On Saturday, the Padres will turn back the clock a bit, sending Ross and Chris Young to the hill. Both were All-Stars at one point in San Diego, and they're eyeing a career renaissance in 2018.

Jankowski making early adjustments

After missing four months in 2017 with a broken bone in his right foot, Travis Jankowski has turned a few heads early in camp. He's slated to compete for the backup center-field job alongside Matt Szczur and Franchy Cordero.

Video: Green, Richard, Jankowski ready to start 2018 season

"I really like where Travis Jankowski's swing is right now," manager Andy Green said. "He came in a month early and he's been working with [new hitting coach] Matt Stairs since mid-to-late January, and there's been real changes to his swing. There's nobody who defends the field better and, honestly, nobody who runs the bases better than him. So if that bat comes around, he becomes a really, really exciting player for us."

Jankowski will start in center field Friday. Other position players expected to suit up include Carlos Asuaje, Hunter Renfroe and Cory Spangenberg.

Rea, Erlin throw live batting practice

It's been a long road back for Robbie Erlin and Colin Rea since their 2016 Tommy John surgeries. But the two rotation hopefuls are closing in on a full return.

Both Erlin and Rea faced live hitters for the first time this spring on Thursday. They're on a progression that's slightly slower than the rest of the club's hurlers. But they remain serious rotation candidates and should get enough innings to prove themselves.

The Peoria Sports Complex is familiar ground for both. Rea and Erlin spent the bulk of the 2017 season at the Padres' complex. Erlin even pitched during instructional games, while Rea threw two live sessions. Both were shut down mid-autumn, the idea being that they could approach the winter like a normal offseason.

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.

San Diego Padres, Miguel Diaz, Robbie Erlin, Travis Jankowski, Brett Kennedy, Colin Rea

Padres roster options could lead to dark horses

MLB.com @AJCassavell

PEORIA, Ariz. -- The Padres' Cactus League slate opens Friday against Seattle, with 67 players set to take aim at a place on the Opening Day roster.

In reality, most of that roster is probably already set. But 10 or so jobs will be up for grabs this spring, and the battles for those coveted roster spots should feature plenty of competition.

PEORIA, Ariz. -- The Padres' Cactus League slate opens Friday against Seattle, with 67 players set to take aim at a place on the Opening Day roster.

In reality, most of that roster is probably already set. But 10 or so jobs will be up for grabs this spring, and the battles for those coveted roster spots should feature plenty of competition.

Padres Spring Training: Info | Tickets | Schedule

Every year, an under-the-radar player (or two) emerges to secure one of those places. With that in mind, here's a look at a few dark-horse candidates to make the Padres' roster out of Spring Training.

:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::

Tyson Ross
Two years ago, Ross was the Padres' Opening Day starter, coming off three consecutive excellent seasons with the team. He wouldn't make it any further than that opener against the Dodgers, however. Ross sustained a shoulder injury, and he hasn't pitched for San Diego since.

After signing with Texas last offseason -- and continuing to struggle with injuries there -- Ross is back in San Diego on a Minor League deal. It's early in camp, but the Padres have raved about the freeness in his pitching motion. Manager Andy Green said his delivery is "every bit as good" as it was during his All-Star campaign in 2014.

If Ross can regain at least some of his old form, there's opportunity available in the Padres' rotation. At least one spot is wide open, and potentially as many as three. Ross may have struggled last season, but he wasn't afforded a full offseason to recover. This year, he says he's fresh, and he's eyeing a bounce-back. The Padres will give him the chance to do so.

Christian Villanueva
Villanueva finds himself in a roster crunch in a crowded Padres infield. Behind Chase Headley at third base, he could be the odd man out, mainly because he lacks the positional versatility that could help the Friars.

But Green left the door open for Villanueva last week, when he noted that the club might not carry a backup for Freddy Galvis at short. (Galvis played 162 games last season, and the Padres could use his durability to their advantage.)

That might just clear room for Villanueva. San Diego could use a power threat off the bench, and Villanueva is coming off a 20-homer campaign at Triple-A El Paso before hitting four more after a September callup. By now, Villanueva has proven his worth in the Minors. There would be little benefit to keeping him there. It's merely a matter of opportunity.

Franchy Cordero
As much as the Padres like Cordero, it's hard to envision him making the Opening Day roster with the club as currently constructed. That said, there's a very real possibility that the Padres look to move one of their outfielders in the wake of the Eric Hosmer signing. If they do, Cordero could find himself squarely in the outfield mix.

An elite defender, Cordero can play all three outfield spots, which makes him a versatile option as a replacement. And as the outfield's only left-handed hitter, he could see some time spelling the starters against tough right-handed pitchers.

Of course, Cordero could probably benefit from a bit more Minor League seasoning, having struck out at a 44 percent clip following his callup last year. But he raked in the Dominican Winter League, batting .323 and earning MVP honors. If he continues to mash against big league pitching this spring, he might force the Padres' hand.

Video: CIN@SD: Cordero smacks a solo homer to left-center

Kyle McGrath
The Padres' bullpen is undeniably a bit right-hand heavy. Lefty Brad Hand will open the season as closer, but after him, the four most prominent setup men -- Craig Stammen, Kirby Yates, Phil Maton and Kaz Makita -- throw from the right side.

McGrath will face competition for a place as a lefty in the bullpen. Buddy Baumann is an early favorite, and if Matt Strahm doesn't make the rotation, he'd probably fall to the bullpen as well. But McGrath was very sharp in his brief big league stint last year. He posted a 2.84 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP over 17 appearances. Left-handed hitters batted .167 without an extra-base hit against him.

As it stands, about 10 relievers are currently battling for approximately three spots. McGrath could certainly win one of those spots with an impressive spring.

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.

San Diego Padres, Franchy Cordero, Kyle McGrath, Tyson Ross, Christian Villanueva

Myers, Hosmer reunited in Padres camp

Former prospects with KC expected to anchor San Diego's lineup
MLB.com @AJCassavell

PEORIA, Ariz. -- For three weeks in the middle of the 2010 season, Wil Myers got a brief glimpse into his future. Then a catcher in the Royals' organization, Myers had recently been promoted to Class A Advanced Wilmington. There, he shared the middle of the batting order with a fellow top prospect by the name of Eric Hosmer.

At the time, Myers figured he'd one day anchor a lineup with Hosmer in the Majors. The two even posed for a photo shoot that was meant to depict the future of the Royals' offense.

PEORIA, Ariz. -- For three weeks in the middle of the 2010 season, Wil Myers got a brief glimpse into his future. Then a catcher in the Royals' organization, Myers had recently been promoted to Class A Advanced Wilmington. There, he shared the middle of the batting order with a fellow top prospect by the name of Eric Hosmer.

At the time, Myers figured he'd one day anchor a lineup with Hosmer in the Majors. The two even posed for a photo shoot that was meant to depict the future of the Royals' offense.

"I definitely envisioned this back then," Myers said. "But I couldn't have envisioned it with San Diego."

:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::

Spring Training info | Tickets

Sure enough, they both made their way to the Padres, Myers via trade and Hosmer with an eight-year, $144 million deal that was finalized Monday. The duo first met during instructional ball in 2009. In the Royals' system, their paths only crossed briefly during the 2010 season in Wilmington, before Myers was shipped to Tampa Bay.

Hosmer sees similarities to Royals in SD

Both Hosmer and Myers were in San Diego for the 2016 All-Star Game, though Myers hasn't managed to regain his All-Star form since. He also hasn't had much protection since the departure of Matt Kemp around the same time.

And while Myers doesn't necessarily buy into lineup protection in the traditional sense, he's quick to note that Hosmer's arrival eases the burden on the rest of the offense.

"Any time you add good hitters around you, it's going to make you better, no matter who you are," Myers said. "Whether you're hitting eighth or third or second, having Hosmer is going to help."

Padres manager Andy Green took the same stance.

"Having a guy that's used to hitting in the middle of the order relaxes everybody else," Green said. "We're excited about putting him in there, and were excited about watching everybody else reap the dividend of having him in the lineup."

Video: Green and Preller discuss signing Hosmer

On Wednesday, Hosmer took batting practice on two of Peoria's backfields. (He shared the cage with Chase Headley and Freddy Galvis, forming a trio of starting infielders who enter camp as veteran newcomers on a young Padres roster.)

Myers, meanwhile, is no longer part of that infield group. He has since moved from first base to the outfield to accommodate Hosmer's arrival. In a way, that position switch is symbolic.

Last year, Myers signed a then-franchise-record $83 million contract, keeping him on board through at least 2022. When Hosmer put pen to paper, he displaced Myers -- both at first base and as the recipient of the largest deal ever for a Padre. (With an opt-out structured into Hosmer's contract, he, too, is in San Diego through at least '22.)

Tweet from @Padres: Sweet swingin��� @wilmyers 🙌 pic.twitter.com/h8fn7ZbEkD

Green has yet to ponder how he'll stack Myers and Hosmer in the batting order. Presumably, they'll form a lefty-righty combo somewhere in the middle.

In theory, Myers' speed makes him a candidate for the No. 2 spot, ahead of Hosmer at No. 3. Then again, the Padres already have a few speed threats for the top of the order, and Myers would probably need to boost his on-base percentage to justify hitting second. Perhaps Hosmer could hit third and Myers fourth -- as they did for that brief stint in Wilmington eight years ago.

In any case, Hosmer and Myers appear destined to anchor the Padres' lineup for the foreseeable future.

"To have another guy who's here for the long haul is exciting," Myers said. "The more we grow together and learn together, I think the better we'll become."

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.

San Diego Padres, Eric Hosmer, Wil Myers

Hand prepared for unconventional closer role

Padres not expecting to always save lefty for ninth inning
MLB.com @AJCassavell

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Brad Hand is going to be the Padres' closer this season -- except when he isn't.

The All-Star lefty signed a three-year contract extension during the offseason, and, on most nights, it's safe to expect he'll be saved for the ninth inning. But that's not a hard-and-fast rule, in the eyes of manager Andy Green.

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Brad Hand is going to be the Padres' closer this season -- except when he isn't.

The All-Star lefty signed a three-year contract extension during the offseason, and, on most nights, it's safe to expect he'll be saved for the ninth inning. But that's not a hard-and-fast rule, in the eyes of manager Andy Green.

"We'll find interesting ways to utilize him that maximize our abilities to win games," Green said. "He'll close some games, for sure. But how that all plays out, I don't have that mapped out right now."

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That's just fine with Hand, who was used mostly in a setup capacity last year until the Padres sent Brandon Maurer to Kansas City at the Trade Deadline.

"Sometimes the ninth inning is talked about just because it ends the game," Hand said. "But there might be other situations -- and I think you're starting to see it more in baseball -- where the closer role is interchangeable. Other guys can come in and do the job, if you have to use [the closer] in an earlier situation."

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Green hypothesized one of those situations arising in a game against the Dodgers.

"I'd hate to be staring down [left-handed hitters] Cody Bellinger and Corey Seager in the eighth inning and say, 'I'm going to hold onto Brad until the ninth,'" Green said. "It just doesn't make a whole lot of sense. We'll move him around as best fits us, and he doesn't care. He's good with anything."

Over the past two seasons, Hand has cemented himself as one of the game's top relievers. He's posted a 2.56 ERA since joining the Padres in April 2016. During that time, he's posted consecutive 100-strikeout seasons, and he's appeared in more games than anyone, minus Addison Reed.

Video: Brad Hand is the No. 9 relief pitcher right now

During the offseason, Hand re-upped with the Padres through 2020 for $19.75 million, with a team option for '21. He enters this season secure financially and secure in his place in the Padres' bullpen -- even if his job as closer isn't entirely traditional.

"It's the same as every year," Hand said. "You get ready for the season, no matter what your role is. You've got to be ready to compete, ready to win ballgames, whether you're pitching the fifth inning or the ninth inning."

Padres finalizing pitching plans for opener
Kyle Lloyd, Brett Kennedy and Miguel Diaz will all pitch in Friday's Cactus League opener against the Mariners at the Peoria Sports Complex, though Green did not confirm a starter.

All three are expected to begin the year in the Minors. Diaz spent last season in the Major League bullpen as a Rule 5 Draft pick, but he'll be a starting pitcher to open this season. In that sense, the club feels he could use some experience in the Minors, and he likely won't be a part of an already-crowded rotation battle.

Quotable
Green had high praise for Tyson Ross and Chris Young, noting the impact the veteran right-handers can make on a young group of pitchers this spring:

"Both of them are the type of pitchers that we'd love to build in our farm system with the way they're wired, the way they compete," Green said. "They're great examples for our guys. Their workouts are religious to them. They don't miss anything, they take care of their bodies.

"That's how you pitch deep into your 30s. If you don't do those things, your career usually ends around 30 years old. Those guys are great examples to the young guys in camp, and those two guys have legitimate opportunities to be in our rotation. We'll watch that play out."

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.

San Diego Padres, Brad Hand

On-the-rise Padres the best fit for Hosmer

Direction of franchise was important factor in 1B signing 8-year deal
MLB.com @AJCassavell

PEORIA, Ariz. -- On the back fields of the Peoria Sports Complex on Tuesday morning, Padres staff prepped for the first full-squad workout of 2018. In the nearby Colonnade room at Peoria Stadium, Eric Hosmer buttoned his home jersey and donned a Padres cap for the first time.

San Diego's 144-million-dollar man had arrived -- and just in time for the start of camp.

PEORIA, Ariz. -- On the back fields of the Peoria Sports Complex on Tuesday morning, Padres staff prepped for the first full-squad workout of 2018. In the nearby Colonnade room at Peoria Stadium, Eric Hosmer buttoned his home jersey and donned a Padres cap for the first time.

San Diego's 144-million-dollar man had arrived -- and just in time for the start of camp.

Spring Training information

The club formally introduced Hosmer on Tuesday morning, a day after the two parties put the finishing touches on a franchise-record eight-year contract. Hosmer spoke with the media for half an hour and got straight to work after that, taking grounders alongside his new teammates.

Video: Getting to know new Padre Eric Hosmer

"Ultimately it came down to waiting and figuring out what the best fit was," Hosmer said. "I'm here and doing a press conference on the first day of Spring Training. ... I'm happy to get a deal done, talk to you guys and go play some baseball."

:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::

The scene is a new one for Hosmer, who spent his first 10 professional seasons in the Royals organization. There, he won a World Series, two American League pennants and four Gold Glove Awards, while amassing a .284/.342/.439 slash line and 127 homers.

Hosmer has already helped bring an elusive World Series to one title-starved franchise. The Padres, he says, are on the same path.

"I just saw the direction the organization was going," Hosmer said. "I saw the people at the top of the mountain who were leading the organization. I bought into what they're trying to do here."

Video: 12:25 Live: Hosmer's bat will have impact on Padres

Hosmer's contract is worth $144 million with $105 million due before his opt-out after the 2022 season. It's easily the largest guarantee in Padres history, surpassing Wil Myers' contract by $61 million and more than doubling James Shields' record free-agent deal.

The contract includes a $5 million signing bonus, $20 million a year in salary from 2018-22 and $13 million a year in salary from 2023-25. Hosmer has a full no-trade clause through 2020, and he'll have a limited no-trade clause from 2021-25, though he will have 10/5 veto rights starting in 2023 if he remains with the Padres.

The reason for the commitment? Hosmer is viewed as the turning point for a franchise headed toward annual contention. At 28, Hosmer was the youngest major free agent available, and the Padres believe his prime will mesh perfectly with the arrival of their talented youngsters.

Already, Myers, Austin Hedges, Manuel Margot and Hunter Renfroe are under team control through 2022. The Padres also own one of the game's elite farm systems, featuring six of MLB Pipeline's Top 50 prospects.

"In terms of the term and the length, that was what was really attractive about Eric," said Padres general manager A.J. Preller. "He's a 28-year-old free agent. Ultimately, we're looking at a guy that is going to bridge the current group and the future groups. ... He's going to be a stabilizing force for us. He's a pillar in the ground."

Video: Preller on excitement over Padres signing Hosmer

Added Padres manager Andy Green: "We feel great about where we are and having him in the fold. ... He fits in perfectly."

The Hosmer deal was made with one eye on the future. Any success for the Padres in 2018 would be considered ahead of schedule. That's where Hosmer's career trajectory comes into play.

"If it wasn't Eric, with all the qualities he has, I don't know that we'd have done this this year," said Padres executive chairman Ron Fowler. "But this guy checked every box. He's a good player, a leader in the clubhouse, has a lot of qualities that A.J. and Andy wanted. ... This guy was maybe the one guy that we were prepared to go after a year or two early. That's how good we think he is."

In San Diego, Hosmer will wear No. 30, a way to honor former teammate Yordano Ventura, who passed away tragically last offseason. (Hosmer's old number, 35, is retired in San Diego for legendary left-hander Randy Jones.) On Tuesday, Hosmer spoke of his desire to carry on Ventura's legacy, and he spoke lovingly about his seven seasons in Kansas City.

Video: Hosmer honors the late Ventura by wearing No. 30

But for all his success there, Hosmer has made a few memories in San Diego, too. He earned All-Star Game MVP honors in 2016, and last spring, he starred at the World Baseball Classic. Hosmer was asked what he likes so much about playing in Petco Park.

"I think Petco Park likes me," he joked. "Every time I go there, it seems to work out."

It's his home office now. Over the next eight years, he'll undoubtedly make a few more memories in San Diego's East Village.

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.

San Diego Padres, Eric Hosmer

In SD, Hosmer sees similarities to Royals

New Padres 1B was part of stacked KC farm system that cashed in with WS title
MLB.com @AJCassavell

PEORIA, Ariz. -- In May 2011, Eric Hosmer arrived in a championship-starved city with his focus set squarely on reversing those fortunes. It didn't happen instantly. But the process worked as well as anyone in Kansas City could have hoped. By '14 the Royals were American League champs. A year later, they won their first World Series in three decades.

Hosmer has once again arrived in a city desperately searching for a title. It's been 20 seasons since San Diego's last trip to the Fall Classic and nearly a decade since the Padres contended for a playoff spot.

PEORIA, Ariz. -- In May 2011, Eric Hosmer arrived in a championship-starved city with his focus set squarely on reversing those fortunes. It didn't happen instantly. But the process worked as well as anyone in Kansas City could have hoped. By '14 the Royals were American League champs. A year later, they won their first World Series in three decades.

Hosmer has once again arrived in a city desperately searching for a title. It's been 20 seasons since San Diego's last trip to the Fall Classic and nearly a decade since the Padres contended for a playoff spot.

Spring Training information

Now, Hosmer gets to see things from a different angle. Seven years ago, Kansas City was primed to cash in on one of the game's top farm systems. Hosmer, the No. 3 overall Draft selection in 2008, was a pivotal part of that process, in which the Royals stockpiled young talent in hopes of a future payoff.

The same is true of San Diego -- except now Hosmer is the $144 million man and not the bright-eyed youngster. The 28-year-old first baseman was unveiled in a news conference Tuesday morning, and he compared the two situations.

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"A lot of similarities," said Hosmer, who dug deeply into the intricacies of the Padres' farm system before he signed. "It's something I went through as a young guy. I'm excited to go through it now, not being the young guy anymore and being the guy that can be there for the young guys."

Padres general manager A.J. Preller called Hosmer a "bridge" between the current team and the group that will arrive in the future. The Padres boast six of MLB Pipeline's Top 50 prospects and arguably the best farm system in the sport, and they believe Hosmer's presence will only help to nurture some of those youngsters.

Ideally, Fernando Tatis Jr. (ranked No. 8 overall), MacKenzie Gore (No. 19) and Luis Urias (No. 36) can comprise a prospect core that resembles what Hosmer, Mike Moustakas and Salvador Perez became in Kansas City.

"Each situation's different," said Preller. "But [Hosmer] had the experience of being a young player that's come to the big leagues, struggled as a group, then ended up being really successful at the Major League level. Those experiences played into our evaluation of him and are pretty valuable to our club and our clubhouse."

Video: Preller on excitement over Padres signing Hosmer

Hosmer was quick to note the mood among the Royals fanbase when those prospects landed in Kansas City, one after another. It's begun to happen in San Diego already, where Austin Hedges, Manuel Margot and Hunter Renfroe made their full-season debuts last year. Urias and Cal Quantrill could arrive later this season. Tatis isn't too far away.

"In 2011, it seemed like every other week a different prospect was coming up," Hosmer said. "It's a fun process. It's an exciting time because everybody hears about all these guys, and once one guy comes up, it seems like the fanbase really latches on and appreciates that player. Before you know it, there's another guy rolling in and another guy rolling in."

Part of Hosmer's job is to nurture those youngsters -- a role he's eager to undertake. Of course, he's also been tasked with anchoring first base and the middle of the San Diego lineup for the foreseeable future. Hosmer is coming off a career year, in which he batted .318/.385/.498 with 25 homers, and the Padres are expecting more of the same.

"First and foremost, he's a good player," Preller said. "Then, on top of that, he's had experiences that are similar to what some of those guys are going to go through in the next few years. We saw that as a really good fit for us."

News and notes

• The Padres designated catcher Rocky Gale for assignment to clear room for Hosmer on the 40-man roster. Gale was set to compete for the backup job behind starter Hedges (and if he clears waivers, he could still do so). For now, it's A.J. Ellis and Raffy Lopez battling for that spot.

• The Padres held their first full-squad workout Tuesday morning -- pushed back three hours because of damp fields and an early morning chill. Sixty-seven players in camp will compete for 25 available roster places.

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.

San Diego Padres, Eric Hosmer

All clubs to don Douglas caps for ST openers

MLB.com @_dadler

All 30 Major League teams will wear Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School baseball caps before their Spring Training games this weekend to show support for the Parkland, Fla., community and the Stoneman Douglas student body after the tragic shooting at the school on Feb. 14.

Players across MLB will then be signing the caps and auctioning them to raise money for the Broward Education Foundation, which will benefit the official Stoneman Douglas Victims' Fund. Seventeen people were killed in the shooting, including 14 students and three staff members.

All 30 Major League teams will wear Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School baseball caps before their Spring Training games this weekend to show support for the Parkland, Fla., community and the Stoneman Douglas student body after the tragic shooting at the school on Feb. 14.

Players across MLB will then be signing the caps and auctioning them to raise money for the Broward Education Foundation, which will benefit the official Stoneman Douglas Victims' Fund. Seventeen people were killed in the shooting, including 14 students and three staff members.

Video: Teams to wear Stoneman Douglas hats for ST openers

"It's a tragedy. It was a tragedy that hit the state of Florida, where we have two teams, but obviously has very specific baseball connections," Commissioner Rob Manfred said. "Really a very strong sentiment among the clubs that this was the appropriate thing to do immediately."

MLB teams will wear the caps pregame on Friday and will also be allowed to wear them during their games. Since they're off on Friday, the Royals and Rangers will don the hats on Saturday.

The Commissioner approved the use of the caps during all games on Friday, the Spring Training openers for most of the clubs.

The effort started with a few Grapefruit League teams, which wanted to wear the caps pregame, and it quickly spread across camps in Florida and Arizona. Soon all 30 teams had decided to join in the support and fundraising effort for the school community.

Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo attended Stoneman Douglas, and spoke at a prayer vigil at Pine Trails Park the day after the shooting. 

"It was the hardest thing I've ever had to do," Rizzo said Monday about meeting with families of the victims of the shooting. "You don't know what to say, there's nothing you can say. When people get shot, you're grateful they're alive. When they pass away, you're grateful you knew them. Just to see how real it is, it's sad and it's why I'm so proud of what they're doing back in Parkland and how everyone is coming together. They're going to turn this tragedy into something positive.

"The caps made for the fundraising effort will be provided to all players, coaches and umpires."

The Stoneman Douglas High School caps are reminiscent of how the Mets wore NYPD and FDNY caps following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in 2001. The Mets donned the caps to honor the first responders in their first game after the attacks, in Pittsburgh on Sept. 17, and again in their return to New York four days later. In that memorable game at Shea Stadium, Mike Piazza hit the go-ahead home run in the eighth inning to lead the Mets to an emotional win over the Braves.

David Adler is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @_dadler.

Hosmer to honor Yordano, wear No. 30 in SD

MLB.com @DKramer_

The memory of his close friend and fallen former teammate, Yordano Ventura, remains embedded in Eric Hosmer. When Ventura was killed in a car accident in his native Dominican Republic in February of last year, the tragedy shook Hosmer and the Royals organization.

Though Hosmer has left Kansas City and since signed an eight-year, $144 million contract with the Padres, he will bring an homage to Ventura with him -- Hosmer will don uniform No. 30, the number Ventura wore when they were Royals teammates.

The memory of his close friend and fallen former teammate, Yordano Ventura, remains embedded in Eric Hosmer. When Ventura was killed in a car accident in his native Dominican Republic in February of last year, the tragedy shook Hosmer and the Royals organization.

Though Hosmer has left Kansas City and since signed an eight-year, $144 million contract with the Padres, he will bring an homage to Ventura with him -- Hosmer will don uniform No. 30, the number Ventura wore when they were Royals teammates.

Hosmer was known to have a close relationship with Ventura, and the first baseman was even seen to be a mentor to the young pitcher. Hosmer spoke on behalf of the Royals organization in a pregame ceremony remembering Ventura ahead of Kansas City's home opener last year, its first home game since Ventura had been killed at the age of just 25. Hosmer also wore an arm band reading "Ace 30" during the World Baseball Classic to pay tribute to Ventura.

Video: OAK@KC: Royals have a moment of silence for Ventura

"I spoke to [coach] Glenn Hoffman yesterday and I know he wears No. 30 and basically told him it would mean a lot to me if I can wear No. 30 and continue Yordano's legacy," Hosmer said during his introductory news conference on Tuesday. "It really meant a lot to me and Hoff was more than open of letting me carry on that number. And like I told him, I'll wear it with pride each and every day and it's something that myself and the core guys with Kansas City want to continue to make sure that Yordano's legacy is lived out."

Hosmer had previously worn No. 35, which was retired by the Padres in recognition of 1976 National League Cy Young Award winner Randy Jones, who pitched for the club from 1973-80.

Daniel Kramer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @DKramer_.

San Diego Padres, Eric Hosmer

Renfroe's future clouded by Hosmer's arrival

Padres outfielder focused on preparing for season as trade interest picks up
MLB.com @AJCassavell

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Hunter Renfroe arrived in camp last week seemingly entrenched as the Padres' right fielder. Coming off a roller-coaster rookie campaign, there was always plenty for him to prove in Year 2.

Except, suddenly, Renfroe finds himself squarely in a battle for his job with the pending arrival of Eric Hosmer. As Wil Myers moves to the outfield to clear room for Hosmer at first base, Renfroe and Jose Pirela will duel for playing time at the other corner spot. Franchy Cordero and Alex Dickerson are also in the mix.

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Hunter Renfroe arrived in camp last week seemingly entrenched as the Padres' right fielder. Coming off a roller-coaster rookie campaign, there was always plenty for him to prove in Year 2.

Except, suddenly, Renfroe finds himself squarely in a battle for his job with the pending arrival of Eric Hosmer. As Wil Myers moves to the outfield to clear room for Hosmer at first base, Renfroe and Jose Pirela will duel for playing time at the other corner spot. Franchy Cordero and Alex Dickerson are also in the mix.

Spring Training information

With a newly congested roster, the Hosmer signing also gives the Padres a bit of wiggle room for a potential trade. Already, Renfroe's name has surfaced among rumors. On Sunday, MLB.com's Jon Paul Morosi reported Renfroe had drawn newfound trade interest in the wake of the Hosmer news.

"We're all chess pieces in a huge game here -- that's the way you look at it," Renfroe said of the possibility he'd be dealt. "But it's always exciting just to be here ... getting ready to play baseball."

:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::

The Padres wouldn't part with Renfroe for cheap. The 26-year-old right fielder, once a highly touted prospect, has only spent one season in the big leagues. His results were a mixed bag.

Renfroe launched 26 home runs, a franchise record for a rookie, and a handful of them reached rarified territory in left field at Petco Park. He also tied for the National League lead with nine outfield assists.

But his on-base percentage dipped to .284, and his defense was otherwise shoddy. In August, Renfroe was sent to Triple-A El Paso, primarily to work on plate discipline and outfield fundamentals.

In short, Renfroe's rookie season featured some incredible high points -- most notably his three-homer game against Arizona upon his return to San Diego in September. But it left just as many unanswered questions.

"You take the good out of it," Renfroe said. "And you work on the bad."

Renfroe spent the offseason in his native Mississippi, and he's returned to camp with a slight tweak to his violent swing. The Padres grew concerned with the exaggerated hitch in his hands as he loaded. There's still some movement, but it's much simpler, he says.

Defensively, Renfroe could be on the verge of a position change. He spent the entirety of 2017 in right field, but it's not yet clear where Myers will move when the season begins. Manager Andy Green noted that Renfroe will take some reps in left field as Spring Training progresses.

"He's competing for an opportunity to play on an everyday basis," said Green. "We didn't need to have a move to cause that to happen. ... It's competition, and he's right there in the thick of that competition."

Should Renfroe switch positions, he noted it might take him some time to get acclimated to left field at Petco Park. He'll emphasize honing his footwork this spring, which he believes played the biggest role in his nine errors last season. He's also looking to significantly improve his first step on fly balls.

Although he finds himself in a battle for outfield playing time, Renfroe exudes something of a quiet confidence, not concerned with the logistics of what the roster crunch means for him.

"You can't look at it like that," Renfroe said. "You just go out there and do what you can, play your game and do what it takes to get ready for the season. I'll let the guys make decisions when it happens."

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.

San Diego Padres, Hunter Renfroe

Deal official, Padres unveil Hosmer

Battles for bullpen jobs, backup first baseman role begin
MLB.com @AJCassavell

PEORIA, Ariz. -- The Padres introduced Eric Hosmer, their new first baseman, in a news conference Tuesday at the Peoria Sports Complex.

Hosmer, who agreed with the Padres on an eight-year contract that includes an opt-out clause after five seasons, passed his physical on Monday in Arizona.

PEORIA, Ariz. -- The Padres introduced Eric Hosmer, their new first baseman, in a news conference Tuesday at the Peoria Sports Complex.

Hosmer, who agreed with the Padres on an eight-year contract that includes an opt-out clause after five seasons, passed his physical on Monday in Arizona.

Spring Training information

Hosmer's pending arrival already had the Padres' clubhouse abuzz. Left-hander Matt Strahm, Hosmer's former teammate, is well aware of the impact Hosmer can make on a young team.

Video: Preller on excitement over Padres signing Hosmer

"The type of dude he is, he gets along with everyone," Strahm said. "He relates with everyone, which is awesome. He's very approachable. I don't know how to explain it, but what he's got is something I've never seen. I'm excited to have him here and can't wait to get going."

Tweet from @Padres: IT���S OFFICIAL! The #Padres have signed Eric Hosmer to an eight-year contract: https://t.co/UsgyvK5TIU pic.twitter.com/OUQ5Yzso5p

Hosmer batted .318/.385/.498 with 25 homers last season. He was a fan favorite in Kansas City, having helped lead a once-rebuilding club to consecutive American League pennants and the 2015 World Series title. He's been touted as a leader on a young Royals ballclub, and the Padres are hoping for more of the same in San Diego, where he'll wear No. 30. His number in Kansas City, 35, is retired for 1976 National League Cy Young Award winner Randy Jones.

Tweet from @AJCassavell: I'm told Eric Hosmer will wear No. 30 to honor his late teammate Yordano Ventura.

"He works hard and he's a vocal presence in the clubhouse," said right-hander Chris Young, who was also part of that 2015 Royals team. "He's both. He's everything a teammate could be. He'll be a great addition."

Team officials had refrained from commenting publicly until the deal was finalized. But the club had already set the wheels in motion for Hosmer's arrival.

Wil Myers, who agreed to move from first base to clear room for Hosmer, is taking reps in the outfield. Jose Pirela, meanwhile, will see increased playing time at second base, with fewer outfield at-bats to go around.

Bullpen battle begins

:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::

Field 1 saw four rounds of live batting practice Monday, featuring four pitchers on the 40-man roster -- none of whom have secured a place in the Padres bullpen.

Kyle McGrath, Phil Maton, Colten Brewer and Jose Castillo all faced live hitters Monday morning. They're due for one more round of live BP before pitching in Cactus League play (probably as early as Sunday).

As it stands, the Padres have four pitchers assured of their place in the bullpen -- Brad Hand, Craig Stammen, Kirby Yates and Kazuhisa Makita. That leaves either three or four places available, with about 10 names set to compete for those spots.

Backup first-base race still open

Hosmer will be the Padres' starting first baseman -- of that there is little question. But it remains to be seen who will serve behind Hosmer at first base.

Myers and Chase Headley have plenty of experience there. Longtime first baseman Allen Craig, who is in camp on a non-roster invite, is another option. For now, however, it's unclear who gets reps behind Hosmer at first.

"We'll have some versatility on the roster with guys who have been at first base before and can bounce back there at any point in time," manager Andy Green said.

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.

San Diego Padres, Allen Craig, Chase Headley, Eric Hosmer, Wil Myers

Hosmer deal accelerates Padres' rebuild

MLB.com @AJCassavell

PEORIA, Ariz. -- The Padres spent the past two years doing their best to stay out of the limelight. In lieu of flashy moves, general manager A.J. Preller cultivated an elite farm system, building from within without making a major splash via trade or free agency.

Boy, did that change in a big way on Saturday night.

PEORIA, Ariz. -- The Padres spent the past two years doing their best to stay out of the limelight. In lieu of flashy moves, general manager A.J. Preller cultivated an elite farm system, building from within without making a major splash via trade or free agency.

Boy, did that change in a big way on Saturday night.

The Padres have agreed to an eight-year contract with first baseman Eric Hosmer. The deal reportedly is worth $144 million. It's the largest contract signed this offseason, and the largest in the history of the Padres.

Video: Morosi on how the Padres reportedly landed Hosmer

Symbolically, it's a major shift for an organization that made no secret of its goal to tear down and start over following a disappointing 2015 campaign. The Hosmer deal seems to signify that the Padres believe they're turning corner away from their rebuild phase.

"If you add a player like that, you're obviously accelerating the process," said Wil Myers, who will shift from first base to the outfield with the addition of Hosmer. "Adding a player like that, not only for the fans, but for the players here [shows] how serious we are of going for it."

• Hosmer deal will reshape Padres' outfield, lineup

Video: Eric Hosmer reportedly signs with Padres

Team officials wouldn't comment until the deal was finalized, but multiple sources made it clear that the club still viewed its future as top priority. There's almost no chance they sacrifice elite prospects for short-term improvements, one team source said, putting 2019 as the goal for contention.

That's the nature of the Hosmer contract: The Padres doled out a huge sum, but they didn't lose any young talent in doing so. The club will proceed with the same mindset, willing to add -- and potentially add salary -- so long as the future remains intact.

Meanwhile, the current players have turned their attention to the present. Monday marks the first full-squad workout in Peoria, and news of the Hosmer deal has boosted expectations.

"Going into the year, we were getting ready to show some people we can make a playoff push," said Padres catcher Austin Hedges. "Now we add him, and that's absolutely got to be the goal."

• Friars on Hosmer: 'I couldn't be more excited'

Video: Chris Young on what Eric Hosmer brings to the Padres

In Hedges and Hosmer, the Padres have their catcher and first baseman of the future locked up through 2022. Outfielders Manuel Margot, Hunter Renfroe and Myers are also under team control for five more years. Prospects Fernando Tatis Jr. and Luis Urias could soon anchor the middle of the infield.

• Padres' Top 30 prospects

The biggest long-term question marks arise in the rotation. But the Padres boast five pitchers among the overall top 100 prospects according to MLB Pipeline, including MacKenzie Gore, the No. 3 overall pick in last June's Draft. The front office feels the pieces for a contender are in place.

In theory, Hosmer should be familiar with the process. The same blueprint was used to perfection in Kansas City, where the Royals captured back-to-back American League pennants and the 2015 World Series.

"He's a guy that's been where we are right now, in a rebuild and growing from within," Hedges said. "He did that and turned that into a championship team. He's been there. He can show us the ropes a little bit."

• Hosmer has excellent Petco resume

Padres right-hander Chris Young, a member of that 2015 Royals squad, saw it firsthand.

"I think everybody saw that it happened quicker than expected," Young said. "All of a sudden you get a couple pieces, a couple additions, it changed the expectations from, 'We hope to win,' to, 'We expect to win.' Kansas City took off at that point ... and I think the same thing can be expected here.

"There's a lot of talent. It's a great group of guys that work hard, do things the right way. All of a sudden you get the right pieces, and the expectation goes to expecting to win, not hoping to win. I think that's the case here. And I think it'll happen sooner rather than later."

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.

San Diego Padres, Eric Hosmer

MLB announces pace of play initiatives for '18

MLB.com @_dadler

Major League Baseball will implement new pace of play rules for the 2018 season, Commissioner Rob Manfred announced Monday, but there will be no pitch clock this season.

After consulting with the MLB Players Association and all 30 clubs, MLB announced its slate of rules changes, among them a limit on mound visits per game.

Major League Baseball will implement new pace of play rules for the 2018 season, Commissioner Rob Manfred announced Monday, but there will be no pitch clock this season.

After consulting with the MLB Players Association and all 30 clubs, MLB announced its slate of rules changes, among them a limit on mound visits per game.

•  Pace of play rules FAQ

A pitch clock -- giving the pitcher a certain amount of time to deliver the ball -- had been one of the major proposals considered. MLB decided to defer implementation of a pitch clock, as well as a between-batter timer, in order to give players an opportunity to respond to the new rules and positively affect pace of play throughout the 2018 season.

"I am pleased that we were able to reach an understanding with the Players Association to take concrete steps to address pace of play with the cooperation of players," Manfred said in a statement. "My strong preference is to continue to have ongoing dialogue with players on this topic to find mutually acceptable solutions."

New phone lines connecting the video review rooms and the dugout will be installed and monitored, limiting the ability of teams to steal signs, which is viewed as a contributing factor to the increasing number of mound visits. Rules governing when players can and cannot leave the batter's box between pitches, instituted during the 2017 season, remain in effect.

•  Players, managers react to new rules

"Players were involved in the pace of game discussion from Day 1, and are committed to playing a crisp and exciting brand of baseball for the fans, but they remain concerned about rule changes that could alter the outcome of games and the fabric of the game itself -- now or in the future," said Tony Clark, the MLBPA executive director.

Here is a breakdown of the new rules:

• Mound visits: Mound visits will be limited to six per team per nine innings. Teams will receive an additional visit for every extra inning played. Any manager, coach or player visit to the mound will count as a mound visit. Visits to the mound to clean cleats in rainy weather, to check on an injury or potential injury or after the announcement of an offensive substitution are excepted. Also, normal communication between player and pitcher that do not require either to vacate their position on the field do not count as a visit. If a team is out of visits, the umpire will have discretion to grant a visit at the catcher's request if he believes there has been a cross-up between the pitcher and catcher.

Video: Hot Stove on mound visits regarding pace of play

• Between-inning breaks: As has been the case since the start of the 2016 season, a timer will count down between innings from 2:05 for breaks in locally televised games, from 2:25 in nationally televised games and from 2:55 for tiebreaker and postseason games. The difference now is that at the 25-second mark, the umpire will signal for the final warmup pitch and the pitcher must throw it before the clock hits 20. The batter will be announced at the 20-second mark and the pitcher must begin his windup to throw the first pitch of the inning within the five seconds before the clock hits zero. Another important change is that a pitcher is no longer guaranteed eight warmup pitches between innings. However, he can take as many as he wants within the countdown parameters noted above. The timer will start on the last out of the inning, unless the pitcher is on base, on deck or at bat, in which case the timer shall begin when the pitcher leaves the dugout for the mound. If the final out of the inning is subject to replay, the timer begins when the umpire signals the out.

• Timing of pitcher changes: The timing clock -- as listed above -- also applies to pitching changes, and it will begin as soon as the relief pitcher crosses the warning track.

Video: Hot Stove on batter's box rule, replay review changes

• Instant replay: All club video review rooms will now receive direct slow-motion camera angles in order to speed up challenges and the resulting review. New phone lines will connect the rooms to the dugout and will be monitored to prevent their use for sign stealing.

Summary of 2018 Rule Changes

I) Mound Visits 
1. Number
A. 2018 Championship Season. Mound visits without a pitching change shall be limited to six (6) per team, per nine innings. For any extra-innings played, each Club shall be entitled to one additional non-pitching change mound visit per inning.  
B. OBR 5.10(l). Official Baseball Rule 5.10(l), which governs mound visits by a manager or coach, remains in effect (i.e., a pitcher must be removed on the second visit by a manager/coach in an inning). 

2. Definition of Mound Visit. A manager or coach trip to the mound to meet with the pitcher shall constitute a visit. A player leaving his position to confer with the pitcher, including a pitcher leaving the mound to confer with another player, shall also constitute a mound visit, regardless of where the visit occurs or the length of the visit, except that the following shall not constitute mound visits:
A. Discussions between pitchers and position player(s) that (i) occur between batters in the normal course of play and do not require either the position player(s) or the pitcher to relocate;
B. Visits by position players to the mound to clean spikes in rainy conditions;
C. Visits to the mound due to an injury or potential injury of the pitcher; and
D. Visits to the mound after the announcement of an offensive substitution.

3. Cross-Up in Signs. In the event a team has exhausted its allotment of mound visits in a game (or extra inning) and the home plate umpire determines that the catcher and pitcher did not have a shared understanding of the location or type of pitch that had been signaled by the catcher (otherwise referred to as a "cross-up"), the home plate umpire may, upon request of the catcher, allow the catcher to make a brief mound visit. Any mound visit resulting from a cross-up prior to a team exhausting its allotted number of visits shall count against a team's total number of allotted mound visits.

II) Inning Breaks and Pitching Changes
1. Time of Break. The timer will count down from 2:05 for breaks in locally televised championship season games, from 2:25 for breaks in nationally televised championship season games, and from 2:55 for tie-breaker and postseason games as follows: 

Time Remaining | Required Action
25 seconds: 
Umpire signals pitcher to complete last warmup pitch.
20 seconds: Batter's announced and must leave on-deck circle, batter walk-up music shall begin, and pitcher shall complete last warmup pitch.
0 seconds: Pitcher must begin motion to deliver first pitch.

A. The pitcher may take as many warm-up pitches as he desires, but regardless of how many warm-up pitches he has thrown, he must deliver his final warm-up pitch at least 20 seconds prior to the end of an inning break or pitching change. OBR 5:07 will be revised to reflect that pitcher is not guaranteed eight warm-up pitches. 
B. The umpire shall signal for the last warm-up pitch at 25 seconds, unless a special circumstance (as described below) applies. 
C. The batter must leave the on-deck circle and proceed directly to the batter's box when the pitcher throws his final warm-up pitch.  
D. The pitcher must begin his motion for the first pitch as soon as the batter steps into the box and is alert to the pitcher; provided, however, the pitcher cannot begin his motion for the first pitch more than five seconds prior to the end of an inning break or pitching change so that television is ensured to be back from commercial break. 

2. Special Circumstances. A Player will be excused from following the time limits set forth above if the umpire determines that any of the following special circumstances are present:  
A. There is a delay in normal warm-up activities during the inning break due to no fault of the Players (e.g., injury or other medical emergency, equipment issues, playing field or grounds crew issues);
B. The umpire believes the pitcher is at a legitimate risk of injury if he does not receive additional time to throw warm-up pitches; 
C. The umpire believes the batter is at a legitimate risk of injury if he does not receive additional time to enter the batter's box; 
D. Any other special circumstances which, in the umpire's judgment, warrant allowing the pitcher to throw after the deadline. 

3. Start of Timer for Inning Breaks
A. Last Out of Inning. The timer shall start on the last out of an inning for an inning break.   
B. Close Plays/Replay Review. The Field Timing Coordinator shall delay the start of the timer if the final out of the inning is a close play that may be reviewed by instant replay. If the final out of the inning is determined in instant replay, the timer shall start as soon as the out is signaled by the umpire.  
C. Pitcher or Catcher On Base/On Deck. If a pitcher ends an inning on base, on deck, or at bat, the timer shall reset when the pitcher leaves the dugout for the mound. If a catcher ends the inning on base, on deck, or at bat, the timer will reset when the catcher enters the dugout (and another catcher must begin warming up the pitcher). 
 
4. Start of Timer for Pitching Changes
A. Pitcher Crosses Warning Track. The pitching change timer shall begin as soon as the relief pitcher crosses the warning track (or foul line for on-field bullpens) to enter the game. In the case of a pitching change that occurs during an inning break, the timer shall reset if previously started as soon as the relief pitcher crosses the warning track (or foul line for on-field bullpens).  
B. Relief Pitchers Must Promptly Leave Bullpen. Relief pitchers shall leave the bullpen promptly following an appropriate signal by their manager or coach. During the playing of God Bless America, or any other extended inning event previously approved by the Office of the Commissioner, the timer will begin at the conclusion of the song or event. 
 
5. Enforcement. Umpires shall direct players and enforce the inning break and pitching change time limits on the field. Players who consistently or flagrantly violate the time limits will be subject to progressive discipline for just cause by the Office of the Commissioner pursuant to Article XI(C) of the Basic Agreement.

III. Batter's Box Rule
The batter's box rule that was in effect during the 2017 season will remain in effect during the 2018 season.

IV. Video Replay Review
The following adjustments will be made to the video replay technology:
A. Install capability for all Club video review rooms to receive direct slow motion camera angles for the 2018 championship season; 
B. Install new phone lines connecting the video review rooms and the dugout, and monitor the communications over those lines to prevent their use for sign-stealing.

David Adler is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @_dadler.