Phillies

Phillies

TEMPE, Ariz. — Los Angeles Angels outfielder Josh Hamilton was on the minds of his teammates Thursday, a day after he was in New York to meet with Major League Baseball officials about an unspecified disciplinary issue.

The 33-year-old Hamilton has a history of drug addiction and alcohol abuse, leading to suspensions that cost him more than three years while in the minors. The Angels have confirmed Hamilton's meeting with MLB, but have declined to give any more information.

"I don't know any of the details, so I can't talk about that. But we miss him and we hope everything works out," MVP outfielder Mike Trout said.

"I know that he's going through a lot," Trout said.

Hamilton, the 2010 AL MVP, hasn't reported to spring training in Arizona after undergoing surgery on his right shoulder earlier this month.

"He's not here in camp with us," general manager Jerry Dipoto said. "He is at home rehabbing from the surgery and we're going to leave it at that."

Hamilton already was expected to be out until after the regular season begins because of the surgery.

"We'll wait for Major League Baseball and see what the next step is. I don't think it will serve us any purpose to look too far down the road," manager Mike Scioscia said. (See full story)

Cardinals: Wainwright diagnosed with abdominal strain
JUPITER, Fla. — Adam Wainwright has been diagnosed with an abdominal strain but the St. Louis ace could be available to pitch the Cardinals' opener at Wrigley Field on April 5.

Wainwright strained the muscle on Monday while putting a 45-pound weight back on a rack. General manager John Mozeliak said Thursday the strain is about belt high.

Wainwright said the pain originally felt like a twinge when it first occurred and the injury bothered him when he ran or lunged but did not affect his pitching. He walked off a practice field Tuesday following the team's stretch, returned to St. Louis on Wednesday and was examined by Dr. Michael Brunt on Thursday.

Marlins: Stanton faces live pitching
JUPITER, Fla. — Giancarlo Stanton saw his first live pitches since his beaning back in September. The Marlins will have to wait at least one more day to watch Stanton take his first swing.

While other members of his hitting group swung freely Thursday during the Miami's first live batting practice sessions of the spring, Stanton -- wearing a traditional-style batting helmet -- tracked all 10 pitches he saw, five from Henderson Alvarez and five from Brad Hand, into the catcher's mitt.

The 25-year-old Stanton says he didn't experience any anxiety stepping into the batter's box for the first time since a Mike Fiers fastball broke his orbital bone and damaged five teeth in September.

He says, "It was just like any other spring training."

Yankees: A-Rod participates in full-squad workout
TAMPA, Fla. — Alex Rodriguez walked into the clubhouse at the New York Yankees spring training complex, slipped on his uniform for the first time in more than a year and quietly launched his comeback from a season-long suspension caused by performance-enhancing drugs.

About 500 fans showed up at Steinbrenner Field for the team's first full-squad workout on Thursday, welcoming Rodriguez with cheers and words of encouragement.

The slugger, who hasn't played since September 2013 of the suspension, took ground balls at third base and hit three home runs in 32 swings during batting practice.

Rodriguez said he felt like a rookie again.

Nationals: Werth still rehabbing from shoulder surgery
VIERA, Fla. — The Washington Nationals' Jayson Werth is back on the field, just not 100 percent yet.

Werth participated in outfield drills Thursday during the Nationals' first full-squad workout Thursday. But the left fielder was generally limited as he recovers from offseason shoulder surgery.

Werth had arthroscopic surgery on Jan. 9 to repair the AC joint in his right shoulder and was expected to miss 2-3 months. Earlier this spring, general manager Mike Rizzo expressed optimism Werth would be ready by opening day and on Thursday, Werth sounded cautiously optimistic, saying, "That's kind of my goal."

At the same time, Werth doesn't want to rush back before he's ready.

"We've really got to get to that eight week point before you can really ramp up anything, and then again, it's 8-12 weeks before you can really get back to normal activity," Werth said.

"We're getting there. We're progressing. It's getting better. But (we've) still got a ways to go."

Blue Jays: Saunders injures knee, out until July
DUNEDIN, Fla. — Toronto Blue Jays left fielder Michael Saunders could be sidelined until around the All-Star break after stepping on a sprinkler while shagging fly balls and tearing cartilage in his left knee.

General manager Alex Anthopoulos said Thursday the injury occurred a day earlier and is expected to require surgery. Saunders will seek a second opinion before making a decision.

Saunders, acquired from Seattle in a December trade and projected as a starter, said he felt a pop after stepping awkwardly on the sprinkler head while going after a ball at the team's training facility.

"I just tried to walk off the field and not draw any attention to myself. Then, when I got into the training room, my knee felt like it was getting tight on the inside," said Saunders, who was on crutches. "I've never had any issues with my knees, so that's when I knew that something was wrong."

Anthopoulos said the team will look internally for a replacement but is open to a trade or free-agent signing.

"I actually started making some calls last night with respect to seeing who else could be out there," he said. "There are some teams out there with some outfield depth. If we do something, it will be toward the end of spring."

Anthopoulos said Saunders could return before the break in mid-July if there are no complications.