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Not Short On Heart

John Millea -

Numbers don't lie, and neither does performance. Shortstop Chris Cates hopes his numbers will prove he belongs in professional baseball, but not the number that represents his height. Cates stands 5-foot-3, which makes the former Louisville player the smallest player in the pro ranks. But he knows that how he performs—not his size—will be the most important factor in his career.

Majors | #2008#Minnesota Twins#Organization Reports

Fielding Machines

George King -Premium Content

Brian Cashman didn't hesitate when asked how good shortstop Ramiro Pena is defensively. "He is a high-end fielding machine," the Yankees' general manager said of the 22-year-old from Monterrey, Mexico, who signed in 2005. "We are fortunate that we have two shortstops at Double-A and Triple-A who are fielding machines."

Majors | #2008#New York Yankees#Organization Reports

Assigned To Relieve

Andy Call -Premium Content

Shawn Nottingham found an immediate upside to what might have been considered bad news by other pitchers. The 23-year-old lefthander was told by his bosses at the end of spring training that he would no longer be a member of the rotation at Double-A Akron. He would instead work out of the bullpen.

Majors | #2008#Cleveland Indians#Organization Reports

He’s Back

Adam Rubin -Premium Content

Righthander Carlos Muniz's finest major league moment came as the Mets' season was crumbling around him. Four days after his debut, in his second relief appearance, Muniz combined with John Maine and Willie Collazo on a one-hit shutout of the Marlins.

Majors | #2008#New York Mets#Organization Reports

A Phone Call Away

John Hickey -Premium Content

In a logical progression, this might well have been the year for lefthander Ryan Feierabend to step up and break camp with the Mariners. Baseball is not about logical progressions, however, and rather than being on the Seattle roster, Feierabend found himself the Opening Day pitcher for Triple-A Tacoma. He never really had a chance to make the roster, not with Seattle going with an 11-man staff and with the Mariners having added two starters over the winter in Erik Bedard and Carlos Silva.

Majors | #2008#Organization Reports#Seattle Mariners

Not All About Stats

John Perrotto -Premium Content

Neal Huntington looked past the statistics when Phil Dumatrait hit the waiver wire last October. The lefthander made six starts for Cincinnati last season and went 0-4, 15.00 while pitching a total of 18 innings. Yet that did not deter Huntington, the freshly minted Pirates general manager, from claiming Dumatrait.

Majors | #2008#Organization Reports#Pittsburgh Pirates

Versatility Helps

John Maffei -Premium Content

SAN DIEGO—When Callix Crabbe reported to spring training, the only thing fans knew about him was that he had an interesting name. By the time spring training was over, they had learned the 5-foot-7 bundle of energy could play the game. The Padres took Crabbe from the Brewers in the major league Rule 5 draft in December, so it was an all-or-nothing deal when he got to camp. And he knew it.

Majors | #2008#Organization Reports#San Diego Padres

Adding Deception

Jack Magruder -Premium Content

The Diamondbacks had spoken to the Reds in previous years about lefthander Jon Coutlangus, so when the Reds designated him for assignment on Opening Day, it simply opened another door. The Diamondbacks acquired Coutlangus for minor league outfielder Daniel Perales on April 7, giving them another lefthanded reliever in an organization that remains a bit thin in that specialty.

Majors | #2008#Arizona Diamondbacks#Organization Reports

Unlikely Lefty

Jeff Vorva -Premium Content

Early in spring training, the buzz was that Scott Eyre and Neal Cotts would be the two lefties in the bullpen most likely to break camp with the parent squad. Then Cotts struggled in Cactus League action and was demoted to Triple-A Iowa in the middle of camp. Then manager Lou Piniella said the Cubs just might break camp with only one southpaw reliever. Then Eyre hurt his elbow. Speculation in the final week of camp was that Sean Marshall, who was out of the starting derby, would get the nod. In the end, the guy who got the call was lefty Carmen Pignatiello, who posted a 0.87 ERA in 11 Cactus League games.

Majors | #2008#Chicago Cubs#Organization Reports

Ahead Of Schedule

Tony Jackson -Premium Content

It isn't clear what would have happened if Yhency Brazoban hadn't reported to spring training too heavy and Rudy Seanez hadn't been so ineffective. But those events opened the door for righthander Ramon Troncoso to pitch his way onto the Dodgers' Opening Day roster, despite having a grand total of 35 appearances above Class A.

Majors | #2008#Los Angeles Dodgers#Organization Reports

Catching On

Tom Haudricourt -Premium Content

No player likes being cut from major league training camp. But when Vinny Rottino got the news this spring, he couldn't help being a bit excited. When the Brewers gave Rottino the news he was going back to Triple-A Nashville for a third season, they told him he'd have a new assignment. Once a utilityman who played nearly every position on the field, Rottino would be catching—and catching only.

Majors | #2008#Milwaukee Brewers#Organization Reports