Braves release RHP Freddy Garcia despite injuries (The Associated Press)

Atlanta released pitcher Freddy Garcia, who was contending for a spot in the Braves' battered rotation, and agreed to a $1 million, one-year contract with right-hander Aaron Harang. The team announced Garcia's unconditional release Monday on the deadline for him to be put on the major league roster - which would have triggered a $1.25 million guaranteed salary. I have to go,'' said Garcia, who started Game 4 of last year's NL division series against the Los Angeles Dodgers. The 37-year-old right-hander was cut despite a strong outing Sunday, when he limited the New York Mets to an unearned run and two hits over 5 1-3 innings.

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Dillon Gee to start Mets’ opener against Nationals (The Associated Press)

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (AP) -- Dillon Gee will start the New York Mets' opener at home against Washington on March 31. Mets manager Terry Collins informed Gee of the decision Monday. ''It's a big honor,'' Gee said. That's where I'm at.'' Jonathon Niese was expected to be the Mets' opening-day starter for the second straight year, but he has been sidelined by shoulder and elbow injuries.

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Yankees’ Pineda allows 3 runs in 6 innings (The Associated Press)

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- Yankees fifth starter candidate Michael Pineda allowed three runs and six hits over six innings Sunday in New York's 3-1 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays.

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Astros hope to have new spring training home soon (The Associated Press)

Houston Astros owner Jim Crane hopes to have a deal for a new spring training home for his ballclub within six months. ''Our timetable is, we've got to have something probably agreed to and documented hopefully by the end of the summer, because the timetable would be to build it and then be here in 2017,'' Crane said Sunday before the Astros played the St. Louis Cardinals in Jupiter. The Astros are looking to replace their current home in Kissimmee with a site on the east coast of Florida. Osceola County Stadium was considered state of the art when the Astros moved there in 1985, but Crane said the complex is ''probably the worst'' in the Grapefruit League now.

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Nolasco shelled in Twins’ 9-1 loss to Mets (The Associated Press)

Ricky Nolasco allowed seven straight batters to reach in a seven-run first inning for the New York Mets, who beat the Minnesota Twins 9-1 Friday. The Twins' opening-day starter threw 43 pitches in the inning but he was encouraged that he didn't become fatigued. ''I think it would have been better if I would have told them what was coming.'' Five of the Mets' six hits in the inning went for extra bases, including Ike Davis' two-run double, Kirk Nieuwenhuis' triple and a two-run homer by No. 8 hitter Taylor Teagarden. STARTING TIME Mets: Right-hander Dillon Gee held the Twins to one run on five hits and no walks over 5 1-3 innings as he moved closer to an expected start on opening day.

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Beachy will have elbow ligament replaced again (The Associated Press)

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (AP) -- Atlanta Braves pitcher Brandon Beachy will have ligament-replacement surgery in his right elbow for the second time Friday and is expected to miss the entire season. The Braves said Thursday that Los Angeles Dodgers team physician Dr. Neal ElAttrache will operate in Los Angeles. Beachy's ulnar collateral ligament was reconstructed by Dr. James Andrews on June 21, 2012, and Beachy returned to go 2-1 with a 4.50 ERA in 30 innings over five starts from July 29 to Aug. 20 last summer.

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Ervin Santana makes Braves’ spring training debut (The Associated Press)

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (AP) -- Ervin Santana was surprised when Eric Young Jr., his first batter of spring training, bunted and reached on a single. Pretty much everything else went according to plan for Santana, who allowed one run over two innings Thursday in his first game for the Atlanta Braves, a 7-6 loss to the New York Mets. Signed to a $14.1 million, one-year contract on March 12 after season-ending elbow injuries to Kris Medlen and Brandon Beachy, Santana allowed hits to his first two batters. After Ruben Tejada's single, Santana retired David Wright on a sacrifice fly that started a streak of six straight outs.

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Cosart retires all 15 batters faced in Astros’ win (The Associated Press)

Jarred Cosart pitched five perfect innings Wednesday night, leading the Houston Astros to a 2-0 victory over the Washington Nationals. After the game, Nationals manager Matt Williams said Stephen Strasburg would make the opening-day start at the New York Mets on March 31. Cosart struck out nine, including six in a row and seven of eight. ''That's the best I've seen him as far as the sharpness of his off-speed stuff,'' Astros catcher Jason Castro said.

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Paging Tommy John: Pitchers having painful spring (The Associated Press)

Jarrod Parker, Kris Medlen and Luke Hochevar are out for the season, Patrick Corbin and Brandon Beachy might join them in the operating room. All over spring training, there's been an outbreak of wrecked elbows and pained pitchers. ''It doesn't surprise me at all,'' Tommy John himself said Tuesday. ''Tommy John surgery will grow exponentially in the next 50 years.'' ''I really think there will come a day when if you have 12 pitchers on your staff, 10 will have had Tommy John surgery,'' the 70-year-old lefty told The Associated Press from his home in Watertown, N.Y. Still, this recent wave makes Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell wince.

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Niese (elbow) exits early, Mets top Cardinals 10-4 (The Associated Press)

Jonathon Niese lasted only two innings for a New York Mets split squad Sunday, leaving a 10-4 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals with a sore left elbow. Niese will head back to New York for tests, the latest setback for the left-hander in what he described as ''the spring training from hell.'' He is expected to have an MRI exam Monday, and it's unclear when he might pitch again. ''It's the back of the elbow, which is good,'' Niese said. ''I'm almost 100 percent sure it's nothing serious.'' Adam Wainwright had a rocky outing in his third start this spring, allowing three runs and seven hits in 4 1-3 innings for the Cardinals.

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