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1425594950
Phillies' Sandberg: Elvis Araujo 'impressive' in two spring outings
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com

Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said Thursday that pitcher Elvis Araujo has impressed in his two outings this spring, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

"He was a bright spot today once again," Sandberg said after Araujo pitched a 1-2-3 sixth inning Thursday. "He just has that angle coming in with his height and he seems to pitch down in the zone. But that ball has a real nice angle to it, so he's been impressive the two times we've seen him."

Araujo made his spring debut in Sunday's exhibition loss to the University of Tampa, striking out the side in his one inning of action. He went 2-1 with a 3.42 ERA and 50:28 K:BB ratio in 50 innings with high Class A Carolina and Double-A Akron.

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1425594782
Padres' James Shields to make spring debut on Saturday
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com

Padres pitcher James Shields will make his spring debut on Saturday, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune

After Shields pitched deep into the postseason, the Padres wanted to bring him along slowly during camp. He'll make his first start against the Giants on Saturday. It's unclear how long Shields will pitch.

The 33-year-old posted a 3.21 ERA over 227 innings last season. 

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1425594636
Braves 3B Chris Johnson to play at 1B when Freeman needs rest
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com

Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said Thursday third baseman Chris Johnson would move over to first base during the regular season on the days he wants to rest first baseman Freddie Freeman, particularly against a tough left-handed pitcher.

“Chris Johnson will be that guy, and you’re going to see him play some first base in spring training,” Gonzalez said, per the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “He took some ground balls there the last couple of years, and ended up moving over there in that one game (last season) where Freddie got thrown out. I’m not going to carry a guy (just to) be a backup (to Freeman).

“CJ can do it. And depending on the makeup of the club, Kelly Johnson is a guy who can do it, too. But he’s (another left-handed) hitter, so if you want to give Freeman a day off against a tough left-hander you don’t want to run Kelly Johnson in there. You could run CJ in there and utilize him that way.”

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1425594628
Packers sign free-agent linebacker Josh Francis from CFL
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com

The Packers signed free-agent linebacker Josh Francis on Thursday, the team announced.

Francis has never appeared in an NFL game and played in the Canadian Football League in 2014.

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1425594571
Panthers give TE Greg Olsen a three-year extension
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com

The Panthers announced they signed tight end Greg Olsen to a three-year contract extension on Thursday that will keep him in Carolina through the 2018 season, per the team's official website. The extension is worth $22.5 million, with a $12 million signing bonus, according to CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora.

Olsen, 29, is fresh off a career year after setting franchise records for receptions (84) and receiving yards (1,008) by a tight end in a season. He cracked the 1,000-yard threshold for the first time in eight seasons in the NFL. He has 5,188 yards and 52 touchdowns in his career, and is the only tight end to catch at least five touchdown passes every year since 2008.

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