Barton hurt, Outman rocked in A's split squad loss

Barton hurt, Outman rocked in A's split squad loss

PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) Heath Bell said he was nervous. It didn't show in his performance.Bell struck out a pair of hitters in a scoreless inning and the San Diego Padres rallied for a 7-6 win over the Oakland Athletics on Sunday.The two-time NL All-Star had missed San Diego's first seven exhibition games with a strained left calf. Bell, who was second in the NL with 47 saves and tied for eighth in voting for the NL Cy Young Award, threw 10 of 12 pitches for strikes."I felt really good," he said. "I wanted to go out there and throw low strikes and I think I accomplished that except for the breaking stuff."Padres starting pitcher Mat Latos wasn't as sharp. Latos was pulled after getting just two outs. He allowed three runs on two hits and two walks. In his previous start, Latos walked four batters.Latos, who was 14-10 with a 2.92 ERA last season, felt like he made the proper technical adjustments but wasn't getting calls from plate umpire Ron Kulpa."I executed what I needed to do," Latos said. "I was finishing, following through. I feel like I was throwing a lot more strikes than what was being called. There's nothing I can do about it."Padres manager Bud Black doesn't see any issues with Latos' pitches. But he does believe Latos isn't pitching in rhythm and has some issues he must resolve before his next outing."Mat again was a little too erratic," Black said. "He doesn't look comfortable.Athletics first baseman Daric Barton left the game early after getting hit in the calf by Logan Forsythe while leaping for a high throw in the fourth inning."He just got kicked in the calf," Skinner said. "It's nothing serious."Oakland would like to see Bobby Cramer replicate his outing Sunday as much as possible. The left-hander, who is fighting for the fifth spot in the A's starting rotation, allowed a hit and a walk in three scoreless innings."Cramer threw the ball well out there," Oakland bench coach Joel Skinner said. "And he fielded his position so everything went good."Cramer's main competition for the spot, Josh Outman, didn't fare as well. Outman allowed four runs on five hits and three walks and only lasted 1 1-3 innings.San Diego's Jorge Cantu belted a two-run shot off Outman in the second inning. The Padres won in the ninth inning on Mike Baxter's one-out sacrifice fly to right field.Josh Willingham, Kevin Kouzmanoff and Kurt Suzuki each had an RBI for Oakland. Suzuki went 2 for 3 with a double. San Diego is hopeful center fielder Cameron Maybin can return to the lineup Monday after missing five games with concussion-like symptoms.Maybin took batting practice Sunday after a second straight day of improved health. It was the second time Maybin has swung a bat since he hit his head on a post on the outfield fence during a pregame workout Wednesday morning. Maybin said he experienced blurry vision and headaches for 72 hours after hitting his head."The last two days I've felt pretty good," Maybin said. "Hopefully I'll be back out there soon."Maybin said he took 50-60 swings in the batting cage Saturday. The Padres have held Maybin out of the lineup as a precaution."Hopefully (Monday) he can get in there," Black said.

Former 49ers head coach Tomsula named Washington's defensive line coach

Former 49ers head coach Tomsula named Washington's defensive line coach

ASHBURN, Va. — Washington turned to internal candidates to fill two critical vacancies, promoting Matt Cavanaugh to offensive coordinator and Greg Manusky to defensive coordinator.

Cavanaugh was the team's quarterbacks coach and Manusky its outside linebackers coach last season. Washington announced the promotions Monday along with the hires of Kevin O'Connell as quarterbacks coach and Jim Tomsula as defensive line coach.

It has been an offseason of upheaval for the coaching staff after Washington fired defensive coordinator Joe Barry and a few assistants and offensive coordinator Sean McVay left to become head coach of the Los Angeles Rams.

In its efforts to replace Barry after ranking 28th defensively in consecutive seasons, Washington interviewed former Jacksonville Jaguars coach Gus Bradley, former Cleveland Browns coach Mike Pettine and former Buffalo Bills assistant Rob Ryan before opting for Manusky. The 50-year-old Manusky has been defensive coordinator for the Indianapolis Colts, San Diego Chargers and 49ers and worked with Redskins general manager Scot McCloughan in San Francisco.

Known for his fiery personality and booming voice on the practice fields, Manusky had only been on coach Jay Gruden's staff for one season as outside linebackers coach. Middle linebacker Will Compton tweeted: "Congrats to Coach Manusky!" when players were informed of his promotion.

Cavanaugh was Washington's quarterbacks coach for the past two years as Kirk Cousins twice set the franchise record for passing yards in a season. Cousins' status for 2017 remains in doubt after playing last season on the franchise tag, but with McVay gone he'll have a familiar face as his offensive coordinator.

After 13 NFL seasons as a backup quarterback, the 60-year-old Cavanaugh was offensive coordinator for the Chicago Bears from 1997-98 and Baltimore Ravens from 1999-2004. O'Connell, Washington's new quarterbacks coach, was an assistant in San Francisco under Chip Kelly last season.

Tomsula, who replaces Robb Akey as defensive line coach, also most recently worked with the 49ers as their head coach in 2015.

Spring training to be slightly shortened starting in 2018

Spring training to be slightly shortened starting in 2018

NEW YORK -- For everyone who thinks spring training is too long, help is on the way - a little, anyway.

Spring training will be shortened by two days starting in 2018, when new restrictions in Major League Baseball's collective bargaining agreement take effect on game times for regular-season getaway days.

The voluntary reporting date for pitchers, catchers and injured players will be 43 days before the major league opener instead of 45, according to a copy of the agreement obtained by The Associated Press. For other players, the date will be 38 days ahead instead of 40.

The change was tied to spreading each team's 162 regular-season games over 187 days, up from 183.

Players' association Assistant General Counsel Matt Nussbaum said the union's goal was to create more days off during the season "in a way that doesn't just chew up offseason days."

"We have heard for years and I'm sure we will continue to hear that spring training is too long, that guys are really ready to go well before opening day, but I think what the commissioner's office would tell you is that there are big challenges for the clubs in substantially shortening spring training because they have various commitments to put on a certain number of games," he said Monday.

Late arrival times ahead of regular-season series openers also were addressed.

Starting in 2018, the latest possible start time on getaway days when either team is traveling to a game in another city the next day or a home off day will be calculated by subtracting the time of the flight over 2½ hours from 7 p.m.

There are cutouts for Sunday night games broadcast by ESPN and games after June 1 at Texas' current home ballpark - where the Rangers avoid afternoons for much of the season because of the heat.

Another new rule for 2018 says no game in the original schedule may be set for before 5 p.m. when a team played the previous night in another city starting 7 p.m. or later. There are exceptions involving flights of 90 minutes or less for home openers and holiday weekends. Current cutouts are carried over for up to six exceptions each season at Chicago's Wrigley Field and rescheduled games involving flights of 90 minutes or less.

"We fully recognize that our players play a very demanding schedule, and we're always looking for ways to ease the burden on players while at the same time scheduling games at a convenient time for our fans to watch them," MLB Chief Legal Officer Dan Halem said.

Sunday night games on holiday weekends followed by afternoon games still seem likely to occur.

"We have contracts with various national broadcast partners that limit our ability to schedule day games in certain instances," Halem said.

Nussbaum said if the players had their way, there would be "a flat rule that says all getaway games are day games" but understand why that would cause difficulty for teams.

"There's still going to be some challenges in the schedule," he said, "but we think what we've done with these two prongs is pare back the most egregious of the travel."

As part of the agreement, one game in the major leagues may be scheduled each year on the Thursday after the All-Star Game starting in 2018.