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Major League Baseball

Yanks pitchers set to compete

The Associated Press
Published:   |   Updated: March 22, 2013 at 09:01 AM
TAMPA -

Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes, the front-runners for the Yankees' fifth starter spot, threw batting practice for the first time Friday.

Don't read too much into the schedule, though.

"You're competing against yourself," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "You're trying to make yourself better, and that's the attitude we want from all our players. I think that's the competitive nature inside of them."

Alfredo Aceves, Chad Gaudin and Sergio Mitre also are under consideration to join CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, Andy Pettitte and Javier Vazquez in the rotation.

Jorge Posada caught Hughes and hit against Chamberlain.

"They have grown in a good way," Posada said. "You see a lot of good things."

Hughes threw 31 pitches, while Chamberlain made 33.

BRAVES: Atlanta prospect Jason Heyward is doing serious damage in spring training.

The 20-year-old outfielder hit a drive in batting practice that smashed through the sun roof of the car belonging to the team's assistant general manager. Heyward also has dented other vehicles.

The Braves are putting up netting in the parking lot at their camp to guard against any more accidents.

DODGERS: A leading candidate to start at second base, Ronnie Belliard must adhere to a weight clause if he wants to activate his $825,000 one-year deal. So far it remains a work in progress.

The Dodgers want Belliard to be at 209 pounds before the contract can become official. Belliard reported to spring training this week and could be as heavy as 211.

"I have never come into spring training at (209)," he said. "I think I feel good and I look good, so we'll see what happens."

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