The Padres expect Cameron Maybin to be an outstanding defender in center field, and Maybin is looking forward to the challenge of playing his home games at expansive PETCO Park.

"It's a huge center field," he told the San Diego Union-Tribune. "I fell in love with it. I like to see room and space, offensively and defensively. My offensive game is to hit the ball to the gaps, run and create some issues. My defensive game is to run down balls in the gaps.

"I think PETCO Park is going to give me the freedom to use all my abilities."

Lynn trying to play his way into roster spot: Lance Lynn, who spent 2010 at Triple-A Memphis, says he has every intention of making the Cardinals think long and hard about keeping him around in 2011.

"I wanted to come in here and show them that that is me," Lynn told MLB.com. "That's who I am. I'm a guy that can give you a lot of innings and do well. So to be able to come in and show them right off the bat that I'm ready to go, hopefully, tells them that the end of the season wasn't a fluke."

Paulino has high hopes for 2011 season: When Chris Iannetta faced Felipe Paulino last season, he still remembers what he thought of the matchup. Iannetta told the Denver Post: "I remember going back to the dugout and saying to everybody, 'How does anybody ever hit this guy?'"

Iannetta doesn't have to worry about facing Paulino anymore because the Rockies acquired the right-handed pitcher from the Houston Astros during the offseason.

"I believe in myself," Paulino said. "I know I have to come here and find a spot, but I can make this a better team. I just want to stay healthy. That's the one thing. If I can, I can do a lot of things for this team."

Dunn searching for routine as part of advice: Adam Dunn, who is set to serve as designated hitter for the White Sox, says he's talking to anyone and everyone about the best way to approach a role he's never undertaken before.

"I've tried to talk to as many people as I can," Dunn told MLB.com. "I've talked to everyone from Frank Thomas to Travis Hafner, who's done it a lot. It seems like everyone has a different routine, but the one thing they have in common is they have a routine. I need to find what mine's going to be."

Beckett cleared after suffering concussion: Josh Beckett will pitch Tuesday after he was cleared to resume normal physical activity. Beckett suffered a minor concussion Monday when he was hit in the back of the head by a ball during batting practice.

"Passed with flying colors," Beckett, seemingly upbeat, told the Boston Herald.

Beckett shouldn't be too far behind schedule as he missed only one day of throwing.

"The No. 1 thing is to make sure he's OK and [monitor] how he tolerates his activity," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. "Once he does that, he's only missing one day of throwing. That's not too significant. We'll see. We'll see where he's at."

DeWitt pleased with switch to second base: Blake De Witt is excited about playing second base for the Cubs instead of third base, and he says he definitely prefers playing up the middle.

"I just like second base because you're involved more," DeWitt told MLB.com. "It's a lot of fun over there. There's always something to learn, there's always something new to learn. I pay attention to a lot of guys."

Dickey 'sharp' in first spring start: R.A. Dickey came to spring training knowing he already had a spot waiting for him in the starting rotation after going 11-9 with a 2.84 ERA. Knowing that, he still wasn't sure how he would feel on the mound during his first spring start.

"There was no sense of entitlement, no different from what I felt in the past, which is good," Dickey told the New York Post. "I really didn't know how the security or having a spot in the rotation would affect me. When I got out there, I was very competitive."

"He was sharp," Mets manager Terry Collins said of Dickey. "I didn't expect him to have his best knuckleball, but he still threw some really good ones."

Burnett off to solid start with new delivery: When A.J. Burnett arrived at camp, he and Yankees pitching coach Larry Rothschild began tweaking his windup.

Burnett's first outing of the spring was a good one. He threw two scoreless innings against Houston on Wednesday. He allowed two singles while also breaking out his curveball.

"For the first time out, the adjustment to his mechanics and he threw ground balls, I am pleased," manager Joe Girardi told the New York Post. "He is more toward the plate. I think he had one he pulled off a little bit, not as drastic as before."

Matt Young making noise in Braves camp: Matt Young, last year's Double-A Mississippi Player of the Year, impresses both at the plate and in the field and has a chance to make the Braves as a backup outfielder/second baseman.

"Sure enough, he's always in the middle of something," manager Fredi Gonzalez told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "There is room for him in the Major Leagues because he's a winner. You need those type players."

"I'm trying to approach it as much like a normal Spring Training as possible, just come out here get ready for the season and, hopefully, make an impression," Young said.

Choate primed for bullpen role with Marlins: The leading candidate to be the lefty specialist out of the Marlins' bullpen is Randy Choate, who is glad he signed with the team as a free agent after he appeared in 85 games with the Rays last year.

"It was an honor to have them pursue me like they did," Choate told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. "It felt great to be a focus for a team that actually wanted to come after me for once instead of me going to other teams and be like, 'Hey, do you need a left-hander?' It means a big deal for me to be here and be a part of this team's success."

"It's very important to have a guy like Choate," Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez said. "The reason is facing Philadelphia, facing Atlanta and facing all those left-handed hitters. ... He has already proven that he can pitch and face some of the best left-handed hitters in the league."

Maya tunes up with impressive winter: Yunesky Maya had a good offseason, being named the Dominican Winter League Pitcher of the Year after notching a 1.32 ERA in 41 innings.

"I gave the opportunity to myself in winter to come out and show what I got," the Nationals' pitcher told the The Washington Post. "That really helped me a lot to come prepared for Spring Training. I feel 100 percent different. I feel 100 percent, with God willing, that Maya will be ready to go."

Laffey to take on relief role with Mariners: The Mariners acquired Aaron Laffey from the Indians on Wednesday in return for Minor Leaguer Matt Lawson. Laffey was told upon arrival to Mariners camp that he will work exclusively as a reliever. The lefty seemed happy with the quick decision on what his role will be.

"It's nice to know," Laffey told the Seattle Times. "I haven't had that in a Spring Training ever. I've always been coming in with question marks about where I'm going to be, especially the last two or three years."

"I think it's always been easier to go from starting to relieving because your volume decreases," Laffey said, "and you're only throwing a max of 30, 35 pitches an outing. Last year, when I switched over from relieving to starting, you've got to go through Spring Training in a couple of weeks. You usually have six weeks to prepare to start, and I basically went through a shortened three-week period where I had to go from throwing 30 pitches in an outing to over 100."

Drese ready to pitch in wherever he can: Ryan Drese hasn't appeared in a Major League game since April 2006, but he is excited about the chance to break camp with the Orioles.

"I don't care if I'm starting or relieving -- I don't care," Drese told MLB.com. "I take the ball when I'm given it. I go out there and try and compete."

-- Red Line Editorial