The D-backs Edgar Gonzalez has pitched extremely well this spring, since March 9th. Gonzalez has pitched 19 Innings, while only allowing 14 baserunners, 3 Earned Runs on 12 Ks. During his 5 year minor league career Edgar posted unspectacular results: 43-36 W/L, 3.79 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 6.3 k/9, 2.0 BB/9. He's only a consideration in deep leagues, as he'll likely post mediocre yet decent numbers (in the 4.40 ERA/ 1.35 WHIP range.)
Although Carlos Villanueva has been banished to the bullpen, those in deeper leagues should keep tabs on the Milwaukee rotation as Carlos will have an impact at some point during the season.
Ted Lilly posted his best outing of the spring going 6 and only allowing 2 baserunners. We're expecting Lilly to post career numbers this year as he moves to the NL and his fastball appears to have returned to his pre 2005 status. Lilly's biggest hurdle throughout his career has been a high Walk rate, we are encouraged seeing him only walk 4 batters in almost 20 IP this spring.
The Rangers Kameron Loe made a strong bid for the #5 slot with his innings of 5 hit ball yesterday. However, not a recommended fantasy guy in any format.
Boston's Josh Beckett was vintage yesterday going 7 innings and only allowing 3 hits (3 walks). He K'd 7 as well. Beckett's arsenal has been impressive this spring, he's struck out 31 batters in just 25. Look for Beckett to have a nice rebound this year.
Atlanta's Chuck James is one of my projected breakout pitchers this year. Yesterday he allowed only 2 hits over 6, but did allow 4 Walks. For those who are not familiar with James' minor league career, consider that he blew through with a 26-13 W/L, 2.09 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, and a 10.5 K/9!
I like Zach Grineke and it has nothing to do with the fact that he has the face of a 12 year old little leaguer (who also resembles our own Drew Dinkmeyer), or the fact that he's worked himself back from a career threatening anxiety disorder. Grineke has great stuff! Grienke was the Royals best prospect (in 10 years) when he came up in 2004. With the inclusion of his slow rehabilitation in 2006, Grienke finished his minor league career with a 1.06 WHIP and 24-8 W/L. His 7.8 Hits/9, 1.7 BB/9, and .76 HR/9 are all solid indicators of a ace caliber pitcher. We expecting a big rebound from Grineke in our projections this year.
Jason Schmidt is only throwing in the high 80s, it's only spring training and I know that Schmidt usually leaves something on the table for these games. However at 34 he's 3 years removed from the once dominant pitcher that he was in 2003.
The Yankees expected #5 Jeff Karstens had a blow up yesterday, 2 Innings 6 earned runs. He'll have these kind of games, as evidenced by his minor league career.
The Pirates Tom Gorzelanny is not looking anything like the minor league pitcher we scouted in 2005/6, nor like the pitcher who was supurb in his 11 Pirate starts last season. Through 17 innings, Gorzy has allowed 17 earned runs!
Yusmeiro Petit is another young "stud" pitcher who unlike Gorzelanny has yet to prove his worth on a MLB level. Petit dominated throughout his minor league tour (1.01 WHIP / 10.1 K/9) and has received rave reviews from every scouting organization in America....yet has failed to produce in his short major league career. Despite a 9.57 and 2.09 WHIP in 26 innings for the Marlins last year, Petit has an opportunity to claim the 5th slot in the rotation. However, his 11 earned runs and 23 base runners allowed through 16 innings this spring, doesn't bode very well for confidence building. I'm backing off my projections on Petit this AM.
The Pirates 6'6"Brad Eldred is on a tear this spring. The 1st baseman / Right Fielder is giving the Pirates something to think about as he makes his push for a unexpected starting role with the Pirates. Eldred has 6 Hrs this spring, good enough for a .347/.429/.776. The problem is the Pirates really don't have anywhere to play him. With Andrew LaRoche a lock at first base, Eldred would have to push Nady out the door...which isn't likely to happen out of the gate this year. The problem with Eldred is his eerie resemblance to Dave Kingman at the plate. It's all or nothing with Eldred, in his minor league career he's compiled 107 HRs in only 1519 ABs, yet he's struck out almost once in every 3 ABs (464/1519)! He doesn't walk either (127/1519 Abs) so he's doesn't look like a full time player at this point.
Here are some press notes from the team beat writers this morning which have affected the Projections (which are downloadable daily through your software):
Adrian - Sea/3B: According to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, "Beltre
was hit on the back of his head during the fifth inning Sunday. He took
first base after a brief consultation with trainer Rick Griffin, but he
was replaced by Dawkins to start the bottom of the second. Beltre was hit
by a pitch from Jason Windsor, one of the competitors for the No. 5 spot
in Oakland's rotation. He was the second Seattle hitter to get dinged in
the back of the head this spring. It happened to Kenji Johjima last Sunday
against the Brewers."
Milledge, Lastings - NYN/OF: The New York Post reports that "The Mets' grand plans for Lastings Milledge nearly blew up yesterday in the ninth inning of an 11-3 loss to the Astros, when Milledge was hit on the right hand by a Matt Albers pitch. Milledge said the pain in the hand felt just as it did in 2004, when he was hit in the exact same spot, fracturing the hand and putting him out of action for seven weeks. Although Milledge was in great pain, X-rays were negative and the injury was described as a contusion. He will be shut down for at least a few games. Milledge is hitting .352. Shawn Green is batting .136, and the two figure to platoon in right."
Karstens, Jeff - NYA/RP: According to the New York Post, "With staff ace Chien-Ming Wang on the shelf until late April at the earliest due to a pulled right hamstring and Andy Pettitte nursing a balky back, Jeff Karstens was yanked yesterday following the second inning of a 9-5 loss to the Tigers at Joker Marchant Stadium due to a stiff right elbow. Karstens, the likely replacement for Wang, will be examined today and sent for tests on the tender hinge."
Rodriguez, Wandy - Hou/P: The Houston Chronicle reports that "The third inning proved painful for lefthander Wandy Rodriguez on Sunday afternoon against the Mets at Tradition Field. Shortly after third baseman Morgan Ensberg dropped a blooper to let the Mets tie the score at 3, Rodriguez called for manager Phil Garner and assistant athletic trainer Rex Jones after throwing three straight balls to Ben Johnson. Pointing to a divot in front of the pitching rubber, Rodriguez alerted Garner, Jones and pitching coach Dave Wallace to a mild bruise on the inside of his left foot. He suffered the irritation while dragging his foot, he said."It's nothing grave," said Rodriguez, who had mild swelling on the inside of his left foot. "I put ice (on it), and I'm feeling better." Rodriguez walked Johnson, but he induced a groundout to the mound from Mike Pelfrey to end the inning. The Mets batted around in the third, scoring three runs (two earned) with three walks and two doubles. Rodriguez was pleased with his changeups and curveballs, but he didn't have much success with his two-seam fastball. ... Garner gave Rodriguez credit for working on his two-seamer, a pitch the Astros want him to improve."
Hall, Toby - ChA/C: The Arlington Daily Herald reports that "Hall might be sidelined for an extended period with a sore right shoulder. After catching the first six innings against Texas, Hall moved to first base to replace Eduardo Perez, who has been hampered by a sore right calf since March 14. In the ninth inning, Hall dove to his right and gloved a groundball off the bat of the Rangers' Ramon Vazquez. Hall landed awkwardly on his shoulder and immediately knew something was wrong. Brian Ball, the White Sox' assistant trainer, came out and popped Hall's shoulder back into place before escorting him off the field. "(It was) just numb,'' Hall said. "Like a knot in there. Once he popped it, it released. It's tough to explain. Just a numbness.'' Hall had an X-ray on the shoulder, and he's scheduled for an MRI this morning. He doesn't think the injury is that serious."
Uribe, Juan - ChA/SS: According to the Arlington Daily Herald, "Uribe exited with "mild'' irritation in his right calf, but the injury doesn't appear serious. In the fourth inning, Uribe drifted out into short left-center attempting to make a catch on a pop fly. But the White Sox' starting shortstop pulled up to avoid colliding with center fielder Darin Erstad. Uribe stayed in the game but exited in the top of the fifth. "Uribe will be fine,'' manager Ozzie Guillen said. Uribe is scheduled to play in a minor-league game today."
Crosby, Bubba - Cin/OF: The Cincinnati Post reports that "Outfielder Bubba Crosby's locker was empty Sunday, a day after he was designated for assignment to Class AAA Louisville. Crosby still has until 3:30 p.m. Tuesday to accept the assignment or become a free agent."We just felt like he was behind a couple of other guys for that spot," said Reds general manager Wayne Krivsky. "Doing it when we did, we gave him a chance to hook on with someone else or report (to Louisville)."Crosby hit .276 with a home run and seven RBIs in 16 games for the Reds this spring."
Arroyo, Bronson - Cin/P: According to the Cincinnati Post, "On Saturday, Reds starter Bronson Arroyo wanted to see if he could throw an entire game without throwing a breaking pitch. The result? Six innings, 90 pitches, five hits, no runs and six strikeouts against the Philadelphia Phillies. "We've got to face these guys during the season so I didn't want to show them too much," Arroyo said. "I wanted to see what would happen." Although amused by the experiment, Narron said he wasn't too surprised by the results. "There are a lot of guys who can probably do that," Narron said. "You look at Kyle Lohse, he can probably do that. If they've got a good changeup, it's possible."
Griffey Jr., Ken - Cin/OF: According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, "Ken Griffey Jr. did not play Sunday. Narron said the plan is for Griffey to play today, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. "He'll start at least all the home games," Narron said. "We'd like to get him 20 plate appearances. That would be great." Narron had not talked to trainer Mark Mann about Griffey's hand Sunday. "If it was a problem, I think Mark would have called me," Narron said.
Thomson, John - Tor/P: According to the Toronto Sun, "John Thomson, who experienced shoulder soreness after throwing in a minor-league game on March 19, will throw in the bullpen. "We'll see where he's at," Gibbons said."
Ryan, B.J. - Tor/RP: According to the Toronto Star, "Blue Jay closer B.J. Ryan threw 35 pitches off a bullpen mound yesterday, then assured he had no concerns about being ready for opening-day. Limited to three one-inning appearances this spring - the last on March 11 - is scheduled for another side-session tomorrow, an inning in a minor-league game Thursday and an inning in Jays' Florida finale Saturday against Cincinnati. "I'm getting the work in; I'll be fine," said Ryan."
League, Brandon - Tor/RP: The Toronto Star reports that "Ten days after his 24th birthday, the hard-throwing (but one-time harder throwing) right-hander Brandon League was yesterday optioned to Triple-A Syracuse. ... League, who appeared to have arrived last September, when he logged a 1.29 ERA for his final 14 innings, never tossed a meaningful inning this spring. A stiff shoulder, strained lat muscles in his upper right side, whatever, League has simply never been able to get the near-full overhead extension he requires. He can throw at a three-quarters arm angle but that's not where his velocity lies. And instead of the 95-96-97 he regularly bangs on the radar, he was topping out around 88."
Loe, Kameron - Tex/P: As the Dallas Morning News reports, "For Rangers manager Ron Washington, the question still surrounding Kameron Loe is not about whether he makes the Opening Day roster, but rather where he fits in. Loe made another push for the starting rotation Sunday with six effective and efficient innings against the Chicago White Sox in the Rangers' 10-2 win. Given 75 pitches with which to work, Loe needed just 67 to get through the longest outing by a Rangers starter this spring. He allowed two runs on five hits and the worst that could be said was his streak of innings without allowing an earned run ended at 17 2/3 . His ERA now sits at 0.92. Loe recorded 18 outs; 13 of them came on ground balls (including three double plays). He did not allow a walk and has allowed just four in 19 2/3 innings this spring. Before their game tonight against Seattle, Rangers management will take up the debate over whether it's better to have Loe as the long man in the bullpen in April or as a fifth starter who will only get the ball four times through May 1. ... The candidates for the two jobs are Loe, Jamey Wright, who starts tonight, and lefty Bruce Chen. It appears only one of the two veterans will remain. The Rangers must either put Wright on the roster by Wednesday or offer him free agency. They have until April 1 to make a similar decision on Chen. ... In addition to the overall performance this spring, Loe has recently shown improvement in two areas that have hampered him in the past: Getting through the batting order more than once and retiring left-handed hitters. Loe went through the lineup two times and through the first four hitters three times. After the first time, the White Sox went 3-for-12 against him. Also, the three lefties in the order - Scott Podsednik, Darin Erstad and Jim Thome - combined to go 0-for-8 and did not get a ball out of the infield."
Paul, Josh - TB/C: The Tampa Tribune reports that "C Josh Paul, who suffered a bruised right hand after absorbing a foul tip Friday, might play today but likely will wait until Tuesday."
Seo, Jae - TB/P: According to the Tampa Tribune, "It has been a great spring on the mound for RHP Jae Seo, but he added something to his arsenal Sunday. In addition to becoming just the fourth Rays pitcher to throw seven innings in a spring training game, Seo delivered a broken-bat single up the middle past a drawn-in Pirates infield to bring home two runs in the fourth inning."Just lucky," Seo said. "Men on second and third, I was trying for right field." Those RBIs canceled out the two he allowed that raised his spring ERA to 1.69. Both came in the sixth inning, but Seo came back to punctuate his outing with a 1-2-3 seventh."
Navarro, Dioner - TB/C: As the St. Petersburg Times reports, "C Dioner Navarro will play his third game since a left hamstring strain and will be under a pitch count of about 100, Maddon said. Navarro might not play back-to-back days until late in the week, Maddon said."
Crawford, Carl - TB/OF: According to the St. Petersburg Times, "LF Carl Crawford (left groin tightness) should be in the lineup today and CF Rocco Baldelli (right hamstring tightness) is likely to return Tuesday."
Encarnacion, Juan - StL/OF: As the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports, "right fielder Juan Encarnacion, who has battled the effects of surgery to repair ligament damage in his left wrist, will be slowed for three more days, he said, after taking a cortisone shot in his wrist before Sunday's game."It feels the same," Encarnacion said. "It's not bad, but there's some inflammation in the joint and they're trying to loosen up some scar tissue."
Putz, J.J. - Sea/RP: The Seattle Times reports that "Closer J.J. Putz threw a 31-pitch bullpen session Sunday morning and emerged unscathed. Putz threw the first six pitches with the catcher standing close by, then unleashed 25 fastballs at regular distance."It felt great," Putz said. "That was probably all I've got right there."Unlike 10 days ago, Putz felt no stiffness in his elbow from a strained flexor pronator muscle. He flexed his arm and let out a smile."It's a big relief," he said.Putz plans to long-toss today, then pitch one inning in a minor-league game tomorrow. After that, he'll throw another inning in an exhibition game in Las Vegas."
Weaver, Jeff - Sea/P: As the Seattle Times reports, "The most expensive fifth starter in baseball didn't spend Sunday lamenting his new fate.
Mariners pitcher Jeff Weaver instead pitched six innings of a Class A game, attempting to improve the changeup he'd like to use more against left-handers this season. Weaver, on a one-year, $8.3-million contract with Seattle, had been 0-2 with an 8.31 earned-run average and four home runs allowed in four outings this spring. The team named him its No. 5 starter Saturday, a move that enables them to split up right-handers in the rotation by placing lefty Horacio Ramirez in the fourth spot. But Weaver's placing was also partly based on his poor spring results and inability to throw first-pitch strikes consistently. ... The Mariners don't plan on skipping any pitchers' starts because of early-season off days. That means Weaver likely won't get fewer opportunities than the other four starters.Weaver had mixed results Sunday, going the six innings and allowing four runs - three earned - on seven hits. He struck out three and didn't walk anyone, but he wasn't exactly facing major-leaguers. Throwing the changeup to left-handers could help Weaver get some of his bloated numbers down. Left-handers hit .340 with a .609 slugging percentage off him last season compared to .267 with a .438 slugging percentage by right-handers."
Young, Chris - SD/P: According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, "Chris Young threw 103 pitches across 5 2/3 innings against minor leaguers, allowing four runs. "I'm right where I need to be,"said Young, who likely will face the Giants in the season's second game, on April 4."
Eldred, Brad - Pit/1B: As the Pittsburgh Tribune Review reports, "Yesterday, Brad Eldred started his second game in a row in right field. Jason Bay got the day off, so Nady started in left against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. In the fourth inning, Nady lost Shawn Riggans' fly ball in the sun, and it dropped for a double. "He was in perfect position, but the sun ate him alive," Tracy said."
Pirates - Pit/T: The Pittsburgh Tribune Review reports that "Xavier Nady and Ronny Paulino could flip-flop in the sixth and seventh spots in the batting order this season. "I'm still looking at that," Tracy said. "There's not a bad choice there."
Sanchez, Freddy - Pit/3B: According to the Pittsburgh Tribune Review, "General manager David Littlefield is mulling whether to place second baseman Freddy Sanchez (sprained knee) and/or lefty reliever John Grabow (elbow inflammation) on the disabled list to start the regular season. Sanchez has not played since March 6, and Grabow has been out since March 11. A DL stint may be backdated a maximum of nine days into spring training, as long as the player has not appeared in a regular spring training game. "A pitcher takes a little longer to come back," Littlefield said. "You can get 10 at-bats in the minors on a daily basis, but you can't (pitch) 10 innings." Sanchez is running straight-ahead sprints in his workouts but still is not running on the bases. "When Freddy gets to the point where he has no mental reservations about that, we'll move forward," manager Jim Tracy said."
Gorzelanny, Tom - Pit/P: As the Pittsburgh Tribune Review reports, "Although his stats this spring are unimpressive, Tom Gorzelanny is not in danger of losing his spot in the Pirates' starting rotation. Manager Jim Tracy announced his pitching setup Sunday for the first seven games of the regular season. Tony Armas made the list, bumping Shawn Chacon into a bullpen role. So did Gorzelanny, who lugged a 9.60 ERA into his next-to-last spring start yesterday against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. ... Gorzelanny got off to another bumpy start yesterday, giving up two runs on two walks and a hit in the first inning. He had full counts on three of six batters. Tampa Bay crushed the Pirates, 12-4. In five innings, Gorzelanny gave up seven runs (five earned) on seven hits, walked three and struck out four. The bloated outing actually lowered Gorzelanny's ERA to 9.45. In 20 innings, he's allowed 24 hits and 14 walks. He insisted he'll be ready for the start of the season."
Pirates - Pit/T: The Pittsburgh Post Gazette reports that "Andrew McCutchen walked out of the Pirates' clubhouse yesterday morning with a wide smile.Probably because, even though he finally was assigned to minor-league camp after an exceptional spring, he has a strong feeling he will be back soon.Asked if he is ready to play in Pittsburgh now, he did not hesitate: "I think I am. Right now. I believe I am, and I think I showed this spring that I can handle this level." ... McCutchen, 20, cemented his status as the franchise's most promising prospect this decade by batting .308 -- 16 for 52 -- with a home run, three RBIs and a steal. And he was nothing less than sensational in the outfield. ... Despite that, in somewhat of a surprise, the Pirates decided to send McCutchen to Class AA Altoona after giving serious consideration to having him start the season with Class AAA Indianapolis. Littlefield explained that, because McCutchen has spent only 25 games above Class A -- all with Altoona at the end of last season -- the team felt that level was the better choice. ... It is possible, some in the organization say, that McCutchen will be in Altoona no longer than two months if he does well. ... Two other players, reliever Jim Brower and infielder Yurendell DeCaster, were assigned to Indianapolis, leaving 35 players in camp. More cuts are likely today and tomorrow."
Hamels, Cole - Phi/P: The Philadelphia Inquirer & Daily News reports that "Cole Hamels finished last season on a roll, going 6-3 with a 2.60 ERA and 76 strikeouts in 691/3 innings over his final 11 starts. But Hamels had been searching to regain that form this spring. Yesterday, he may have found it in pitching 62/3 innings of two-run, six-strikeout ball in a 10-2 win over Minnesota. ... Hamels had his dazzling changeup and threw good fastballs away. He is still working on throwing inside fastballs. Two of them drifted over the plate and were hit for home runs, by Rondell White and Luis Castillo. No biggie. Mr. Hamels is ready for Game 2 of the season, April 4 against Atlanta."
Ortiz, Russ - SF/P: As the Contra Costa Times reports, "Russ Ortiz pitched seven strong innings and increased his pitch count to 90 in an intrasquad game at Scottsdale."
Giants - SF/T: As the Contra Costa Times reports, "The Giants began Sunday with 37 players on the spring roster. All except one will travel to San Francisco when the team breaks camp on Wednesday. But it won't be long before Tim Lincecum earns himself a ticket north. The Giants reassigned Lincecum to Triple-A Fresno, where he will pitch out of the Grizzlies rotation. Giants manager Bruce Bochy, pitching coach Dave Righetti and bullpen coach Mark Gardner met with the prized right-handed prospect. They didn't need to give him much advice. ... The Giants toyed with the idea of breaking camp with Lincecum -- perhaps even using him in relief to help bandage their oozing bullpen. But general manager Brian Sabean and vice president Dick Tidrow decided that his arm was too valuable. Lincecum, 22, held out a shred of hope he'd make the Opening Day roster just nine months after the Giants took him with their first-round draft pick. ... Lincecum isn't on the 40-man roster yet, but he could be the first line of defense if an injury befalls one of the Giants' starting five. ... Lincecum was 1-0 with a 6.43 ERA in three Cactus League appearances. He got roughed up once by Milwaukee, but in his next outing against Seattle, he tossed three shutout innings and struck out four."
Harden, Rich - Oak/P: The Contra Costa Times reports that "Rich Harden struggled with control but still threw six shutout innings in a minor league intrasquad game. He walked five, but allowed just one hit and no walks over his final two innings."
Windsor, Jason - Oak/P: According to the San Jose Mercury News, "Jason Windsor got a chance Sunday to state his case for the A's fifth spot in the rotation. He wasn't sensational in his five innings, but he surely wasn't disappointing. Translation: There's still a big "TBA" written next to that No.5 slot after a 10-6 loss to the Seattle Mariners at Phoenix Municipal Stadium."As far as making a decision, we still have (12) days until the fifth starter has to pitch in a regular-season game," assistant general manager David Forst said. "We don't have to make that decision today."The A's were hoping Joe Kennedy would salt away the position by now, but he has posted a 20.48 ERA in four Cactus League starts. Brad Halsey, who pitched 4 1/3 innings in relief of Windsor and also is in the running, owns a 7.94 spring ERA.Windsor, making his second start of the spring, allowed six hits and four earned runs, but would have had a much better line if not for a couple of location mistakes. ... Windsor hit the first batter of the game and gave up a run-scoring double to Raul IbaÃ±ez in the first. In the fifth inning, he hung a curveball that IbaÃ±ez smacked for a two-run home run.In between he was efficient, though he was facing a Seattle lineup without Ichiro Suzuki and Richie Sexson. The run Windsor surrendered in the fourth was fueled by a flyball that left fielder Shannon Stewart lost in the sun and a passed ball by Jason Kendall."
Pelfrey, Mike - NYN/P: As the Newark Star-Ledger reports, "Pelfrey allowed six hits and four earned runs in five innings to Houston yesterday, by far his worst outing of the spring. But no matter. Minutes after the Mets' 11-3 loss ended, the rookie right-hander was called into Willie Randolph's office and told he'd made the team. ... Pelfrey will pitch Saturday at Tampa in the Mets' exhibition finale. What happens after that is anyone's guess. Pelfrey said he was not told he was the team's fifth starter -- a position the Mets won't need to fill until mid-April -- only that he had made the team. ... Randolph, who guards personnel decisions with the zeal of a pit bull left in charge of a T-bone, said Pelfrey would join Tom Glavine, Orlando Hernandez, John Maine and Oliver Perez in the rotation. Although Glavine is in line to start Sunday night's opener in St. Louis, Randolph declined to reveal the order in which his starters would pitch saying he "wasn't ready to state that yet."
Mauer, Joe - Min/C: According to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, "Catcher Joe Mauer, suffering from a stress reaction in his left leg, reportedly was better. "He's doing good, ready to go," Gardenhire said. "Probably by Wednesday, he'll be back out there, and hopefully Punto will, too."
Villanueva, Carlos - Mil/P: The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports that "Pitcher Carlos Villanueva made his first relief appearance of the spring in the seventh inning. It is becoming obvious he'll make the pitching staff in the bullpen and not go to the minors and remain a starter. Villanueva threw two scoreless innings."
Gathright, Joey - KC/OF: According to the Kansas City Star, "Joey Gathright showed no lingering effects from a recent hamstring problem when he circled the bases for an inside-the-park homer in the fifth. Brewers center fielder Bill Hall charged in for the one-out liner, and the ball carried over his head."
Greinke, Zack - KC/P: As the Topeka Capital-Journal reports, "Thirteen months after he left the Kansas City Royals' camp to deal with social anxiety, Zack Greinke is back in the Kansas City Royals' starting rotation. Greinke will be the Royals' No. 3 starter and will pitch in their opening series against the Boston Red Sox, manager Buddy Bell said after Greinke's five-inning stint Sunday in a 7-6 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers. ... Greinke allowed four hits and three runs, two of those unearned, against the Brewers. He struck out seven and has a 3.32 ERA in five spring appearances." Bell also confirmed Jorge De La Rosa will be in the rotation. That positions Brandon Duckworth and Brian Bannister in a battle to replace injured Luke Hudson for the final opening.- newsource1
Astros - Hou/T: According to the Houston Chronicle, "Lefthander Trever Miller and righthanders Dan Wheeler and Brad Lidge pitched in an intrasquad game against Class AA players Sunday in Kissimmee. Miller, who has yet to allow a run this spring in eight Grapefruit League outings, gave up three hits and two runs in one inning. Wheeler pitched two scoreless innings, allowing one hit and one walk. Lidge, who has a 12.38 ERA in eight innings this spring, gave up three hits, one run and one walk and struck out two in two innings. Brad Ausmus caught all three pitchers."
Petit, Yusmeiro - Fla/P: According to the Palm Beach Post, "Gonzalez said right-hander Yusmeiro Petit didn't hurt his chances for winning a rotation spot despite control problems Sunday in Florida's 12-6 loss to the Red Sox. Petit allowed three runs on three hits in 41/3 innings. He walked four batters. Coming into the game, he had walked one batter in 111/3 innings in four games. Petit is competing for the fifth spot with Sergio Mitre, who starts against the Cardinals today in Jupiter."
Tankersley, Taylor - Fla/RP: As the Miami Herald reports, "Left-hander Taylor Tankersley, who has not pitched in a game all spring because of tendinitis in his shoulder, pitched batting practice Sunday and is on schedule to pitch in a minor-league game either Tuesday or Wednesday."
Guillen, Carlos - Det/SS: According to the Detroit News, "Carlos Guillen (bruised shin) was not in the lineup against the Yankees, but he took batting practice and worked out at shortstop during fielding drills. Guillen said he expects to be out for "a couple days." Asked if he'd miss Opening Day a week from today, Guillen smiled. "No chance," he said."
Granderson, Curtis - Det/OF: The Detroit News reports that "Curtis Granderson had a scare in the second inning, when his glove hand twisted awkwardly on a catch in center field. But he was able to play the rest of the game. He finished 3-for-5 with two RBIs."
Verlander, Justin - Det/P: As the Detroit News reports, "Instead of starting against the Yankees on Sunday, Justin Verlander pitched six scoreless innings in a Double-A intrasquad game. He walked three, struck out eight and allowed just two hits. The Tigers opted to have Verlander skip the Yankees' game because his next start is against them. Plus, it gave him an opportunity -- away from center stage -- to work on some specifics, such as his change-up. ... Verlander, 0-2 with an 8.31 ERA this spring, has one more start before the regular season. He's not going to judge it by the numbers in his pitching line."
Kim, Byung-Hyun - Col/P: As the Rocky Mountain News reports, "Byung-Hyun Kim worked a 1-2-3 inning in a B Game against the Chicago White Sox on Sunday morning, his first appearance since being told Friday he will be a relief pitcher. He complained that he wasn't given a fair opportunity to earn the fifth starter spot."
Tulowitzki, Troy - Col/SS: The Denver Post reports that "Rookie shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, named starting shortstop Friday, got another boost Sunday when he was named winner of the 2007 Abby Greer Award as the Rockies' spring training MVP. Despite going 0-for-4 on Sunday, Tulowitzki is hitting .310."
Lawrence, Brian - Col/P: According to the Denver Post, "Brian Lawrence, who is to begin this season on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Colorado Springs, started the "A" game against the Diamondbacks. He allowed three runs on five hits in six innings. He made two mistakes, and Eric Byrnes made him pay by belting two homers. Lawrence said he was encouraged by the outing and thrilled that his shoulder felt so strong."
Barmes, Clint - Col/SS: The Denver Post reports that "Shortstop Clint Barmes, optioned to Triple-A on Friday, is continuing to draw interest from the Texas Rangers. But according to a major-league source, the Rockies continue to seek starting-shortstop value for Barmes, and that's putting a crimp in the Rockies' ability to trade him. Also, the Rangers are no longer interested in Kim. On Saturday, Kim voiced his displeasure about the Rockies moving him to the bullpen after they awarded Josh Fogg the No. 5 starter job. But Kim pitched a hitless, scoreless inning in a "B" game against the Chicago White Sox on Sunday morning."
Wood, Kerry - ChN/RP: The Arlington Daily Herald reports that "Cubs manager Lou Piniella wasn't so much concerned about the 3 runs Kerry Wood gave up in Sunday's 3-2 loss to the Los Angeles Angels. It was Wood's overall outing that concerned Piniella. "He wasn't as sharp today, obviously," Piniella said after watching Wood work 1 inning and give up 3 hits and 3 runs. "The fastball didn't have the life of the last time. We'll see how he feels (today). I don't know. Forget the 3 runs. He just didn't throw the ball as well as he did the time before."Wood allowed one-out singles to Erick Aybar and Howie Kendrick in the seventh inning. Jose Molina drove Aybar home with a groundout, and Kendry Morales followed with a 2-run homer. For the spring, Wood has pitched 5 innings, giving up 7 hits, 7 runs and 2 homers for an ERA of 12.60. The former ace of the starting staff is trying to come back as a 1-inning reliever after a nonsurgical rehab of his right rotator cuff. On March 11, he suffered a strained right triceps while pitching against the Milwaukee Brewers. He came back March 23 against the San Francisco Giants and worked a quick scoreless inning. Piniella originally said he wanted Wood to pitch three times this week before the Cubs decided whether to take him north or leave him back for more work. All along, Piniella has said he won't rush Wood for the sake of making an opening-day roster. ... Piniella said he didn't know whether Wood will pitch Tuesday."
White Sox - ChA/T: According to the Arlington Daily Herald, "With a week to go before the regular-season opener against the Cleveland Indians at U.S. Cellular Field, the White Sox continued trimming their roster down to 25 on Sunday, optioning pitcher Charlie Haeger to Class AAA Charlotte and reassigning another pitcher, Adam Russell, to minor-league camp. Haeger, a knuckleballer who was contending for the fifth starter's spot that officially went to John Danks on Saturday, was 0-2 with an 8.76 ERA in the Cactus League. ... Russell was invited to training camp after combining to go 10-6 with a 3.43 ERA at Class A Winston-Salem and AA Birmingham last season. The 6-foot-8 right-hander stuck around longer than expected after impressing the White Sox with his explosive fastball and slider. On Sunday, Russell sealed his fate while allowing 6 runs on 9 hits in 2Â¿ innings of relief against the Rangers."
Tavarez, Julian - Bos/RP: As the Providence Journal reports, "Julian Tavarez starts in a minor-league game, joined by Jon Lester."
Beckett, Josh - Bos/P: As the Providence Journal reports, "Until yesterday, Josh Beckett had issued just one walk in 18 2/3 innings this spring. But even after he walked three in his final seven Florida innings, Beckett said he had accomplished his primary spring training goal. "The key to the spring and the key to the season,"he said after the Sox had held off the Florida Marlins, 12-6, "is just going to be getting my walks down. I did a pretty good job. I walked a few guys today, but all in all, I think the whole spring I only had like four walks."Last season, his first with the Red Sox and first in the American League, Beckett walked 74, a figure topped by just other four other A.L. pitchers. By fine-tuning his mechanics and slowing down his delivery, Beckett believes he may have found the secret to throwing more strikes. ... In seven innings yesterday, he allowed one run on three hits while fanning seven. For the spring, he's walked four and struck out 29, a measure of his efficiency. Beckett's transformation hasn't been lost on the Red Sox, who believe his ability to better spot his stuff could lead to a big season. If he can get ahead consistently, he could finally reach his potential."
Lee, Travis - Was/1B: The Baltimore Sun reports that "Travis Lee asked for and was granted his unconditional release by the Washington Nationals yesterday, making Dmitri Young the starting first baseman as the club made progress on settling its 25-man roster."
Logan, Nook - Was/OF: The Washington Times reports that "Logan's condition worsened yesterday. After straining his right groin muscle during Saturday's game, the center fielder expressed optimism he would be back on the field soon and ready for Opening Day. But he acknowledged he was pretty sore yesterday, and manager Manny Acta said Logan will be out "at least two weeks." "It's just too sore to do anything," Logan said. "I mean, I don't think it's anything serious. But yesterday it felt a lot better."
Chico, Matt - Was/P: According to the Washington Post, "Rookie left-hander Matt Chico was hammered for 10 hits and five earned runs in 3 2/3 innings in a 6-0 loss to Atlanta."
Wilson, Josh - Was/SS: As the Washington Post reports, "Included in the Nationals' slew of moves was the demotion of right-hander Tim Redding, who was outrighted to Class AAA Columbus. Redding, considered a leading candidate to crack the rotation when camp opened, posted an 11.42 ERA in four Grapefruit League outings. He cleared waivers and will accept the assignment. Right-hander Joel Hanrahan also was optioned to Columbus. One winner after Sunday's transactions was infielder Josh Wilson, who essentially won a spot on the team when D'Angelo Jimenez was reassigned to minor league camp. Wilson is hitting .366 this spring. Jimenez hit .278 but also committed a team-high five errors. Catcher Juan Brito, infielder Joe Thurston and left-hander Mike Bacsik also were reassigned to minor league camp. And to make room on the 40-man roster, right-hander Jermaine Van Buren and lefty Billy Traber -- previously optioned to Columbus -- also cleared waivers."
Patterson, John - Was/P: The Washington Post reports that "John Patterson described the episode in which he nearly passed out after a routine workout Saturday morning as "weird," but said Sunday he didn't believe it would affect his ability to make his Opening Day start for the Washington Nationals. ... Patterson said he had a normal morning eating waffles, but became dizzy when he went out to stretch with his teammates. Taking bunting practice, "I was seeing a couple of balls." He returned to the clubhouse with the intention of sitting down and clearing his head. ... Patterson said the care he received, including getting three bags of fluids intravenously, "couldn't have been better." The club continued to believe the condition was brought on by dehydration, and he is scheduled to throw a bullpen session Monday and make his final spring start Wednesday. Patterson also said he has had an irregular heartbeat his whole life."
Wright, Jaret - Bal/P: According to the Washington Post, "Although he won't pitch more than four innings in any start this spring training, Jaret Wright said he still considers himself ready to start the season. Wright has one spring start remaining, though it will be what Baltimore Orioles pitching coach Leo Mazzone calls a "cool down" start, meaning he'll likely pitch just three or four innings. Wright allowed four runs, raising his ERA to 5.79, in four innings Sunday in a 6-5 win over the St. Louis Cardinals. ... Wright likely will pitch in the season-opening series against the Minnesota Twins. He expressed no remorse that he won't pitch at Yankee Stadium in the season's second series. The Orioles acquired Wright during the offseason in a trade from the Yankees."
Cormier, Lance - Atl/RP: As the Macon Telegraph reports, "Cox said likely fourth starter Lance Cormier will start Saturday's home exhibition against the White Sox and will be followed by fifth starter Mark Redman. The Braves were considering letting Redman throw Sunday, the off day before the season begins in Philadelphia."
Thorman, Scott - Atl/1B: As the Macon Telegraph reports, "First baseman Scott Thorman stayed hot at the plate in the wake of the birth of his first child, Robert.In addition to a rare stolen base, Thorman had a pair of singles Sunday to up his spring average, after an icy start, to .286. Thorman is 8-for-19 (.421) with a double, triple and homer in his past five games. ... Thorman's two hits Sunday came against left-handers, but he still might not be able to avoid an eventual platoon situation with free agent Craig Wilson.Cox phrased it this way Saturday in talking with a national baseball reporter: "Wilson will be over at first some with Thorman."The plan coming into camp was for Wilson to spend most of his time in left field, but his arthritic shoulder hasn't allowed him to play too much in the outfield this spring."
Jones, Chipper - Atl/3B: According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, "Chipper Jones is surging into the final week of spring training, with a two-run homer Sunday making him 5-for-11 with two doubles and two homers in four games since returning from a strained right oblique. "I'm pretty pleased right now," said the third baseman, who homered Saturday against Cleveland and again Sunday, a two-run shot to straightaway center against left-hander Matt Chico. "Not bad from both sides of the plate. I'm encouraged." He's 8-for-18 with three homers in his past six games. "Chipper's on fire," Bobby Cox said. "He fine. Nothing's hurt."
Drew, Stephen - Ari/SS: According to the Arizona Republic, "Melvin believes shortstop Stephen Drew has begun to settle into the leadoff spot. Drew stole his second base of spring training Saturday. "He's getting comfortable with it," Melvin said. "He's actually having a little fun with it now."
Quentin, Carlos - Ari/OF: The Arizona Republic reports that "Outfielder Carlos Quentin (shoulder) did not hit Sunday. He could take batting practice in the next day or so."
Gonzalez, Edgar - Ari/P: As the Arizona Republic reports, "With Edgar Gonzalez adding Sunday to his strong argument for a rotation spot - even the calendar suggests Gonzalez is on target to be the club's No. 4 starter - there would appear to be one more job to be determined. Enrique Gonzalez, who starts today against the Brewers, and Eveland appear to be the leading candidates, though right-hander Micah Owings has continued to impress. "He's still in the mix here," Melvin said of Owings, who has a 1.93 ERA after throwing four scoreless innings Saturday. Owings still has some roster hurdles to overcome. He's not on the 40-man roster, and the club might not want to add him because it needs a fill-in starter only until Randy Johnson's anticipated return in mid- to late April. ... With the club heading north in the middle of the week, the team's coaching staff and front office will hold meetings Tuesday to discuss the makeup of the 25-man roster."
Furcal, Rafael - LAN/SS: As the Los Angeles Times reports, "Little said decisions on the last two roster spots for position players will wait until the Freeway Series because of the uncertainty surrounding shortstop Rafael Furcal's sprained ankle. Furcal said he should be available opening day."
Schmidt, Jason - LAN/P: As the Los Angeles Times reports, "Schmidt, who signed a three-year, $47-million deal during the off-season, gave up one run in five innings to shrink his earned-run average to 5.06. But only three of his 95 pitches touched 90 mph. "That's been his pattern in previous springs, according to the people around here who knew him when he pitched for San Francisco," Little said. "He'll be fine." Those people would include General Manager Ned Colletti and head trainer Stan Conte. "There was definite improvement," Schmidt said. "I still had some lapses. I'm usually a guy out there experimenting in the spring. But I'm definitely better."
Dodgers - LAN/T: The Los Angeles Times reports that " spring as slow as syrup got sticky Sunday as prospects James Loney and Matt Kemp fretted over their fate, Jason Schmidt struggled to reach 90 mph with his fastball, Manager Grady Little all but apologized for a miscommunication with pitcher Hong-Chih Kuo and Brett Tomko was handed the No. 5 spot in the rotation despite not pitching well. But some things never change - Larry Bigbie got another big hit. In their last home game of the spring, the Dodgers defeated the Cleveland Indians, 4-3, when Bigbie followed Russell Martin's pinch-hit and Loney's third hit with a single that drove in both runners when right fielder Casey Blake misplayed the ball. Juan Pierre yelled, "Camp MVP," when Bigbie entered the clubhouse, and the non-roster invitee, who is batting .394 in his quest to win a roster spot after several injury-plagued seasons, was congratulated by Loney and outfielder Kemp. Even though Bigbie's push could keep one or both of those highly regarded young players off the opening-day roster. Loney, who is batting .444 after hitting .380 in triple A last season, said that the mere thought of getting sent back to the minors "is like a kick in the stomach." If the Dodgers keep only 11 pitchers - which Little said is a 90% possibility - Loney should make the team. The same can't be said for Kemp, despite the fact that he is the top power-hitting prospect in the organization and the only healthy right-handed-hitting outfielder in camp. His name has barely registered when a potential replacement for injured Jason Repko is discussed. ... Bigbie's contract stipulates that the Dodgers must inform him Wednesday whether he will be on the roster."
Santana, Ervin - LAA/P: The Los Angeles Times reports that "Ervin Santana, who has been working this spring to tighten up his slider, threw 6 1/3 superb innings Sunday, giving up one run and four hits, striking out four and walking one, his only blemish a grooved 2-and-0 fastball that Cliff Floyd belted for a solo home run in the fifth. ... Kendry Morales capped a three-run seventh with a two-run homer off Cubs reliever Kerry Wood, and reliever Justin Speier, after walking Floyd with the bases loaded in the eighth, got out of the jam by getting Daryle Ward to bounce into a 3-6-1, inning-ending double play."
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