Justin Verlander- DET- Hot- Verlander is doing his best to quiet concerns from a shaky start to spring training. In his last exhibition outing, he tossed five scoreless innings. In his first start since the games started to count, he yielded just 1 unearned run in 6 innings on 2 hits and 5 walks while striking out 4. The walks aren't as worrisome as they otherwise might be since the temperature in KC was in the 30s. When it's that cold, it becomes difficult to grip the ball and control can suffer. Between all 6 pitchers who appeared in the game 109 balls were thrown out of 267 pitches, not a great ratio.
Andrew Miller- DET- Hot- Miller is doing his best to stay on the fast track back to Detroit. In his first start for Class A Lakeland on Thursday, he did not allow a run in the 5 innings he worked, giving up just 3 singles, walking no one, and recording 3 strikeouts. Miller maintains blue chip prospect status.
Milton Bradley- OAK- Inj- The application of HIPAA guidelines to MLB players is making it more difficult to evaluate injuries. Due to privacy factors, team personnel cannot say as much as they used to. Bradley is a case in point. He was scratched from the lineup yesterday because of "soreness in his right side," according to manager Bob Geren. When asked specifically whether it was a strained oblique, Geren replied, "I don't think so. I hope not." Now, was Geren expressing his honest opinion? Or was he just held back on what he could say? He did add that Bradley could have played if he had to, so maybe it isn't that serious. At any rate, officially Bradley is day-to-day, but the situation definitely bears watching.
Jonathan Papelbon- BOS- FYI- Manager Terry Francona said that he may alter Papelbon's usage from that of the traditional closer. He may bring Papelbon in for tough situations in the 8th inning, even if it means that the Red Sox youngster wouldn't be able to finish the game. "Obviously we're not going to over-use him," said Francona. "And we've talked about managing him better. But for me, still, that last out in the eighth is maybe the most important out of the game. We don't want to sit around until the ninth and have a tie game." When Mike Timlin is available again, Francona said that will make it easier to bring Papelbon in earlier. This could mean fewer saves for Papelbon, which is not good from a fantasy standpoint. Yet, he is too good a pitcher for his owners to turn him loose based on this speculation of Francona's. You just have to suck it up if it happens.
Troy Glaus- TOR- Hot- Glaus has gotten off to a quick start this season, going 4-for-11 in the first 3 games and slugging his first homer of 2007 yesterday. This is not unusual, as in every season since 1999, Glaus has hit above .300 in the first few days of the season. He has not ended the month of April with that mark, however, since 2002, and has never finished a season with a batting average above .284. Don't be surprised at some cooling off.
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