Archive for February 2013

Cubs’ Starlin Castro Day to Day with Leg Stiffness

Chicago Cubs star shortstop Starlin Castro sat out the first of two to three scheduled Spring Training games on Thursday, February 28, due to tightness in the leg that he strained while running out a ground ball in Wednesday’s game. Castro mildly strained his left hamstring beating out a groundball that ended in an overthrow in his third at bat of the game.’s Carrie Muskat quoted manager Dale Sveum saying that Castro’s injury is marginal. Said Sveum, “He’s fine. It'll be two or three days, but basically it's minimal -- there's more tightness. I don't think there's any pull. It just tightened up on him." Castro played catch in the outfield in front of team trainers without problems, and he appeared to move well as he signed autographs for the fans. Muskat tweeted the news to her followers:

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Cubs rumors: Chicago likely sellers at trade deadline

The Chicago Cubs were active sellers at the trade deadline last season, and president of baseball operations Theo Epstein told reporters, including Carrie Muskat of, that the team could find itself in a similar situation this year if the struggles continue.

"That's part of the business," Sveum said. "If your team is out of it, to start building and getting a healthier organization, unfortunately or fortunately, that's part of the business. Hopefully, we don't have to worry about that. Hopefully, we're buying people."

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Mets’ Daniel Murphy 7-10 days from return

New York Mets’ Daniel Murphy has been sidelined due to a strained intercostal muscle, but manager Terry Collins told reporters, including Adam Rubin of ESPN New York, that the second baseman is roughly seven to 10 days aware from getting back into a spring training lineup.

"Certainly we're looking forward to getting him out here pretty soon and starting the process of the dry swings, followed by the tee, followed by the soft toss," Collins said. "The issue with Murph is to pull him back a little bit, because when he starts swinging, he can swing a 1,000 times before you know it."

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Yankees’ Phil Hughes could start season on DL

New York Yankees right-hander Phil Hughes was diagnosed with a bulging disk in his back last week, an injury that manager Joe Girardi says could cause the pitcher to begin the season on the disabled list, according to Bryan Hoch of

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Mets’ Zack Wheeler scratched with oblique strain

The New York Mets scratched right-hander Zack Wheeler from yesterday’s scheduled start because he strained his oblique while hitting in the cage, according to Andy Martino of The New York Daily News.

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Cubs’ Matt Garza cleared to resume throwing program

Chicago Cubs right-hander Matt Garza has been sidelined due to a mild lat strain, but he’s been cleared by the team to resume his throwing program, according to Patrick Mooney of CSN Chicago.

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Healthy Twins could save Ron Gardenhire's job

Ron Gardenhire has become a staple in Minnesota.  He has been the Twins manager since 2002.  In his time as the club's skipper, the Twins have gone 932-851.  They've been to the postseason six times under his supervision.  Yet, Gardenhire is in the final year of his contract with no guarantees of an extension.

That's what happens when a team goes a combined 129-195 over the past two seasons.  The Twins' fall from grace was fast, and it was hard.  In 2010, they won 94 games and took the American League Central crown.  The next year, they struggled to avoid 100 losses.  Much of this has to do with injuries, but with the team healthy this year, Gardenhire will have to find a way to pull off the impossible.  He'll have to finish with a winning record.

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Dodgers rumors: Los Angeles could trade Aaron Harang

Los Angeles Dodgers manager Don Mattingly doesn’t view veteran pitcher Aaron Harang as a candidate for the team’s bullpen, meaning he could quickly become a trade candidate this spring, according to Steve Dilbeck of The Los Angeles Times.

“Aaron Harang doesn’t seem like the kind of guy that pitches out of the pen,” Mattingly told reporters. “To me he’s more of a guy that paints. He keeps you in the game. He’s just not that guy that’s going in and overpower you.”

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Red Sox, Will Middlebrooks suffer a scare

It seems he's alright, but Will Middlebrooks left last night's game between the Baltimore Orioles and the Boston Red Sox in pain and favoring his previously fractured wrist.  Middlebrooks checked his swing in the first inning of the game and immediately felt pain in the wrist.  Fortunately, it seems there wasn't any damage done.

According to Mike Silverman of the Boston Herald, Middlebrooks leaving the game was more precautionary than anything.  The Red Sox third baseman definitely felt pain in his wrist, and he definitely thought the worst at first, but the pain subsided and it doesn't seem like there is any lingering issues.

“I was just frustrated because I’ve been busting my ass to get this thing back to where I can play,” said Middlebrooks, who left the game against the Baltimore Orioles in the first inning and then screamed an expletive as he headed to the clubhouse clutching his wrist. “In my head I was worried that there might be a setback. I don’t think there’s going to be.”

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Giveaway: Win free MLB memorabilia!

Hope you’re all enjoying having baseball back on your TVs with spring training contests in full swing!

We’re writing to alert you of our latest contest giveaway in partnership with AAA Sports Memorabilia that will allow you to win an autograph from your favorite MLB team!

You will ultimately be able to decide from a list of eligible prizes, but to give you an idea, AAA has been kind enough to provide you with some of the items you could potentially win:

Just being a member of our email list provides you with an opportunity to win. However, you can gain additional chances to win for each friend you refer to our email list. To qualify, have your friends email us at expressing their interest in being added and listing you as the referral. You will increase your likelihood of winning with each friend you refer, there is no limit!

The contest winner will be announced March 24. So get out there and spread the word in order to ensure you have the best shot at taking home an autograph from your favorite team!

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Javier Vazquez won't pitch in 2013 due to knee injury

Free agent Javier Vazquez was hoping to return to the major league ranks this season, but his comeback attempt has been cut short due to a knee injury. The veteran right-hander will not pitch in 2013 as he recovers from meniscus surgery on his right knee, according to James Wagner of The Washington Post.

Wagner adds that a retirement announcement could come soon from Vazquez’s camp. He’s also bowed out of the World Baseball Classic.

Vazquez had spent the offseason pitching in the Puerto Rican Winter League, hitting 93 mph on the radar gun, according to reports. Several teams scouted the veteran, including the Washington Nationals, New York Mets, Boston Red Sox, Tampa Bay Rays, Kansas City Royals, Chicago White Sox and Philadelphia Phillies.

Vazquez was out of baseball altogether last season after an impressive campaign in 2011 with the Miami Marlins. He was hoping to showcase his abilities in the WBC in order to garner a deal with a big league team.

While Vazquez was connected to multiple teams this winter, those in need of rotation insurance still have plenty of options remaining on the free agent market. Everyone knows Kyle Lohse is still out there, but cheaper alternatives consist of Carlos Zambrano, Chien-Ming Wang and Roy Oswalt.

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Twins' Mike Pelfrey solid in return from Tommy John

It's always interesting and nerve-racking to watch a pitcher return and throw for the first time since Tommy John surgery.  That's exactly what Mike Pelfrey did yesterday.  The Minnesota Twins' pitcher made his first start since undergoing surgery May of 2012.

Rhett Bollinger of says Pelfrey looked solid in his return and had decent fastball velocity.

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Wilson Ramos Update: Knee at 95 percent

Things continue to look up for Wilson Ramos.  He has long been expected to be ready for Opening Day, but yesterday he gave a status update on his knee and it was all good news.  The Washington Nationals catcher is progressing well and nearing 100 percent health.

When Ramos arrived in camp, he said his knee was about 80 percent healthy.  Now after a couple weeks of drills and game action, Ramos says he is at about 95 percent, says Amanda Comak of the Washington Times.  This is indicative of the possibility that Ramos could be back to 100 percent by Opening Day.

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Dodgers Injury News: Luis Cruz, Tony Gwynn Jr.

The Los Angeles Dodgers are human after all.  The team, built like an All-Star team designed to dominate the league all the way to the world series, could easily be mistaken for something more than human.  They have so much talent, it's easy to forget these are normal ball players.  As proven yesterday by Luis Cruz's and Tony Gwynn Jr.'s absences.

The two players missed yesterday's game for illness and injury.  According to Ken Gurnick of, Cruz was scratched from the lineup and replaced by Juan Uribe because of a stomach flu.  Gwynn is nursing a sore groin and could not go.

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Cardinals rumors: St. Louis can afford extending Adam Wainwright

The St. Louis Cardinals have the payroll flexibility to afford signing Adam Wainwright to a contract extension, according to Bernie Miklasz of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch. They’ll now have to decide if extending Wainwright is the correct move to make.

The Cardinals – like all 30 MLB teams – will receive a chunk of the revenue from the new national TV deal that kicks in next season. They’ve also kept a close eye on their spending recently and have a strong minor league system, affording them the ability to offer calculated high-salary deals in the next few years.

The only thing left for the Cardinals to decide is if Wainwright warrants an extension, something that Miklasz believes will cost St. Louis a five-year commitment of $20 million-plus per season.

Time to make this decision is running out, as Wainwright is entering the final year of his current contract. The right-hander is set to make $12 million in 2013.

Wainwright maintained an ERA of 3.94 with a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 3.54 last season. He owns a career ERA of 3.15 and maintained a mark of 2.53 from 2009-10.

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Michael Brantley Update: Out 10 days after stitches

It looks like Michael Brantley's injury from Monday afternoon is slightly more serious than originally expected.  The Cleveland Indians outfielder was spike accidentally while sliding into third base on monday.  He had to exit the game and received stitches.

According to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Brantley had to get 15 stitches in his left arm after being spiked by the Oakland Athletics' Josh Donaldson.  Yesterday, the injury looked bad.  Brantley's arm was wrapped heavily and completely immobilized to keep the stitches from popping.  However, Brantley is expected to return in about 10 days.

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Yankees rumors: New York won’t pursue Johnny Damon

Free agent outfielder Johnny Damon has said he’d be very open to a reunion with the New York Yankees. However, general manager Brian Cashman told reporters, including Wallace Matthews of ESPN New York, yesterday that the Yankees will not pursue Damon.

"He's just not going to fit our needs," Cashman said. "It's the same reason we didn't bring him in last year. We need somebody who can play the outfield every day."

Damon hadn’t personally reached out to the Yankees following Granderson’s injury, but Cashman did acknowledge that he received a text from the veteran’s agent, Scott Boras, gauging the team’s interest in his client.

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Yankees’ Youkilis Says Oblique Strain Not Serious

The injuries continue to pile up for the New York Yankees. Third baseman Kevin Youkilis sat out of Tuesday’s Spring Training game with the Philadelphia Phillies after feeling soreness in his left oblique. Youkilis was originally in the starting lineup until manager Joe Girardi learned of the strain. 

New York Daily News’s Mark Feinsand reported that Youkilis has only a mild strain and that his removal from the lineup was only precautionary. Youkilis made light of the strain when talking about it: "The doctor said very, very mild; just a little thing that happens. I think I kind of learned my lesson, too. Don’t say you’re tight.”’s Bryan Hoch reports that Youkilis will have further examination by the end of the week but that the injury does not feel the same as his past oblique strains. He has no trouble swinging a bat, but Girardi does not want to take any chances.

Youkilis attributed the strain to dehydration. Said Youkilis, “"It's one of those things where, I think after I swung yesterday and running and all that, it was hot and I got a little dehydrated. When I got water in me, I was fine.” He felt that he could have played in Tuesday’s game.

The Yankees are still awaiting the return of Derek Jeter around March 10, and now Curtis Granderson is out for approximately 10 weeks. Youkilis is playing in place of Alex Rodriguez, who will miss the first half – and possibly all – of 2013.

Bryan Hoch, Sore Left Oblique Sidelines Youkilis,, February 26, 2013.
Mark Feinsand, Yankees Playing It Safe with Youkilis,, February 26, 2013.

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Indians rumors: Cleveland could trade Ezequiel Carrera

The Cleveland Indians could trade outfielder Ezequiel Carrera, who’s out of minor league options, this spring, according to Jordan Bastian of

Carrera is currently competing for a roster spot as a fourth outfielder for the Indians. The team already projects a starting unit of Michael Brantley, Michael Bourn and Drew Stubbs, with Nick Swisher shifting to first base.

Carrera faces competition for a reserve spot from several players, including Ryan Raburn, Ben Francisco, Yan Gomes, Chris McGuiness and Jeremy Hermida.

The 25-year-old is out of options, meaning he can’t be sent down to the minors again without first being exposed to waivers. For this reason, Cleveland may attempt to trade him in order to get something in return if they don’t view him as a bench candidate.

Carrera appeared in 48 games for the Indians last season, hitting .272/.312/.395 with six doubles, three triples and two home runs over 158 plate appearances. He owns a career batting like of .255/.306/.347 over parts of two seasons in the majors.

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Orioles encouraged by Tsuyoshi Wada's first bullpen session

There have been a lot of firsts for Tsuyoshi Wada since he underwent Tommy John surgery last year.  The Baltimore Orioles pitcher threw a bullpen session yesterday.  It was the first time he has done so since undergoing the surgery back in May of 2012.

Brittany Ghiroli of says the club was encouraged by Wada's bullpen session.  Wada said after the session that he felt good and he was glad to be pitching again.  The Japanese pitcher hopes to make his Major League debut soon.

"I haven't thrown in a long time on the mound, so I was actually very happy and it was very fun. I have been throwing on the half-mound, so it didn't feel awkward. It wasn't much of a difference, but it was very fun."

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Mets rumors: NY had expected to add Justin Upton or Michael Bourn

Entering the offseason, one of the New York Mets’ top priorities was improving their outfield. This ultimately didn’t happen, but there was a time in January when general manager Sandy Alderson expected to acquire Justin Upton or Michael Bourn, according to John Harper of The New York Daily News.

Alderson wouldn’t admit that he missed out on either player, as he didn’t get into specific names. All he was willing to say recently is the Mets “tried to do some things” this offseason, but “unfortunately, nothing worked out.”

However, according to Harper, all signs point to a time in mid-to-late January when the GM felt strongly that he was going to land Upton from the Arizona Diamondbacks or sign Bourn as a free agent.

New York had been discussing a trade with Arizona, but they balked at the Diamondbacks’ asking price, which included top pitching prospect Zack Wheeler. New York was hoping to send a package of non-Wheeler pitching prospects along with Daniel Murphy or Ruben Tejada to Arizona in exchange for Upton.

The Mets were also closely tied to Bourn throughout the winter. Their hesitation in his case was the free agent’s asking price and the potential draft pick they would have to surrender to sign him.

This hesitancy resulted in Upton landing with the Atlanta Braves, Bourn signing with the Cleveland Indians and the Mets entering spring with a bevy of uninspiring outfielders. Instead of Upton and Bourn, New York has names like Lucas Duda, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Mike Baxter, Alex Brown, Marlon Byrd and Collin Cowgill as potential outfielders.

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Diamondbacks expect Miguel Montero back today

Miguel Montero is expected to rejoin the Arizona Diamondbacks today.  The newly-extended Diamondbacks' catcher had missed time due a splinter in his thumb.  The injury prevented him from swinging the bat like he normally would.

According to Steve Gilbert of, Montero should be back in the lineup today.

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Athletics' Grant Balfour ahead of schedule

The Oakland Athletics' will likely have their closer back sooner than expected.  Grant Balfour underwent arthroscopic knee surgery 12 days ago.  However, he was already back on the field throwing from flat ground.  The surgery was minor, but Balfour is still ahead of schedule in his recovery.

According to Jane Lee of, Balfour could start playing in Cactus League games in two weeks.  Barring any setbacks, he should be able to get plenty of appearances in before the regular season starts.

"The way I feel now is really encouraging," he said. "I told myself I wanted to be ready for the season, so I'm going to continue doing whatever it takes to get ready."

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Michael Brantley Injury: Indians LF day-to-day

The Cleveland Indians got a scare yesterday afternoon when Michael Brantley was injured.  He was spiked during the Indians' spring contest against the Oakland Athletics.  The injury resulted in stitches, and the team will monitor his wound and decide when it is best for him to get back into games.

Nick Camino of WTAM 1100 in Cleveland says Brantley is listed as day-to-day.

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Rangers rumors: Zack Greinke gave Texas chance to beat Dodgers’ offer

Los Angeles Dodgers right-hander Zack Greinke told Jon Heyman of CBS Sports that his decision on where to sign this offseason was all about the money. Greinke also led Heyman to believe he gave the Texas Rangers a chance to beat the Dodgers’ offer before he ultimately signed with LA.

Greinke was refreshingly honest about the money he was seeking in free agency:

“It's obviously the No. 1 thing,'' Greinke said. “I could play for the worst team if they paid the most … If the last place team offers $200 million and the first-place team offers $10, I'm going to go for the $200-million no matter what team it was.''

The bidding for Greinke ultimately came down to the Dodgers and Rangers. Based on his comments, it appears that the Rangers had an opportunity to increase their offer and claim the top free agent pitching prize. Instead, the right-hander ended up going to the free-spending Dodgers, where he joins a rotation that already includes Clayton Kershaw.

The Rangers projected rotation is strong, as it includes Derek Holland, Yu Darvish, Matt Harrison and Alexi Ogando. However, Texas is left with questions surrounding their No. 5 starter, remaining payroll flexibility and the thought of what-if when it comes to having Greinke leading their staff.

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Twins rumors: Minnesota interested in Jim Thome?

The Minnesota Twins expressed interest in free agent designated hitter Jim Thome earlier this offseason, and discussions could pick up where they left off later in the spring, according to La Velle E. Neal III of The Star Tribune.

Neal notes that the Twins had conversations with Thome and his camp about a month ago. There hasn’t been recent contact, but Minnesota could resume talks later in the spring.

At this point, Thome is working out in Arizona in hopes of landing another opportunity. He’s hoping to sign a guaranteed contract, something that is limited the interest in him and the offers he’s receiving. Neal believes that if Thome was willing to sign a minor league deal that provided him a good shot at breaking camp with a team, interest in him would increase.

The Twins are set to enter the season with Ryan Doumit as their regular DH, but they could look to acquire Thome on a low-risk deal to pair with him. The veteran slugger would also provide left-handed power off their bench, though he is basically restricted to the role of DH.

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Cubs' Injury News: Dontrelle Willis pulled after seven pitches

It was not a good start for the D-Train.  Dontrelle Willis' comeback attempt was de-railed yesterday when he had to leave his spring debut.  The Chicago Cubs' pitcher threw seven pitches before having to leave the game withs holder fatigue.

Carie Muskat of says Willis felt his shoulder tighten up, and when the trainer came out to check on him, it was decided that the safe move would be to yank Willis from the game.  Willis is understandably frustrated by the shoulder fatigue.  He had worked all offseason on getting himself game-ready, but his shoulder just couldn't hold up in the game.

“It’s frustrating,” Willis said. “I worked real hard to get back and finally get in a groove and this happens. I’ll overcome it. I’ve done it before. Just go back to the drawing board.”

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Yankees rumors: Trade for Vernon Wells, Alfonso Soriano not expected

The New York Yankees are currently seeking a fill in for injured outfielder Curtis Granderson, and two names that have come up in trade talks are Vernon Wells and Alfonso Soriano. While both appeared to be early candidates to replace Granderson during his stay on the disabled list, it’s unlikely that the Yankees will acquire either player.

Bill Shaikin of The Los Angeles Times believes it unlikely that the Yankees will be seriously interested in Wells, an outfielder for the Los Angeles Angels.

From afar a deal would make sense. Wells is blocked by Josh Hamilton, Mike Trout and Peter Bourjos, and he’s owed $42 million over the next two years. However, the Yankees are budget-conscious at this point and the Angels aren’t in a hurry to trade their only veteran reserve outfielder.

Soriano, a Chicago Cubs veteran, has also been mentioned in trade rumors. While he’s another expensive, aging player that offers a potential fit, Joel Sherman of The New York Post doesn’t get the sense that the Yankees will acquire the slugger with Granderson only expected to miss roughly 30 games.

At this point it appears the Yankees are more inclined to monitor in-house options, including Matt Diaz and Juan Rivera, before potentially turning to out-of-option players and others at risk of losing a roster spot toward the end of spring training.

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Yankees’ Derek Jeter Eyes March 10 Game Action

The New York Yankees have announced that Derek Jeter is on a fast recovery from his fractured ankle, even faster than many had expected. General manager Brian Cashman stated that the future Hall-of-Fame shortstop may find himself in Spring Training game action on or close to March 10.’s Bryan Hoch reports that Jeter has only recently resumed baseball activities after suffering his injury during the 2012 ALCS in October. Jeter began running on the field on Saturday, February 23, but he feels that a March 10 return to action is very possible. Said Jeter, "I was a couple of weeks behind what everyone else was doing when I first got here, so on that schedule I don't see any reason why not. I don't think anything's set in stone, but it seems like it's attainable."

Cashman stated that Jeter will likely begin play as the Yankees’ designated hitter. Even with fewer Spring Training at bats than normal, Jeter can still possibly play on Opening Day. Jeter claims that fewer at bats will not impact his ability to perform in the regular season. The 18-year veteran knows how ready he is when the season begins.

The Yankees will need Jeter to perform as he always has in light of the loss of the powerful Curtis Granderson for the first month and a half of the regular season. Granderson suffered a fractured right forearm in Sunday’s Spring Training game with the Toronto Blue Jays. Having Jeter back in the lineup will make up for much of that lost run production.

Aaron Gleeman, Derek Jeter Hoping to Make Spring Debut on March 10,, February 25, 2013.
Bryan Hoch, Jeter Targeting March 10 for First Spring Game,, February 24, 2013.


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Blue Jays rumors: J.A. Happ odd man out?

J.A. Happ has been a regular starting pitcher in the majors since 2009, but right now Toronto Blue Jays manager John Gibbons says he’s the “odd man out,” according to Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.

Entering the offseason, it appeared that Happ, who was acquired from the Houston Astros last summer, could win a spot in the Blue Jays’ starting rotation. However, Toronto has since acquired R.A. Dickey, Mark Buehrle and Josh Johnson to go with Brandon Morrow and Ricky Romero.

There are other potential starters ahead of Happ on the Blue Jays’ list, and he’s not even a lock to win a spot in the team’s bullpen at this point. Being left-handed helps his cause, but Toronto already has a potential left-handed long man in Brett Cecil.

As a result, Happ could start the season at Triple-A in order to continue getting starter’s innings. The 30-year-old is understandably unhappy with these prospects, something manager John Gibbons can understand.

"Happ really deserves to be starting on a major-league club out there, here he's the odd man out," said Gibbons. "We're built differently, especially via the trades. He can still help us in the 'pen, he can be valuable down there, and the thinking is if that's going to help us more, we'll leave him in the bullpen. If for some reason no, he can go back down to triple-A and at least get some innings in.”

The old cliché generally holds true in baseball that a team can never have too much starting pitching. For this reason, Toronto likely won’t trade Happ just to make a move. But, if they receive a competitive offer from a team in need of starting pitching, the southpaw could be on the move later this spring.

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Dodgers' Elian Herrera hit in the head

Being hit by a pitch is part of the game, but it doesn't always result in an injury.  When being hit by a pitch does result in an injury, it can be devastating to a team and a player.  Just ask Curtis Granderson.  However, there is nothing more frightening than a pitch that rides up and in and hits a player in the head.  That's what happened to Elian Herrera of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Yesterday as the Dodgers took on the Chicago White Sox, Herrera was hit in the helmet by a pitch.  It was a scary moment, but Herrera appeared to be fine.

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Yankees rumors: Who will replace Curtis Granderson?

New York Yankees outfielder Curtis Granderson fractured his forearm yesterday and will miss 10 weeks of action. The club is left searching for options to replace the slugger, and it will look both within and outside the organization for potential candidates.

New York had outfielders Matt Diaz and Juan Rivera in camp competing for a reserve spot prior to yesterday’s injury, and they now become internal options to replace Granderson. Beyond the veterans, other in-house candidates for the Yankees include minor leaguers Melky Mesa and Zoilo Almonte, according to Jack Curry of The YES Network.

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The Yankees shouldn't make a trade to replace Granderson

Whether the rumors are all media inspired or not, the New York Yankees may be willing to trade for an outfielder to replace the injured Curtis Granderson.  Granderson was hit by a pitch by Toronto's J.A. Happ in his first at-bat of the spring.  It's one of those things that happens in every sport.  Injuries happen in meaningless games.  But to dwell on that fact and say that these games are pointless is a mistake.  The injury could have happened at any point in spring or in he regular season.

What the Yankees must do now is react.  However, they need to react after thinking things through.  They need to make a logical decision, not an emotional one.  New York wants to win.  We all know that.  While the sons of George Steinbrenner have not shown that same intensity the Boss always did, they have shown they're commitment to winning.  But such a commitment can lead to bad moves - like trading to get an outfielder to replace Granderson.

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Tigers rumors: Detroit not looking to trade

The Detroit Tigers continue to look for a right-handed bat to platoon with Andy Dirks in left field, but for the time being they are going to attempt to fill this void with an internal candidate and not a trade or signing, according to James Schmehl of

"We like our team the way it is," Tigers assistant general manager Al Avila said. "We think internally, as we sit today, that's the best option."

Schmehl notes there are a bevy of internal candidates to make the team’s roster as a platoon player, including Brennan Boesch, Jeff Kobernus, Quintin Berry, Don Kelly, Danny Worth, Avisail Garcia and Nick Castellanos. Avila wouldn’t say that one player has a better chance of making the roster over another, as he told reporters that all would be considered for the spot.

The Tigers continue to scout every exhibition game being played right now, according to Schmehl, so if they find their internal candidates to ultimately be unappealing, they could look outside the organization.

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Chris Young Injury: Nothin more than a cramp

The Oakland Athletics got a scare yesterday when their center fielder had to leave the game.  Chris Young exited the game with what appeared to be an injury.  However, it was later confirmed that he was just experiencing some cramps.

Casey Pratt of CSN Bay Area confirmed Young was pulled from the game because of cramping.  According to the A's manager Bob Melvin, Young will have the day off today, but he was already scheduled for an off day.  This is good news for Oakland as an injury to their new outfielder could be devastating.

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Replacing Curtis Granderson: Vernon Well, Alfonso Soriano

As soon as he went down, the New York Yankees were searching for another outfielder.  Curtis Granderson was hit by a pitch yesterday and eventually diagnosed with a fractured forearm.  While the front office may not actually have reacted that quickly, it seems certain the team will try to fill the void as Granderson heals.  Two players have already been mentioned as trade targets: Vernon Wells and Alfonso Soriano.

While either player may eventually land in New York, it seems that neither is too eager to go now.

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Rangers rumors: Texas ‘motivated’ to sign Kyle Lohse

It remains unclear where free agent Kyle Lohse will ultimately land this offseason, but one American League general manager tells Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe that the Texas Rangers “seem to be the most motivated to get a deal done with him.”

An AL GM predicted, “The Rangers probably have the best shot at obtaining him. They missed out on a couple of guys. While you don’t want to overpay or give him an extended contract, they seem to be the most motivated to get a deal done with him.”

The Rangers missed out on several high-profile targets this winter, including Josh Hamilton, Zack Greinke, R.A. Dickey, Nick Swisher, Josh Johnson and James Shields. While they won’t be looking to overpay for Lohse, they would appear to have the best shot at obtaining him, according to Carfado.

Texas is set to enter the regular season with a starting rotation including Yu Darvish, Matt Harrison, Derek Holland and Alexi Ogando. There are several young arms, Martin Perez, Justin Grimm and Robbie Ross, competing for the No. 5 spot.

The Rangers have said they’re comfortable giving the final spot in their rotation to a young arm that ultimately wins out this spring. However, Lohse would offer a veteran option and more of a sure bet for the club that once again hopes to contend.

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Yankees’ Curtis Granderson Out 10 Weeks with Fractured Forearm

The New York Yankees have suffered a tremendous blow. On Sunday, February 24, Yankees’ centerfielder Curtis Granderson left the Yankees' Spring Training game against the Toronto Blue Jays in the first inning after getting hit by a pitch on his right forearm.

In the seventh inning, Yankees’ announcers Michael Kay and Ken Singleton reported that an examination showed that Granderson has suffered a fractured right forearm and will miss 10 weeks. He will likely see action again as late as mid-May.’s Bryan Hoch tweeted to his followers the same information.

Granderson spoke with YES Network’s Meredith Marokovitz during the seventh inning. He did not initially think he had a fracture, but after seeing the X-ray, Granderson confirmed that the fracture “is clear as day.” He was also optimistic that he will be ready to go as soon as he can start hitting and throwing once again.

The Yankees were already searching for a fourth outfielder, preferably a right-handed hitter who can also DH. Now, they have an even bigger hole to fill. Granderson hit 43 home runs and drove in 106 RBI in 2012. With the loss of a lot of power over the offseason, the Yankees needed that same production from Granderson. Now, they will have to rely even more on Mark Teixeira, Robinson Cano, and Kevin Youkilis to step up their production.

Bryan Hoch, Twitter Message, February 24, 2013.
New York Yankees, Curtis Granderson Player Page,
YES Network Broadcast, Toronto Blue Jays at New York Yankees, February 24, 2013.


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