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  1. Jeff Samardzija heats up Cubs rotation competition

    Mar 13, 2012, 10:05 PM EDT

    Jeff Samardzija

    It looked like six pitchers for five spots initially, but with Jeff Samardzija having made a strong early impression on new manager Dale Sveum, there are currently seven pitchers in the mix for the Cubs rotation. The givens are Matt Garza and Ryan Dempster, though Garza’s name has been a very popular one in trade…

  2. Red Sox and Tigers “most focused” on possible trade for John Lannan

    Mar 13, 2012, 8:40 PM EDT

    Florida Marlins v Washington Nationals

    Chien-Ming Wang appears to have the inside track on the Nationals’ fifth starter job, which leaves John Lannan in a state of limbo. He does have an option remaining, so it’s possible he could begin the season with Triple-A Syracuse, but Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com reports that it’s increasingly likely that he’ll be traded prior…

  3. Expanded instant replay off the table until 2013

    Mar 13, 2012, 7:13 PM EDT

    Bud Selig

    Expanded playoffs were rushed across the finish line in time for the 2012 season. But expanded instant replay? Unfortunately we’ll have to wait for at least another year. The new collective bargaining agreement called for replay to include calls on trapped balls, fair-or-foul calls and fan interference. However, Ben Walker of the Associated Press reports…

  4. Bryce Harper says he’s ‘probably not’ going to make the Nationals

    Mar 13, 2012, 6:29 PM EDT

    Bryce Harper

    But he added, “It’s all good, though.” Bruce Harper is expected back in Washington’s lineup on Wednesday after missing six days with a calf injury, but he thinks it’s already too late for him to win a spot on the Opening Day roster. “Probably not,” he answered when asked if he thinks he still has…

  5. Tigers’ Jacob Turner shut down with dead arm

    Mar 13, 2012, 6:05 PM EDT

    Jacob Turner

    Detroit’s top prospect is rapidly falling out of the mix for a rotation spot. Jacob Turner, who gave up six runs — five earned — in 1 2/3 innings Monday against the Mets, has been shut down for a few days due to a “dead-arm period,” said manager Jim Leyland. Though he’s just 20, Turner…

  6. Wild Yu Darvish gives up two runs in second start

    Mar 13, 2012, 5:54 PM EDT

    Yu Darvish

    Making his second start of the spring, Yu Darvish walked four batters on his way to giving up two runs in three innings against the Indians on Tuesday. Darvish started the game with back-to-back walks, only to have both Michael Brantley and Asdrubal Cabrera get thrown out attempting steals of second base. A better second…

  7. Chris Denorfia may not be ready for Opening Day

    Mar 13, 2012, 5:30 PM EDT

    chris-denorfia-padres

    Chris Denorfia has yet to play a spring training game because of a lower back injury and manager Bud Black told Bill Center of the San Diego Union Tribune that the Padres are worried he won’t have enough to time be ready for Opening Day. There is a little concern. He’s not progressing to the…

  8. Two Twins minor leaguers suspended for PEDs

    Mar 13, 2012, 5:08 PM EDT

    syringe

    Major League Baseball just announced that two Minor League players from the Minnesota Twins organization have received 50-game suspensions for taking PEDs. They’re not major minor league players — they’re pitchers Yeison Florentino and Ezequiel Zarzuela of the team’s Dominican Summer League team — but not everyone can be Ryan Braun.  They tested positive for metabolites…

  9. Erick Aybar’s agent to talk contract extension with Angels

    Mar 13, 2012, 3:48 PM EDT

    erick aybar ap

    Back in January the Angels were said to be interested in long-term contract extensions with impending free agent middle infielders Howie Kendrick and Erick Aybar. They got a deal done with Kendrick, signing the second baseman for $33.5 million over four years, but talks with Aybar have stalled. Until now perhaps, as Mark Saxon of…

  10. Michael Wuertz to hold tryout for teams next week

    Mar 13, 2012, 2:45 PM EDT

    Wuertz_Michael

    Michael Wuertz is one of the few intriguing pitchers still left unsigned and his lengthy injury history has no doubt scared teams off, but Darren Wolfson of 1500ESPN.com reports that the reliever will hold a tryout next week. According to Wolfson the Twins are among the teams expected to attend, which makes sense because they…

  11. Sandy KOH’-faks to be a witness in the Mets-Madoff case

    Mar 13, 2012, 2:35 PM EDT

    2011 Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

    The Bernie Madoff-New York Mets trial begins soon. As baseball has cranked back up, our blow-by-blow of that stuff has scaled back, if for no other reason than it has gotten a tad boring. But this is interesting: NEW YORK (AP) – Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax (KOH’-faks) is among witnesses scheduled to testify…

  12. Chipper Jones was just kidding about the “I don’t know if I can make it through this year” stuff

    Mar 13, 2012, 1:50 PM EDT

    Washington Nationals v Atlanta Braves

    Chipper Jones made headlines yesterday for his “I don’t know if I can make it through this year” quote, but not surprisingly he clarified those comments today and made it very clear that he was just kidding around: Unfortunately, I said it around two guys who don’t know me very well and they didn’t realize…

  13. Stephen Drew “looks very unlikely” for Opening Day

    Mar 13, 2012, 1:20 PM EDT

    Milwaukee Brewers v Arizona Diamondbacks

    Two weeks ago Diamondbacks shortstop Stephen Drew admitted that missing the beginning of the season was a possibility as he recovers from last year’s broken ankle and now Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic takes it one step further. Piecoro writes that no one has ruled out Drew being ready for the opener, but “the…

  14. “Rival executives” believe Fredi Gonzalez is on the hot seat

    Mar 13, 2012, 1:00 PM EDT

    Atlanta Braves v Washington Nationals

    Those Rival Executives. Always taunting me like this. Rosenthal, after reminding us that the Braves are 1-10 this spring, reports: Gonzalez, unlike the Boston Red Sox’s Terry Francona, survived his team’s collapse, in large part because the Braves value stability. A poor start, though, could alter the equation. Rival executives believe that Gonzalez, entering the second…

  15. Shockingly, the Nationals’ new eight-pound “StrasBurger” is really, really bad for you

    Mar 13, 2012, 12:48 PM EDT

    scale help

    I posted yesterday about the new eight-pound “StrasBurger” the Nationals will be selling at their concession stands this season and Adam Vingan of NBCWashington.com took a closer look at the monstrous hamburger. Turns out, not so healthy: Colleen Gerg, a registered dietitian from Chevy Chase, Md., did a general breakdown of the “nutritional value” —…

  16. Terry Collins is not happy with the Mets’ injuries

    Mar 13, 2012, 12:30 PM EDT

    Terry Collins

    UPDATE: Terry Collins has clarified his comments. Says he wasn’t mad at Tejada specifically. Just mad about injuries in general. 12:30 PM: There have been a lot of injuries in Mets camp this spring. And Terry Collins is not happy about it. Who would be? But I do think that most people would chalk it…

  17. Joe Maddon is G.I. Jane

    Mar 13, 2012, 12:16 PM EDT

    gi jane

    Since announcing last week that he planned to shave his head for charity Joe Maddon has talked “more than 20 players” into joining him to raise money for pediatric cancer research, according to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. Included in the bunch are James Shields, Sam Fuld, Matt Moore, and Matt Joyce, and…

  18. MRI exam on Taylor Teagarden’s back injury “raised some concerns”

    Mar 13, 2012, 11:51 AM EDT

    Baltimore Orioles Photo Day

    X-rays last week revealed no major damage after Taylor Teagarden tweaked his lower back lifting weights, but Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com reports that an MRI exam “raised some concerns.” Teagarden is scheduled to be examined by a back specialist “to go over options” and Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com writes that there’s “no talk of surgery…

  19. Michael Young: “Father Time doesn’t mean anything to me”

    Mar 13, 2012, 11:40 AM EDT

    Michael Young

    Michael Young had a pretty damn good last year for a dude who was 34 years-old. But according to this feature by — let me see … oh, it’s Evan Grant, imagine — Young is pretty defiant when it comes to aging: “Father Time doesn’t mean anything to me. People who lose their competitive edge or…

  20. Nolan Reimold returns to Orioles lineup four days after being hit in the face

    Mar 13, 2012, 11:19 AM EDT

    Reimold_Nolan

    Nolan Reimold was hit in the face by a pitch Friday, but the Orioles outfielder somehow avoided a serious injury and is back in the lineup today. Alex Cobb of the Rays plunked Reimold in the left cheek, but a chipped tooth is the worst of the damage and Brittany Ghiroli reports that he already…

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