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  1. Grady Sizemore’s injury replacement, Michael Brantley, is injured too

    Mar 22, 2012, 10:15 AM EDT

    Cleveland Indians v Texas Rangers

    Cleveland has shifted Michael Brantley from left field to center field following Grady Sizemore‘s latest injury setback, but now Brantley is hurting too. Brantley is expected to miss at least the next 3-5 days with a hamstring injury and Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports that “the Indians are taking a cautious approach to try to…

  2. When simply “stating the facts” is actually criticism

    Mar 22, 2012, 9:44 AM EDT

    Boston Red Sox manager Valentine watches pitchers work out at the Red Sox new Major League Baseball spring training facility in Fort Myers

    Bobby Valentine talked yesterday about his reputation for criticizing ballplayers. He bristled at the notion. He says he has never thrown anyone under the bus ever, and that when he is construed to have done so — like, if he says that Mark Melancon got all of his running in backing up the bases after…

  3. Springtime Storylines: Are the Nationals ready to contend?

    Mar 22, 2012, 9:15 AM EDT

    Davey Johnson, Stephen Strasburg

    Between now and Opening Day, HardballTalk will take a look at each of baseball’s 30 teams, asking the key questions, the not-so-key questions, and generally breaking down their chances for the 2012 season. Up next: the upstart Washington Nationals. The Big Question: Are the Nationals ready to contend? After three straight last-place finishes, the Nationals…

  4. The Pirates are 13% more likely to make the playoffs

    Mar 22, 2012, 8:50 AM EDT

    pirates logo1

    I suppose this applies to everyone by virtue of the new wild card, but for some reason I found it really cute that the Pittsburgh Pirates had someone calculate it: Team president Frank Coonelly had Dan Fox, the Pirates’ statistical guru, build a computer model to illustrate the impact: The Pirates’ chance of making the…

  5. Team values shoot up an average of 16%

    Mar 22, 2012, 8:20 AM EDT

    Money Bag

    Forbes has released its annual franchise valuation package. In short: it’s good to own a ballclub: The average Major League Baseball team rose 16% in value during the past year, to an all-time high of $605 million. In 2011, revenue (net of payments to cover stadium debt) for the league’s 30 teams climbed to an…

  6. A.J. Burnett scheduled to throw simulated game Saturday

    Mar 21, 2012, 10:12 PM EDT

    burnett ap wide

    Pirates right-hander A.J. Burnett continues to make steady progress in his recovery from surgery to correct an orbital bone fracture below his right eye. According to Tom Singer of MLB.com, Burnett tossed a successful 52-pitch bullpen session Wednesday in Pirates camp and has been cleared to throw a couple of innings Saturday in a simulated…

  7. Chien-Ming Wang could be sidelined for another month

    Mar 21, 2012, 8:58 PM EDT

    chien-ming wang getty

    Nationals manger Davey Johnson did not hold back Wednesday when describing the severity of starter Chien-Ming Wang‘s strained left hamstring (via CSNWashington.com’s Nats Insider): “He’s moving around walking good, but from what I saw today, he’s got quite a bit of blood in there,” Johnson said. “Before he gets on the mound, I’d say three…

  8. Chris Perez throws 20 pitches of live batting practice

    Mar 21, 2012, 7:41 PM EDT

    chris perez getty

    When Indians closer Chris Perez suffered a strained left oblique on February 24 — during his first bullpen session of the spring — the general belief was that he would be inactive at the beginning of the regular season. But Perez has defied the odds, and should be ready for a save opportunity on Opening…

  9. Daniel Bard could be sent back to bullpen by Red Sox

    Mar 21, 2012, 6:33 PM EDT

    Daniel Bard

    Having struggled in his last two starts, Daniel Bard could return to the bullpen, CSN New England’s Sean McAdam reports. McAdam says that a Red Sox staff member has told people outside of the organization that the team is prepared to go with Alfredo Aceves and Felix Doubront at the back of the rotation, leaving…

  10. Jason Bay volunteers to play center field for Mets

    Mar 21, 2012, 5:56 PM EDT

    Jason Bay

    With Andres Torres (calf) joining Scott Hairston (oblique) on the sidelines, Jason Bay volunteered to take over in center field for the Mets. Torres is still hopeful of being ready for Opening Day, but Hairston is probably DL bound. The Mets’ third-best option in center field, prospect Kirk Nieuwenhuis, is also nursing an oblique strain.…

  11. Shaun Marcum throws in minors, expects to avoid DL

    Mar 21, 2012, 5:27 PM EDT

    Milwaukee Brewers starting pitcher Shaun Marcum adjusts his cap after giving up a three run home run to St. Louis Cardinals David Freese in the 1st inning of Game 6 of the MLB NLCS baseball playoffs in Milwaukee

    Last week there was some concern that Shaun Marcum would have to begin the season on the disabled list because of his shoulder problems, but today he threw two innings in a minor-league game and said afterward that he doesn’t expect to miss a start. Adam McCalvy of MLB.com reports that Marcum threw 26 pitches…

  12. Johan Santana impresses

    Mar 21, 2012, 5:10 PM EDT

    Johan Santana

    Good news all around for the Mets this week. The Madoff suit settled, Terry Collins hasn’t blown a gasket at anyone and now Johan Santana has turned in a nice start against the defending World Series champs. Santana held the Cardinals to one run in six innings and struck out six, didn’t walk anyone, and used…

  13. Drew Storen feels better, may be Batman

    Mar 21, 2012, 4:30 PM EDT

    Batman logo

    Mark Zuckerman of Nats Insider gives us an update on Nats closer Drew Storen, who hasn’t pitched in two weeks. The upshot: he’s feeling “way better.”  He had some arm soreness, which he believes was caused by throwing too hard. “I was trying to get after it too much,” said Storen. “But it’s nothing serious.” I…

  14. Cubs GM denies having agreement with Jorge Soler, calls rumors “completely bogus”

    Mar 21, 2012, 4:13 PM EDT

    bogus journey

    It’s been six weeks since Dave Van Dyck of the Chicago Tribune reported that the Cubs were going to sign Cuban defector Jorge Soler, yet the 19-year-old outfielder remains unsigned and still hasn’t even officially been granted free agent status. And today Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer told Patrick Mooney of CSNChicago.com not to believe…

  15. No one wants poor Kelvin De La Cruz

    Mar 21, 2012, 3:30 PM EDT

    Kevin De La Cruz

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen Kelvin De La Cruz pitch. In the normal course, I probably wouldn’t notice him if he fell out of the sky, landed on my head and started to wiggle.  But I am fascinated with his odyssey through the transactions wire this offseason. To review: The Indians designated him for…

  16. Cardinals have “no timetable” for Skip Schumaker’s return

    Mar 21, 2012, 3:20 PM EDT

    Skip Schumaker

    Skip Schumaker underwent further testing after being diagnosed with a torn oblique muscle earlier this week and it doesn’t sound like the Cardinals should expect him back anytime soon. “There’s no timetable,” Schumaker told Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post Dispatch. “They just know there’s a significant injury in there. I kind of knew…

  17. Because I know you want to give David Freese a makeover

    Mar 21, 2012, 3:00 PM EDT

    Freese makeover

    GQ has a brief interview with the Cardinals’ David Freese. And a “Style Upgrade” which is more fun than it should be. The upshot: you get to slide a little bar across the screen and transform Freese from a guy who looks uncomfortable wearing a bad suit to … well, a guy who looks uncomfortable…

  18. Twins send Rule 5 pick Terry Doyle back to White Sox

    Mar 21, 2012, 2:48 PM EDT

    Minnesota Twins Photo Day

    When the Twins selected Terry Doyle with the No. 2 pick in the Rule 5 draft it seemed like an odd choice because the 25-year-old right-hander had yet to even pitch at Triple-A and there was nothing particularly noteworthy about his track record or raw stuff. Afterward the Twins talked about how impressed they were…

  19. Brian Roberts is feeling better

    Mar 21, 2012, 2:30 PM EDT

    Brian Roberts, Adam Jones

    Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts has not played baseball since last May due to multiple concussions. And he missed all but 59 games in 2010 for the same reason. Earlier this month the outlook still seemed kinda grim. There is some decent news now, though, as Roberts has continued to work out and is slowly getting back…

  20. Jeff Francis won’t opt out of minor-league deal with Reds

    Mar 21, 2012, 2:14 PM EDT

    Jeff Francis Getty

    As part of his minor-league contract with the Reds left-hander Jeff Francis the ability to opt out and become a free agent again if he’s not added to the 40-man roster by March 28, but that won’t be happening. Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports that his odds of securing a spot in the Reds’ rotation…

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