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  1. Two weeks after Joakim Soria’s surgery the Royals still haven’t named a closer

    Apr 2, 2012, 12:48 PM EDT

    Atlanta Braves v Los Angeles Dodgers

    Royals manager Ned Yost declined to name a fill-in closer after news that Joakim Soria would miss the entire season following Tommy John elbow surgery and two weeks later he’s still yet to identify the ninth-inning replacement. It’ll either be former Dodgers closer Jonathan Broxton or second-year setup man Greg Holland, but according to Bob…

  2. Mets closer Frank Francisco gets knee drained, needs MRI

    Apr 2, 2012, 12:16 PM EDT

    New York Mets Photo Day

    Frank Francisco‘s rough spring training now includes a knee injury. Andy McCullough of the Newark Star Ledger reports that the Mets closer had his left knee drained to reduce swelling yesterday and is scheduled to undergo an MRI exam today. Francisco has allowed 18 hits and four walks in 11 innings this spring, going 0-2…

  3. Springtime Storylines: Can anyone in the AL Central beat the Detroit Tigers?

    Apr 2, 2012, 11:51 AM EDT

    Prince Fielder, Miguel Cabrera

    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: Detroit Tigers. The Big Question: Can anyone in the AL Central beat the Detroit Tigers? After winning their division by…

  4. Matt Cain is in The Best Shape of His Life

    Apr 2, 2012, 11:33 AM EDT


    This is the latest BSOHL I have ever witnessed, but this is an unequivocal case. As we’ve noted, Matt Cain has set a Friday deadline for contract extension talks with the Giants. As recently as the other day he said that there was nothing really happening. Now Andrew Baggarly of reports that “the volume of…

  5. Jeff Francis agrees to stay with Reds, but will be at Triple-A

    Apr 2, 2012, 11:19 AM EDT

    Jeff Francis Getty

    Jeff Francis chose not to opt out of his minor-league contract with the Reds, hoping to stick around in camp beyond his opt-out date and win a big-league jump. Instead he’ll remain in the organization while beginning the season at Triple-A, where the 31-year-old left-hander hasn’t pitched regularly since way back in 2004. Back then…

  6. Braves reliever Cristhian Martinez arrested for DUI

    Apr 2, 2012, 11:00 AM EDT


    Can’t seem to go a week without one of these things. From Carroll Rogers of the AJC: Braves reliever Cristhian Martinez was arrested early Monday morning in Gwinnett County on charges of DUI, according to Gwinnett County jail records. Martinez’s blood alcohol registered more than the legal limit of .10, according to documents. He was…

  7. Corey Hart “looking likely” to be ready for Opening Day

    Apr 2, 2012, 10:47 AM EDT

    Corey Hart

    Corey Hart has been playing regularly in minor-league camp without any issues and Adam McCalvy of reports that “it’s looking likely” that he’ll be recovered enough from March 6 knee surgery to be in the Brewers’ lineup on Opening Day. Hart has been playing in minor-league games because that way if he’s not ready…

  8. UPDATE: Despite thumb injury, Bobby Valentine expects Josh Beckett to make his first start

    Apr 2, 2012, 10:29 AM EDT

    Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Josh Beckett reacts after striking out Tampa Bay Rays John Jaso to end the top of sixth inning of their MLB American League baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston

    UPDATE:  If you believe Bobby Valentine, it seems that maybe it’s not too bad: Valentine said he “totally” expects Beckett to start Game 2. #RedSox — Pete Abraham (@PeteAbe) April 2, 2012 10:29 AM:  Josh Beckett has an issue with his thumb and that may cause Alfredo Aceves to take his Game 2 start.  We…

  9. B.J. Upton now targeting mid-April return from back injury

    Apr 2, 2012, 10:15 AM EDT

    Tampa Bay Rays v Oakland Athletics

    B.J. Upton will begin the season on the disabled list due to back soreness stemming from his March 14 collision with Desmond Jennings, but said yesterday that he’s “shooting for” returning during the Rays’ April 10-19 road trip. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that Upton no longer feels sore the day after…

  10. Jason Bay could be platooning for the Mets

    Apr 2, 2012, 10:00 AM EDT

    Jason Bay

    Jason Bay had an awful 2011 and his spring has thus far been pretty awful too.  That has some people suggesting to Mike Puma of the New York Post that Bay may soon be a $16 million platoon guy: Though the idea has not yet reached the discussion stage among team executives, a club official…

  11. Jayson Werth: 2011 will be “like a fart in the wind”

    Apr 2, 2012, 9:36 AM EDT

    Jayson Werth

    And they say poetry is dead. Here’s Jayson Werth on putting his awful 2011 behind him: “I feel confident about this season and this team and where I’m at and what I’ve done. Last year is just one year. I got six more years on this contract, and I plan on playing after this contract.…

  12. Springtime Storylines: Are the Phillies still a juggernaut?

    Apr 2, 2012, 9:15 AM EDT

    Charlie Manuel Reuters

    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 Philadelphia Phillies. The Big Question: Are the Phillies still a juggernaut? The short answer? No, I don’t see how…

  13. Jim Tracy on Ubaldo Jimenez: “It’s the most gutless act I have seen in 35 years of professional baseball”

    Apr 2, 2012, 8:48 AM EDT

    Ubaldo Jimenez

    Jim Tracy didn’t mince words about the Ubaldo Jimenez-Troy Tulowitzki thing from yesterday: “It’s the most gutless act I have seen in 35 years of professional baseball. I have lost all respect for him. To do something like that and walk down off the mound, and if there’s any suggestion whatsoever that the ball got…

  14. Strange rumblings in Los Angeles

    Apr 2, 2012, 8:33 AM EDT

    Laguna Beach

    I got off an airplane about a half hour ago after taking a red eye flight back to Ohio from Los Angeles, where I spent the weekend. Because I don’t sleep well on airplanes, today is going to be … something less than lucid. Anyway, the purpose of my trip was not baseball, but I…

  15. Barry Zito ditches the new delivery

    Apr 1, 2012, 10:18 PM EDT

    Barry Zito

    It’s starting to feel like a rite of spring: Barry Zito shows up with a new delivery he was working on in the offseason, only to ditch it on the advice of Giants coaches. Zito arrived this year with a new crouched over stance on the mound. I’ll let Andrew Baggarly take it from here:…

  16. In which Yamaico Navarro netted the Red Sox their two best shortstops

    Apr 1, 2012, 9:00 PM EDT

    Pedro Ciriaco

    Bear with me for a minute, please. Pedro Ciriaco  impressed once again Sunday, stealing two bases immediately after entering the game as a pinch-runner and then doubling in a run as part of Boston’s 5-1 win over Minnesota. He’s hitting .415/.442/.659 with seven steals in eight attempts this spring. His one homer was a walkoff…

  17. April Fool’s: Lance Berkman gives away Adam Wainwright’s Silverado

    Apr 1, 2012, 8:20 PM EDT

    Chevy Silverado

    The Cardinals had a terrific promotion during Sunday’s game, or so Adam Wainwright thought at least. In between innings of the game against the Nationals, the Cardinals’ public address announcer stated that the team was giving a car away to a lucky fan. Lance Berkman drove the vehicle onto the field, causing a Wainwright double-take…

  18. Desmond Jennings launches three homers versus Orioles

    Apr 1, 2012, 7:15 PM EDT

    Desmond Jennings

    With no homers and one RBI, Desmond Jennings had suffered from a power outage this spring. That’s over with now, as he unloaded with three homers, the middle one a grand slam, in the Rays’ 8-5 win over the Orioles. Jennings’ other two homers were solo blasts, giving him six RBI on the day. The…

  19. Benches empty after Ubaldo Jimenez plunks Troy Tulowitzki

    Apr 1, 2012, 6:31 PM EDT

    Troy Tulowitzki, Lou Marson

    Troy Tulowitzki was taken to the hospital for precautionary X-rays on his left elbow, which came back negative, after being hit by Ubaldo Jimenez’s very first pitch of the game Sunday. Jimenez made it clear immediately afterwards that he was sending his former teammate a message, pounding his chest after the pitch. Tulo started to…

  20. The Marlins’ new ballpark is a hitter’s haven

    Apr 1, 2012, 6:10 PM EDT

    Marlins Ballpark from the fishies' perspective

    OK, so maybe it’s a small sample size, but the Yankees topped the Marlins 10-8 in the first major league game played at Marlins Ballpark on Sunday. With the roof closed on an 85-degree day, Derek Jeter lined the very first pitch of the game from Ricky Nolasco into right field for a double, setting…

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