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  1. That cuts it: the Phillies are probably looking to trade for a second baseman

    Mar 20, 2012, 3:30 PM EDT

    Philadelphia Phillies v Pittsburgh Pirates

    No, this isn’t based on any insight or news or tips or even any gossip.  It’s based on this: #Phillies say they are not looking for IF help. Comfortable with Galvis at 2B, expecting Utley to return. #MLB — Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) March 20, 2012 Before that, I would have said that Ruben Amaro was…

  2. Reid Brignac sidelined by “nasty little” foot injury, could miss Opening Day

    Mar 20, 2012, 3:15 PM EDT

    brignac rays

    Reid Brignac will be shut down for at least a few days with what manager Joe Maddon called “a plantar fasciitis kind of a thing” and a “nasty little” foot injury. Maddon indicated to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times that the injury could keep Brignac from beginning the season on the active roster,…

  3. J.D. Martinez won’t hire you if you don’t make him vomit

    Mar 20, 2012, 3:00 PM EDT

    Houston Astros Photo Day

    That is, if you’re trying to be his personal trainer. Martinez, an outfielder for the Astros, was looking to hire one. And this was the audition: “I told him, ‘If you don’t make me puke in the first week, I’m not going to come back’ ” Martinez said. Nick Casazza needed about 10 minutes to accomplish that…

  4. B.J. Upton returns from collision, plays in minors game

    Mar 20, 2012, 2:48 PM EDT

    B.J. Upton

    B.J. Upton returned to game action six days after being carted off the field following an ugly outfield collision with Desmond Jennings, going 0-for-2 with a walk in a minor-league game today. Upton reported no problems and is expected to play in a major-league game tomorrow against the Yankees, according to Joe Smith of the…

  5. Re-run: why I rip guys like T.J. Simers rather than ignore them

    Mar 20, 2012, 2:31 PM EDT

    megaphone

    I’m watching the Braves-Tigers game. Jair Jurrjens looks awful. Then he threw a first pitch fastball down the middle to Delmon Young, who hit an RBI single.  Anyone who pays attention knows that Delmon Young swings at the first pitch. All the damn time. Jurrjens should probably have his pitching license taken away. Bah. OK, the…

  6. Franklin Gutierrez won’t travel with Mariners to Japan

    Mar 20, 2012, 2:14 PM EDT

    gutierrez ap

    Franklin Gutierrez has recovered enough from a torn pectoral muscle that he’s resumed swinging a bat, but the Mariners center fielder has not been cleared to throw yet and Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times reports that he won’t accompany the team to Japan later this week. Gutierrez’s best-case scenario is probably a late-April debut,…

  7. Jesse Crain unsure when he’ll return from oblique injury

    Mar 20, 2012, 1:50 PM EDT

    Crain_Jesse

    Jesse Crain has been sidelined for more than a week with a strained right oblique muscle and said yesterday that there’s no timetable yet for his return. Crain was able to play catch Monday, but told Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune that “we haven’t even talked about” when he’ll see game action again and…

  8. Grant Balfour wins the A’s closer job

    Mar 20, 2012, 1:30 PM EDT

    balfour getty

    Last week Bob Melvin said that the closer battle was between Brian Fuentes and Grant Balfour.  Melvin announced today that Balfour is his huckleberry. This was really a battle between a Proven Closer and, you know, the better pitcher, with Fuentes being the former and Balfour the latter. Fuentes had problems last year. Balfour was better, throwing 62 innings…

  9. Royals move Aaron Crow back to bullpen following Joakim Soria’s elbow injury

    Mar 20, 2012, 1:18 PM EDT

    Aaron Crow

    So much for Aaron Crow‘s transition from reliever to starter. Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star reports that the Royals have decided to cancel those plans and move Crow back to the bullpen following Joakim Soria‘s elbow injury. Soria was diagnosed with a damaged ulnar collateral ligament and might be headed for Tommy John…

  10. Springtime Storylines: Did the Angels buy themselves the A.L. West?

    Mar 20, 2012, 1:00 PM EDT

    Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim's first baseman Pujols watches the field during their spring training game at Tempe Diablo Stadium in Arizona

    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 Los Angeles Angels of Pujols. The Big Question:  Did the Angels buy themselves the A.L. West this winter? The…

  11. Zach Britton seeks second opinion from Dr. James Andrews

    Mar 20, 2012, 12:46 PM EDT

    Baltimore Orioles v New York Yankees - Game Two

    In news that won’t quell Orioles fans’ fears any, Zach Britton will get a second opinion on his injured shoulder from Dr. James Andrews. Last month Jim Duquette of MLB.com reported that Britton’s injury was lingering longer than initially expected and could put his status for Opening Day in jeopardy. Britton immediately tried to downplay…

  12. Arodys Vizcaino undergoes Tommy John surgery

    Mar 20, 2012, 12:30 PM EDT

    Washington Nationals v Atlanta Braves

    Bad news for the Braves: Arodys Vizcaino, who looked to be part of the big league pen this year and, in the future, profiled as a starter,  underwent Tommy John surgery today. As you know, that ends his 2012 and, depending on how the rehab goes, may very well kill a bit of his 2013. Vizcaino…

  13. Kendrys Morales “a little sore” after third game in four days

    Mar 20, 2012, 11:49 AM EDT

    morales getty

    Kendrys Morales is finally making significant progress in his now two-year-long recovery from a broken ankle. Morales played in a minor-league game yesterday for the third time in four days, afterward telling Marcia Smith of the Orange County Register that his twice-repaired ankle “is a little sore, but I’m fine and will hit again tomorrow.”…

  14. Miguel Cabrera expected to miss “a couple weeks” with fracture under right eye

    Mar 20, 2012, 11:10 AM EDT

    Detroit Tigers third baseman Cabrera walks off the field with a trainer after a ground ball hit by Philadelphia Phillies' Hunter Pence bounced into his face during a spring training baseball game in Clearwater

    There’s no official word yet from the Tigers regarding Miguel Cabrera‘s health status, but Buster Olney of ESPN.com reports that he’s been diagnosed with “a small fracture under his right eye” and is expected to miss “only a couple weeks.” Cabrera also needed eight stitches after being hit near the eye by a Hunter Pence…

  15. Rangers sign Derek Holland to five-year, $28 million deal

    Mar 20, 2012, 10:49 AM EDT

    Derek Holland

    Derek Holland and the Rangers have agreed to a five-year, $28 million contract that includes team options for 2017 and 2018, according to Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star Telegram. Holland wasn’t even arbitration eligible yet and Texas had him under team control through 2015 already, so the five-year contract cancels out his previous…

  16. Mike Trout lost 12 pounds due to flu, had two hits yesterday

    Mar 20, 2012, 10:15 AM EDT

    Mike Trout

    Described last week as being “weak and feverish with no appetite” because of the flu, Mike Trout saw just his second game action of spring training yesterday in a minor-league game and went 2-for-3 with a double, a triple, and a walk. Marcia Smith of the Orange County Register reports that Trout lost 12 pounds…

  17. HBT Extra: Previewing the NL Central

    Mar 20, 2012, 9:23 AM EDT

    Tiff and Craig

    So far I have picked the Yankees in the AL East and the Phillies in the NL East.  Am I so unoriginal to pick the defending World Series champs in the NL Central. Dudes: you gotta watch the video to find out.

  18. T.J. Simers’ annual cheap shot column

    Mar 20, 2012, 8:50 AM EDT

    Simers

    It was a year ago tomorrow that L.A. Times’ columnist T.J. Simers filed what was one of the worst, low-rent columns I’ve seen in a while. Ripping Marcus Thames for being exactly what he is: a platoon/bench outfielder who is not an All-Star. It wasn’t some meta thing. He wasn’t making a larger point. He…

  19. Yu Darvish has an Achilles heel

    Mar 20, 2012, 8:20 AM EDT

    Texas Rangers v San Diego Padres

    You Darvish had a pretty good outing yesterday. Four innings, four strikeouts. He walked four too, but he worked around them well enough. And he was throwing gas, hitting 96 on the gun. And Brewers pitcher Randy Wolf noticed something in Darvish’s game that had a lot to do with the gun: “The one thing…

  20. Rangers and Derek Holland on the verge of contract extension

    Mar 20, 2012, 12:11 AM EDT

    Derek Holland Reuters

    Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports that the Rangers and Derek Holland are on the verge of a contract extension through at least 2016. No word on the exact terms, but the proposed deal would cover his final pre-arbitration season, all three of his arbitration seasons and at least his first year of…

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