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  1. Brian Wilson’s throwing session cut short, Opening Day in doubt

    Mar 23, 2011, 4:26 PM EST

    Brian Wilson

    Brian Wilson is one of the legions of players who have strained their obliques this spring, but the other day he said, no worries, he’d be ready for Opening Day.  Not so, according to Andrew Baggarly: Brian Wilson’s ability to pitch on opening day is in significant doubt after the Giants’ right-handed closer had his…

  2. Nationals have “reached a near-final decision” to bench Nyjer Morgan for Rick Ankiel

    Mar 23, 2011, 4:16 PM EST

    Nyjer Morgan

    Last week there was speculation about the Nationals benching Nyjer Morgan in favor of Rick Ankiel and now Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reports that they’ve “reached a near-final decision” to make Ankiel the starting center fielder. Morgan has certainly earned the demotion by hitting like a fifth outfielder, running the bases recklessly, and…

  3. Stop. Hammer Time.

    Mar 23, 2011, 4:00 PM EST

    MCHammer

    We’ve all heard the story of how a young Stanley Burrell — more famously and ridiculously known as M.C. Hammer — once worked for the Oakland A’s.  You may not know the details of that gig, however. If you don’t, The Common Man has a post up about it over at The Platoon Advantage this…

  4. Top prospect Kyle Drabek secures spot in Blue Jays’ rotation

    Mar 23, 2011, 3:48 PM EST

    Kyle Drabek pitching

    Brandon Morrow beginning on the season on the disabled list ends whatever competition there was for rotation spots in Blue Jays camp, so 23-year-old top prospect Kyle Drabek has won a starting job. In fact, Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star reports that Drabek will take Morrow’s place in the rotation and pitch Game 2…

  5. The Nationals sign Oliver Perez

    Mar 23, 2011, 3:30 PM EST

    Perez_Oliver

    The Nationals have signed Oliver Perez to a minor league deal, says Yahoo!’s Tim Brown. Low risk and low money, so why not? At the moment the Nats’ depth chart has a rotation of Livan Hernandez, Jason Marquis, Jordan Zimmermann, Tom Gorzelanny and John Lannan.  I’m struggling to see which of those guys is supposed…

  6. Springtime Storylines: When will the Indians be finished with their rebuilding phase?

    Mar 23, 2011, 3:15 PM EST

    manny-acta-indians

    Between now and Opening Day, HBT will take a look at each of the 30 teams, asking the key questions, the not-so-key questions, and generally breaking down their chances for the 2011 season. Next up: Another rebuilding year in Cleveland. The Big Question: When will the Indians be finished with their rebuilding phase? After three consecutive .500-or-worse seasons,…

  7. Joba Chamberlain was throwing a 96 m.p.h. fastball yesterday

    Mar 23, 2011, 3:00 PM EST

    New York Yankees pitcher Chamberlain poses during media photo day at the team's spring training camp

    Whether it’s mechanical changes, good health after a long break or just because he got a good night’s sleep the night before, Yankees fans have to like this: Joba Chamberlain was throwing the ball 96 m.p.h yesterday, and was hitting his spots as he did it. “This is the best I’ve felt in spring training,”…

  8. Aaron Hill no sure thing to be ready for Opening Day

    Mar 23, 2011, 2:48 PM EST

    hill_aaron

    Aaron Hill returned from a quadriceps injury to make his spring training debut yesterday, but afterward expressed some doubt about his status for Opening Day: It was good to get out there and see what I’ve got. I can play but it’s going to be their decision. Hopefully it will be fine by then but…

  9. Roy Oswalt is smacked by a comebacker

    Mar 23, 2011, 2:30 PM EST

    Oswalt_Roy

    The Phillies really really need spring training to end. A couple days after Shane Victorino avoided disaster in an outfield collision, Roy Oswalt took a comebacker off the bat of Manny Ramirez a few minutes ago, knocking him to the ground. He got up and walked off under his own power and seemed OK.  Replays…

  10. Brandon Webb shut down again with more arm problems

    Mar 23, 2011, 2:14 PM EST

    Brandon Webb workout

    Already slated to begin the season on the disabled list, Brandon Webb was scratched from his scheduled live batting practice session today and has been shut down indefinitely, according to T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com. Webb last started a game on Opening Day of 2009, but his recovery from shoulder surgery has been full of slow…

  11. Luis Salazar returns to Braves camp

    Mar 23, 2011, 2:00 PM EST

    Luis Salazar

    Luis Salazar is out of the hospital and on the mend following his awful injury in the Braves dugout a couple of weeks ago.  Mark Bowman of MLB.com has both the story and video of Salazar talking about his recovery. “I’d like to thank God that I’m talking to you guys and that I’m alive,”…

  12. Brandon Morrow to begin season on disabled list with right forearm inflammation

    Mar 23, 2011, 1:47 PM EST

    Brandon Morrow

    I’m not sure if this qualifies as a jinx, since I haven’t actually posted the article yet, but Brandon Morrow is one of my “breakout” picks for this season (along with, among others, Carlos Santana) and … well, the Blue Jays just announced that he’ll begin the year on the disabled list with right forearm…

  13. A fine video for insecure Red Sox fans who like bad white boy rapping

    Mar 23, 2011, 1:35 PM EST

    Sorry, but this NESN ad for Red Sox baseball is … well, it just is. All I’ll say is that (a) the guy “rapping” in this, if we can call it that, has to be the nephew of someone important because skills didn’t get him the gig; and (b) at some point I would hope…

  14. Heath Bell and the Padres are talking contract extension

    Mar 23, 2011, 1:19 PM EST

    Heath Bell, Kyle Blanks, Jenny Cavnar

    Heath Bell has repeatedly made it very clear that he wants to stay in San Diego, saying that signing a long-term deal with the Padres “would be a dream” and then revealing that he’d “definitely take less” to get something done. Throughout all that the Padres’ interest in actually committing to an expensive closer into…

  15. How the Yankees train their players to be media savvy. Even A-Rod.

    Mar 23, 2011, 1:00 PM EST

    Jeter media

    I’ve recently gone on about how teams are taking greater control of the media message by doing their own reporting via their websites and affiliated networks and by becoming increasingly restrictive with outside media. Well, there’s another part of this too: intensive training of players and team personnel in the ways of media relations. Today…

  16. Rangers decide to keep Alexi Ogando in the bullpen

    Mar 23, 2011, 12:47 PM EST

    alexi-ogando-rangers

    No decision has been made yet regarding Neftali Feliz‘s role, but the Rangers announced today that Alexi Ogando will remain a reliever after trying out for a rotation spot alongside Feliz this spring. Feliz was a full-time starter for most of his minor-league career, whereas Ogando has started a grand total of three games as…

  17. HBT Extra: Previewing the AL West

    Mar 23, 2011, 12:30 PM EST

    Tiffany and I break down the AL West. And at the end Tiffany makes a prediction that is going to make me some money come October.

  18. Next stop, stardom: 2011 breakout picks – Carlos Santana

    Mar 23, 2011, 11:50 AM EST

    Carlos Santana

    Carlos Santana was in the middle of one of the best rookie seasons ever by a catcher when a gruesome home-plate collision on August 2 left him with a season-ending knee injury, but he’s healthy now and ready to make Dodgers fans miserable remembering the mid-2008 trade that sent Santana to Cleveland for Casey Blake.…

  19. Forbes’ annual franchise valuations are out

    Mar 23, 2011, 11:33 AM EST

    Hal Steinbrenner

    Sticking with Forbes, we link for your pleasure its annual list of baseball franchise valuations.  You’ll be shocked to learn that the continued uncertainty at backup catcher and fifth starter has not negatively impacted the value of the New York Yankees. They’re still number one. When you combine the team’s revenues with it’s interest in…

  20. Brewers send former top prospect Mat Gamel back to Triple-A

    Mar 23, 2011, 11:18 AM EST

    mat gamel brewers

    For the second straight spring injuries have ruined Mat Gamel’s chances of making the Brewers. Last year it was a torn shoulder muscle that kept him off the Opening Day roster and led to Gamel spending most of the season at Triple-A and this year an oblique strain did him in. Milwaukee has optioned Gamel…

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