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  1. Hoping to avoid surgery, Nathan will 'test' injured elbow Saturday

    Mar 15, 2010, 1:42 PM EDT

    Joe Nathan is still likely headed for season-ending Tommy John surgery, but Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that the Twins’ closer will give his injured elbow “a vigorous test” by playing catch Saturday. Complicating matters is that Nathan was “bedridden Saturday and Sunday with a virus and still had a sore throat…

  2. Spring Training trip wrap-up

    Mar 15, 2010, 1:16 PM EDT

    My spring training trip ended with a flight back home yesterday afternoon.  The tale of the tape: Five games, one rainout; One meal with my mother-in-law; One meal with, and four pieces of new media from, Old Gator; A couple dozen awkward conversations with ballplayers who didn’t know me from Adam; A dozen or so…

  3. So far, so good for Dustin McGowan's comeback

    Mar 15, 2010, 12:44 PM EDT

    Dustin McGowan missed all of last season following shoulder surgery, but manager Cito Gaston reports that he “looked good” during a two-inning simulated game yesterday. McGowan tossed 44 pitches, after which Gaston noted that “he threw well, free and easy.” He’s now scheduled to appear in a minor-league game Friday and if that goes well…

  4. The Red Sox steal a member of the Yankee Universe

    Mar 15, 2010, 12:17 PM EDT

    Thinking of the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry as the Cold War, this little episode doesn’t exactly rank up there with the formation of the Warsaw Pact or the Cuban Missile Crisis. As far as provocations go it’s somewhere between Lyndon Johnson sending the Marines to the Dominican Republic to fight communists in 1965 and the North…

  5. Blue Jays sign 19-year-old Cuban shortstop for $10 million

    Mar 15, 2010, 11:45 AM EDT

    No official announcement has been made, but various sources report that the Blue Jays have signed 19-year-old Cuban shortstop Adeiny Hechevarria for $10 million. Hechevarria headed to the Dominican Republic after defecting from Cuba and held workouts for at least a half-dozen teams last month. He must have impressed, because he ended up with nearly…

  6. Lowell gets some work in at first

    Mar 15, 2010, 11:18 AM EDT

    Down in Fort Meyers, Mike Lowell will be getting a start against the Orioles this afternoon.  As will Adrian Beltre. How? Mike Lowell is starting at first base. It’s his first action at first since he played in the minors in 1998. Who knows how he feels about it, but whether this is to hone…

  7. Scenes from Spring Training: Phun with the Phillie Phanatics Part 4

    Mar 15, 2010, 10:50 AM EDT

    Remember that thing Tom Verducci wrote back in December about how the Phillies are turning into the Yankees?  I thought that probably overstated things, but there is at least one thing they have in common: Obstructed press box views in their spring training ballparks: I was able to position myself to where I could see…

  8. Mauer talks are still progressing

    Mar 15, 2010, 10:30 AM EDT

    Ken Rosenthal writes that, despite the fact that things have been quiet on the Joe Mauer front, negotiations are still progressing and that the lack of any public talk about it doesn’t mean that there’s an impasse or anything close to it, as some have suggested. There was some chatter in the press box at…

  9. Scenes from Spring Training: Phun with the Phillie Phanatics Part 3

    Mar 15, 2010, 10:00 AM EDT

    After the clubhouse I made it out to the field and scoped the scene: The Phillies take a much more casual approach to stretching than the circle-em-up Pirates do. At the risk of best-shape-of-his-life cliches, I really can’t impress upon you just how good Ryan Howard looks. He has absolutely transformed himself over the past couple…

  10. GM demographics aren't changing all that much

    Mar 15, 2010, 9:30 AM EDT

    Alex Speier of WEEI debunks the notion that GMs are younger and better-educated today than they used to be: . . .there is a belief that GMs are younger than ever before, drawn from a pool of graduates of elite, liberal arts colleges and universities where they learned to value the sort of interdisciplinary analysis…

  11. Scenes from Spring Training: Phun with the Phillie Phanatics Part 2

    Mar 15, 2010, 9:00 AM EDT

    I went into the Phillies clubhouse. Charlie Manuel was there. As was Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Jayson Werth and all the other guys which make the Phillies perhaps the most recognizable team in baseball. Yes, even more so than the Yankees. Quick: describe Brett Gardner’s facial features. Now tell me if there’s any…

  12. News flash: Mike Lupica takes cheapshots at A-Rod

    Mar 15, 2010, 8:30 AM EDT

    Mike Lupica’s latest column about A-Rod and the Dr. Galea investigation stands as proof that he’s never been involved in a federal investigation: Come on, there are more things fishy about all this than the old Fulton Fish Market. If the whole thing is so easily explained, if Rodriguez is “at ease” with the whole…

  13. Scenes from Spring Training: Phun with the Phillie Phanatics Part 1

    Mar 15, 2010, 8:00 AM EDT

    After  a stormy Thursday night and Friday, I woke up to a bright, clear and crisp Saturday morning. It would be my last day of baseball on this trip, and the fates smiled upon me, not only with the weather, but with a good game at a great spring training park. Phillies vs. Twins at…

  14. UPDATE: Wood scratched from scheduled outing

    Mar 14, 2010, 5:30 PM EDT

    UPDATE: Wood told MLB.com’s Anthony Castrovince on Sunday afternoon that he is already back on his normal spring schedule and will throw a bullpen session Monday followed by an appearance in Wednesday’s spring game.  Sounds promising. SATURDAY, 6:31pm: Enjoy spring training traditions?  Here’s one for you: According to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer,…

  15. Olney: Phillies discussed Howard-Pujols swap

    Mar 14, 2010, 4:04 PM EDT

    Here’s the craziest thing you’ll read all week (and it’s only Sunday):  According to ESPN.com’s Buster Olney, the Phillies at one point kicked around the idea of offering Ryan Howard to the Cardinals for slugger Albert Pujols.  Inside Olney’s oddly-formed story we get a flat-out denial of any such talks from Philadelphia GM Ruben Amaro…

  16. Ankiel out another week with ankle soreness

    Mar 14, 2010, 3:59 PM EDT

    Royals manager Trey Hillman told the Kansas City Star’s Bob Dutton on Sunday that outfielder Rick Ankiel could require another week of recovery for his sore right ankle.  There’s no reason to panic just yet, but Ankiel needs all the work he can get.  The 30-year-old batted just .231 with a .285 on-base percentage last…

  17. Sunday injury rundown: Cabrera, Lee, Gonzalez

    Mar 14, 2010, 2:43 PM EDT

    A few Sunday afternoon minor injury updates from the sunny ball fields of Arizona and Florida… – Indians shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera has a strained left groin and is considered “day-to-day.”  He was unavailable Saturday and again on Sunday, but it doesn’t sound like an overly serious issue. – Cubs first baseman Derrek Lee has a…

  18. UPDATE: It's Strasburg Day… for a second time

    Mar 14, 2010, 2:14 PM EDT

    UPDATE: Strasburg allowed zero runs and only two hits Sunday over three innings of work against the Cards.  He also fanned two batters and tallied six groundouts. 12:23pm: It is Stephen Strasburg Day again in south Florida, as the young right-handed starter is scheduled to make his second appearance of the spring this afternoon against…

  19. Brian Roberts headed to Baltimore for tests

    Mar 14, 2010, 1:09 PM EDT

    Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts has been plagued by a back injury for the last few weeks and his lack of progress has been frustrating for all parties involved.  So the O’s made a move Sunday, sending the 32-year-old back to Baltimore for an epidural and further examination of his ailing back.  Roberts is likely…

  20. Beckett sick, won't start Sunday's spring game

    Mar 14, 2010, 11:51 AM EDT

    According to the Boston Herald, right-hander Josh Beckett was scratched from a scheduled start Sunday due to an undisclosed illness.  He was spotted in the clubhouse earlier this morning eating breakfast with teammates, but his name was switched with Ryne Miller on the Red Sox’s lineup card.  Beckett retired all nine batters he faced in…

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