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  1. Springtime Storylines: Will the Texas Rangers' rotation hold up?

    Mar 29, 2010, 9:00 AM EDT

    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 2010 season.  Next up: The Texas Rangers The big question: Will the rotation hold up? When Nolan Ryan rode into town in 2008 and…

  2. Desmond earns Nationals' starting shortstop gig

    Mar 29, 2010, 8:28 AM EDT

    UPDATE: Guzman took the decision in stride and told Ladson that he is “willing to do anything the Nats ask of him.”  He will not demand a trade. SATURDAY, 10:41pm: MLB.com’s Bill Ladson passes along some refreshing news out of Nationals camp.  According to team sources, 24-year-old prospect Ian Desmond has captured the club’s Opening…

  3. Is Kershaw ready to take the next step?

    Mar 29, 2010, 12:54 AM EDT

    Vicente Padilla has been named the Opening Day starter for the Los Angeles Dodgers, but I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that right-thinking baseball fans expect that it will be Clayton Kershaw who assumes the mantle of ace. The early evidence certainly is pointing in that direction. The 22-year-old left-hander dominated the Cincinnati…

  4. A's reach deal with recently dumped Gaudin

    Mar 28, 2010, 6:11 PM EDT

    Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the Athletics have reached agreement on a contract with free agent right-hander Chad Gaudin. The Yankees released Gaudin last week after he failed to win an uphill battle against Phil Gughes and Joba Chamberlain for the club’s final rotation spot.  The 26-year-old Gaudin went 6-10 with a 4.64 ERA,…

  5. Reyes making swift progress in Mets camp

    Mar 28, 2010, 5:38 PM EDT

    Mets shortstop Jose Reyes has now participated in four baseball-related workouts since having his overactive thyroid cleared by team doctors.  According to Mike Puma of the New York Post, he is now ready to step it up a notch. Reyes, 26, is expected to begin playing in minor league simulated games soon and the Mets…

  6. UPDATE: Giants hand Cain three-year extension

    Mar 28, 2010, 4:15 PM EDT

    UPDATE:  Baggarly hears that Cain’s salary will remain at $4.5 million this season, but jumps to around $8 million in 2011 and north of $15 million for 2012.  All things considered, it’s a great deal for the Giants. 3:38pm:  The San Francisco Chronicle’s Henry Schulman reports that it’s a three-year deal. Cain is getting a…

  7. Belisario reports to spring training a tad late

    Mar 28, 2010, 3:01 PM EDT

    UPDATE:  Belisario spoke with ESPN Los Angeles on Sunday and explained his absence from camp: “I never missed an appointment,” he said. “They gave me appointments to go to after they said they were denying my visa. They told me to take exams and things, and I kept going twice a week. They just said…

  8. Quote of the Day: Milton Bradley

    Mar 28, 2010, 2:10 PM EDT

    Milton Bradley, awarded with the Mariners’ cleanup job this weekend according to the Associated Press, had this to say to the Chicago media before Sunday’s Cactus League game against the Cubs when asked for a short chat: “No chance. Beat it,” Bradley told the Chicago Tribune. “You guys ran me out of town. Never again.…

  9. Braves' Heyward scratched due to shin splints

    Mar 28, 2010, 12:51 PM EDT

    Braves phenom Jason Heyward was scratched from Sunday’s exhibition game against the Nationals due to shin splints in his left leg, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Dave O’Brien (via Twitter). Shin splints aren’t serious and won’t hold him out of regular season action, but anyone who’s dealt with the ailment knows how annoying it…

  10. Hanley awarded diamond-studded ".342" bling

    Mar 28, 2010, 9:37 AM EDT

    Hanley Ramirez won his first National League batting titled in 2009, compiling a career-high .342 batting average over 652 plate appearances.  He finished second in NL MVP voting behind Albert Pujols and just ahead of Phillies slugger Ryan Howard, but on Saturday got his own little piece of hardware. According to Joe Capozzi of the…

  11. Red Sox won't give Beckett more than four years

    Mar 27, 2010, 9:42 PM EDT

    Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston heard from an insider source Saturday that the Red Sox will not give more than a four-year deal to right-handed starter Josh Beckett. It’s not shocking news.  The Red Sox dolled out a five-year, $82.5 million contract to John Lackey this offseason and a six-year, $52 million deal to Daisuke…

  12. Twins open Target Field with college game

    Mar 27, 2010, 9:04 PM EDT

    The Twins opened brand new Target Field Saturday with a college game between the University of Minnesota and Louisiana Tech. More than 37,757 showed up to take in the new ballpark, which features a massive fire pit in left field and several in-stadium bars and restaurants.  Stuart Groskreutz wrote a review of the place for…

  13. Joba throws scoreless ninth in spring game

    Mar 27, 2010, 7:51 PM EDT

    Joba Chamberlain made his first relief appearance since being named a member of the Yankees’ bullpen — and not their starting rotation — during Saturday’s spring game against the Tigers.  He threw a scoreless inning, allowing two hits but also racking up a strikeout.  The 24-year-old had a 14.09 ERA and a 2.48 WHIP over…

  14. Lee undergoes platelet-rich plasma injection

    Mar 27, 2010, 6:33 PM EDT

    According to Gregg Bell of the Associated Press, Mariners left-hander Cliff Lee underwent platelet-rich plasma injection therapy on his injured abdomen in Seattle this weekend. The procedure has been successful in helping athletes recover from ailments like tennis elbow and hamstring strains, but using it to help heal abdominal strains is mostly unheard of.  Lee…

  15. Could Chris Tillman be headed for the minors?

    Mar 27, 2010, 5:40 PM EDT

    It could happen, at least according to what Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com has heard: According to some Orioles sources, Tillman is not the front runner for the teams 5th job. Hernandez and Berken would come first right now. Tillman, who turns 22 in April, was 2-5 with a 5.40 ERA in 12 starts last season.…

  16. Rangers acquire Andres Blanco from Cubs

    Mar 27, 2010, 4:10 PM EDT

    Here’s a minor transaction, as the Rangers have acquired infielder Andres Blanco from the Cubs for a player to be named later or cash considerations. Blanco, who turns 26 in April, batted .252/.303/.341 with one home run and 12 RBI in 123 at-bats for the Cubs last season. He was out of options and from…

  17. Royals unsure when Callaspo will return to lineup

    Mar 27, 2010, 3:55 PM EDT

    Alberto Callaspo was scratched from Friday’s lineup against the Dodgers after he tweaked his right side on a swing during batting practice. He was out of the lineup again on Saturday and manager Trey Hillman told Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star that he isn’t sure when Callaspo will be able to return to…

  18. Branyan hopes to play in Cactus games next week

    Mar 27, 2010, 2:20 PM EDT

    Russell Branyan, who has been sidelined for the entire exhibition schedule because of a herniated disk in his back, hopes to play in a minor league game as soon as Monday. “If you look at Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday, that’s only three days, but, in the scheme of things, that’s a lot of time,” Branyan…

  19. Jason Frasor wins closer gig in Toronto

    Mar 27, 2010, 12:41 PM EDT

    One of the spring’s great dramas has finally reached its resolution, reports Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun. Drumroll, everyone: “Jason Frasor was my closer last year and he hasn’t done anything to lose the job,” manager Cito Gaston said Friday afternoon. So, that’s that. Frasor was duking it out with Scott Downs and Kevin…

  20. Jamie Moyer looks like the No. 5 starter in Philly

    Mar 27, 2010, 12:10 PM EDT

    Another fifth-starter battle was all but settled on Friday night, as Jamie Moyer tossed 6 2/3 scoreless innings against a Yankees lineup that included all regulars with the exception of Nick Johnson and Jorge Posada. Moyer struck out six and retired the final 15 batters he faced. Quite a statement. Just one week ago, it…

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