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  1. Cardinals closer Ryan Franklin wants us to forget about his '09 collapse

    Mar 7, 2010, 10:40 AM EST

    Ryan Franklin had a pretty exceptional 2009 season, all things considered.  He finished with a 1.92 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and 38 saves in 43 chances, filling a role for the Cardinals that looked to be a major question mark this time last year.  But reporters this spring have decided to focus instead on the four…

  2. Chipper out a few games with jammed thumb

    Mar 7, 2010, 10:08 AM EST

    Dave O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that veteran third baseman Chipper Jones has a jammed right thumb and will sit out the next few spring games.  For now, it doesn’t sound like anything to worry about.  Jones, who turns 38 in April, posted a relatively disappointing .264/.388/.430 batting line and 18 homers in…

  3. UPDATE: Nathan headed for MRI on elbow

    Mar 7, 2010, 9:52 AM EST

    UPDATE: Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports that Nathan is headed back to the Twin Cities to have an MRI on the elbow. SATURDAY, 3:12pm: Luckily the Twins are saying it was only for “precautionary reasons,” but closer Joe Nathan was removed from Saturday’s game against the Red Sox due to some elbow tightness.…

  4. Duchscherer hopes to be ready by Opening Day

    Mar 7, 2010, 9:38 AM EST

    Justin Duchscherer didn’t throw a pitch last season and is making his way back from a complex procedure that burned the nerve endings around his sacroiliac joint.  And yet, according to the San Francisco Chronicle’s John Shea, the right-hander is still optimistic about being fully healthy for baseball’s opening week. “The Duke of Hurl” will…

  5. Mets passed on Jason Marquis pretty early

    Mar 7, 2010, 8:54 AM EST

    Jason Marquis, 31, turned in an impressive 15-13 record, 4.04 ERA and 1.38 WHIP last season in 33 starts for the Rockies and set out in search of a lucrative free agent contract this winter.  He made it known early on — in mid-November, in fact — that he wanted to play for the Mets,…

  6. John Lackey makes Red Sox spring debut

    Mar 7, 2010, 8:18 AM EST

    John Lackey, signed to a five-year, $82.5 million contract in December, made his debut in a Red Sox uniform on Saturday. He did quite well, needing just 19 pitches (11 strikes) to cruise through two innings of work against the Twins.  The right-hander collected one strikeout, two flyouts, and forced three groundouts. “I felt like…

  7. McCourt: Divorce not affecting club's finances

    Mar 6, 2010, 9:19 PM EST

    Dodgers owner Frank McCourt told the Associated Press Saturday afternoon that his divorce from wife Jamie is not affecting the club’s day-to-day operations or finances.  “The vast majority of it has nothing to do with baseball,” McCourt said Saturday in a visit with reporters.  “The fans know, I believe, where I stand in terms of…

  8. Emmanuel Burris out again with fractured foot

    Mar 6, 2010, 8:08 PM EST

    Emmanuel Burris was given a bit of bad news Saturday evening.  According to Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle, the Giants utilityman was diagnosed with a re-fracture of a bone in his left foot and will be in a walking boot for the next four weeks. It’s safe to say that Burris won’t be…

  9. Posey seeing time at first base this spring

    Mar 6, 2010, 7:34 PM EST

    Giants catching prospect Buster Posey saw time at first base Saturday in the club’s spring game against the Royals, but the San Jose Mercury News’ Andrew Baggarly says it doesn’t mean much.  Baggarly’s points: -The Giants are way short on bodies in the infield because of injuries. And they had to fill out split squads…

  10. Valentine never offered Marlins' manager gig

    Mar 6, 2010, 6:11 PM EST

    Bobby Valentine told the Associated Press Saturday that he was never offered the Marlins’ manager job last offseason, despite reports to the contrary.  Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria was disappointed that the Fish failed to make the playoffs last season and mid-October reports out of south Florida claimed that he was considering replacing manager Fredi Gonzalez. …

  11. Some umpiring changes in store for 2010

    Mar 6, 2010, 5:31 PM EST

    The umpires took a well-deserved public flogging during the postseason, so much so that rotations were switched up during the World Series. Some called it mere window-dressing at the time, but some significant institutional changes are already underway for the 2010 season. Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com reports that Randy Marsh and Charlie Reliford have retired…

  12. Quote of the day: Charlie Manuel

    Mar 6, 2010, 3:47 PM EST

    Here’s Phillies manager Charlie Manuel (yes, that slim fella on the right) on the status of Shane Victorino, who has been sidelined in the early part of the Grapefruit League schedule due to some shoulder tightness: “He’s all right,” Manuel said this morning. “I didn’t even ask him today. He’s going to be well when we…

  13. Derek Lowe unveils new delivery

    Mar 6, 2010, 1:04 PM EST

    Steve Henson of Yahoo! Sports has the details on Derek Lowe’s new delivery: Lowe used to hunch over and keep his hands near his chest as he turned into the balance position before striding toward the plate. Now he brings his hands above his head and stays as tall as possible over the rubber, increasing…

  14. Mets (thankfully) weren't serious about Jason Marquis, either

    Mar 6, 2010, 11:56 AM EST

    A day after Bengie Molina said he felt the Mets weren’t actually interested in him comes this from Adam Rubin of the New York Daily News: “Jason Marquis says he doesn’t know what Mets offered him, because he told agent to share only “serious” offers. … Marquis faces Mets Sun.“ Gotta find storylines somewhere, I…

  15. Nats thinking about naming Ryan Zimmerman captain

    Mar 6, 2010, 11:30 AM EST

    It’s ridiculous. It’s absurd. But the Nationals are considering it. Here’s general manager Mike Rizzo: “I think already he’s a leader of the club and kind of a pseudo-captain already,” Rizzo said. “We’ve kicked around the premise of making somebody the captain of the team, with a ‘C’ on their jersey. I haven’t come to…

  16. "No chance" Flores plays before end of spring

    Mar 6, 2010, 10:25 AM EST

    That’s what Jesus Flores told Mark Zuckerman of Nats Insider when asked if he’d be ready to appear in a game before the end of the spring. Flores is currently rehabbing from offseason shoulder surgery and has only progressed to playing catch from 120 feet. As the Grapefruit League schedule begins, he’s understandably deflated: “It’s…

  17. Lance Berkman debuts as designated hitter

    Mar 6, 2010, 9:50 AM EST

    Lance Berkman, who missed the Thursday’s Grapefruit League opener due to a bruised left knee, made his exhibition debut against the Tigers on Friday night. Functioning as the club’s designated hitter, Berkman was 1-for-2 with a double and a strikeout: “You can only do so much in the cage,” Berkman said. “You need to go…

  18. Are the Yankees upset with A-Rod?

    Mar 6, 2010, 9:30 AM EST

    Yes, this story is a day old, but I couldn’t resist the temptation to point out a piece that will get everyone worked up over nothing. Bob Raissman of the New York Daily News writes that the Yankees are furious that Alex Rodriguez did not immediately inform them that he had been contacted by the…

  19. Cuban shortstop free to sign with any team

    Mar 6, 2010, 8:45 AM EST

    According to his agent Bart Hernandez, Cuban shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria is now able to sign with any team. Jorge Arangure of ESPN.com tweeted the news last night. Hechavarria was temporarily blocked as the Office of Foreign Assets Committee verified his age, identity and residency. Many scouts like the 21-year-old Hechavarria better than Jose Iglesias, who…

  20. Jimenez makes spring debut after traffic jam

    Mar 5, 2010, 9:59 PM EST

    Ubaldo Jimenez was scheduled to make his Cactus League debut during Friday’s split-squad game against the Angels, but was delayed nearly two hours because of a traffic jam following a fatal bus crash that killed more than six people and left more than 15 people injured in an area just south of Tempe. Jimenez elected…

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