Posted on: March 8, 2012 11:04 am
 

David Robertson injures foot in fall

By Matt Snyder

We can add another name to the long list of major-leaguers with a dubious injury. It wasn't exactly carrying deer meat (ahem, Clint Barmes) or a sneeze (c'mon down, Sammy Sosa!), but All-Star Yankees setup man David Robertson has a sprained right foot, courtesy of a fall while the right-hander was moving boxes in his spring training home.

Worse yet, in the embarrassment department, Robertson wasn't even carrying a heavy load.

''They were empty boxes. They weren't even heavy boxes,'' Yankees manager Joe Girardi said (Associated Press). ''I told him to kick them down the stairs the next time.''

Initial X-rays were negative and he's been taken in for an MRI.

'''I'm concerned,'' Girardi said (AP). ''It hurt him to walk, (and) you assume that he's going to be down a little bit of time even if everything comes back OK. Now that doesn't mean he wouldn't have time to get ready for the season. But you've got to start over a little bit.''

Girardi also noted that Robertson could still be ready to make the opening day roster if he's sidelined less than two weeks from this point. The Yankees do have insurance in the eighth inning, should Robertson be sidelined, as Rafael Soriano can slide right in as the setup man. Still, losing Robertson for any amount of time.

Robertson, 26, was easily one of the most dominant relief pitchers in all of baseball last season. He made his first All-Star Game, putting together a 1.08 ERA, 1.13 WHIP and 100 strikeouts in 66 2/3 innings.

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Posted on: March 8, 2012 10:23 am
 

Giants respond to A's press release



By Matt Snyder


The quasi-public fight between the A's and Giants has been advanced, this time from the Giants. Wednesday, we passed along a press release from the A's, where they seemed to be pleading for a shot in San Jose without outwardly saying as much.

The Giants have issued a statement in response, and they didn't pull any punches (especially when seeming to mock that the A's were bought for "just" $172 million). Here is the statement in full:
“The Commissioner has asked us to refrain from discussing the territorial rights issue publicly. Out of respect for his request, we will limit our response to setting the record straight on the history of territorial rights.

The Giants territorial rights were not granted “subject to” moving to Santa Clara County. Indeed, the A’s fail to mention that MLB’s 1990 territorial rights designation has been explicitly re-affirmed by Major League Baseball on four separate occasions. Most significantly in 1994, Major League Baseball conducted a comprehensive review and re-definition of each club’s territories. These designations explicitly provide that the Giants territory include Santa Clara, San Francisco, San Mateo, Monterey, Santa Cruz and Marin Counties and the A’s territory included Alameda and Contra Costa Counties.

The MLB owners unanimously approved those designated territories and memorialized them in the MLB Constitution. Since then, the MLB Constitution has been re-affirmed by the MLB owners – including by the A’s – on three different occasions (2000, 2005 and 2008), long after the Giants won approval to build AT&T Park. Mr. Wolff and Mr. Fisher agreed to these territorial designations and were fully aware of our territorial rights when they purchased the A’s for just $172 million in 2005.

The population of Santa Clara County alone represents 43% of our territory. Upon purchasing the team 20 years ago, our plan to revive the franchise relied heavily on targeting and solidifying our fan base in the largest and fastest growing county within our territory. Based on these Constitutionally-recognized territorial rights, the Giants invested hundreds of millions of dollars to save and stabilize the team for the Bay Area, built AT&T Park privately and has operated the franchise so that it can compete at the highest levels.”
This isn't going away any time soon. The A's need their stadium situation resolved and seem to desperately want San Jose. But the Giants hold territorial rights and aren't relenting. MLB has reportedly sided with the Giants thus far, but also seems to want to keep things under wraps. So the dance will continue.

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Posted on: March 8, 2012 10:03 am
Edited on: March 8, 2012 10:16 am
 

Twins give Glen Perkins 3-year, $10.3m extension



By Matt Snyder


The Minnesota Twins have signed relief pitcher Glen Perkins to a three-year, $10.3 million contract extension, the club has announced. Perkins was already under contract for $1.55 million this season and wasn't eligible for free agency until after the 2013 season. Still, this contract now eats up his first two years of free agency and also includes an option for the 2016 season.

Perkins, 29, had a 2.48 ERA and 1.23 WHIP with 65 strikeouts in 61 2/3 innings last season. It was his first full season in the bullpen, as he was a starter through 2009 and only appeared in 13 games in 2010.

“We are very pleased to reach this agreement with Glen”, said Twins general manager Terry Ryan. “He has been a reliable reliever for us and has helped stabilize the back end of our bullpen in the set-up role. When we were looking for someone to step up last year, it was Glen who seized the opportunity and pitched the way we knew he could, after selecting him out of the University of Minnesota.”

MLB Spring Projected Lineups

At this point, Perkins is part of the bridge to closer Matt Capps. In fact, Perkins is the top left-handed option in the bullpen and likely the primary setup man. It doesn't take much of a stretch to see him landing in the closer role, either, as Capps struggled in the role last season. And it's worth noting that Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com reported via Twitter that Perkins' new contract does include incentives for games finished.

As Ryan mentioned, Perkins is a Minnesota product, having gone to the University of Minnesota. Before that, he attended Stillwater High School in Minnesota as well.

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Posted on: March 8, 2012 8:28 am
Edited on: March 8, 2012 12:47 pm
 

Report: Canseco out for banned substance

By Matt Snyder

Major-league headache Jose Canseco is back in the news. This time, the 47-year-old former slugger is trying to make a comeback in the Mexican League and has reportedly been busted for a banned substance. So he's out of the league now. Yes, I'm shocked, too.

ESPN Deportes reported late Wednesday night that Canseco admitted to Mexican League president Plinio Escalante about using a banned substance that was testosterone. The Mexican League is a Triple-A affiliation to Major League Baseball, but none of the teams are connected to actual MLB clubs.

Of course, Canseco took to the Twitterverse to plead his innocence -- or, really, it was more his "non-guilt."

"How can I test positive when I never took any test don't believe everything the media tells you.the truth always comes out I am not using any illegal substance," he said.

Of course, the ESPN report noted that Canseco refused a drug test, so it didn't claim he tested positive. It just said he admitted it to the president of the league. As far as I know, the president of the league isn't in the media. But that didn't mean the world's least accountable person was done.

Here are some more tweets. I'll spare the "SIC" in the quotes, just know that these are exactly as good ol' Jose typed them into Twitter:

"Don't be so quick to judge till you here the truth that's a sure sign of ignorance hatred and jealousy."

"The truth will always be in the center of controversy"

"I don't get it the more I tell the truth the more I am hated wow we are headed for self destruction"

Then Jose got into his defense. Which seems to be that five years ago some Doctors decided he needed to be on testosterone. More awesome tweets (please note the sarcasm):

"Doctors have been monitoring me ever since to make sure my levels are normal.that's why I don't use any illegal substances its prescribed"

"All I am on is prescription medication for low testosterone .legal and very important to my health"

And then the inevitable conspiracy theory:

"Someone big wants me out of Mexico .question is who and y"

Yes, Jose, someone "big" let you into the Mexican League because it's so vastly popular worldwide and then decided to get you to admit that you're using testosterone to the league president (and if said president didn't want him in the league, why did he allow him in to begin with?).

I couldn't care less for Canseco's "defense." Playing baseball isn't a right. It's a privilege -- one he's taken for granted his entire life. Hey, at least this news provided a break in his Twitter feed from begging Billy Beane for a job or telling his girlfriend Leila how much he loves her. So there's that.

Addendum: I've noticed some people in the comments saying Jose's story makes sense -- that he has to take testosterone. That may well be, but under the rules of MLB and its affiliates, you can't take testosterone and play. Period. So he's basically admitting he did violate the rules in his "defense."

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Category: MLB
Posted on: March 7, 2012 11:43 pm
Edited on: March 8, 2012 4:30 am
 

Injury roundup: Wright, Posey, Trout and more

By Dayn Perry

David WrightInjury news and notes from Wednesday's camps ... 

  • Pirates second baseman Neil Walker missed Wednesday's contest with back tightness. As a precautionary measure, he's likely to sit out the next two to three games. [CBS Pittsburgh]

  • While Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts is able to take part in some low-level baseball activities, he still has no idea when he'll return to game action or even face live pitching after suffering multiple concussions.

    "It's still a progression," he said. "We have steps that we're taking, and it's a pretty systematic approach so I don't just go do everything I want every day. My doctor lays out a plan every day, and we kind of go by that. I'm definitely better than I was four months ago, so that's good. It's never as fast as you want, but we're getting there." [Baltimore Sun

  • Boston lefty Andrew Miller, who's in the mix for a spot in the rotation, won't be traveling with the team on Thursday because of slight stiffness in his throwing elbow. [WEEI]

PROJECTED LINEUPS AND ROTATIONS


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Posted on: March 7, 2012 9:56 pm
Edited on: March 7, 2012 10:01 pm
 

Phil Hughes's Fastball Impresses

By Dayn Perry

Phil HughesPhil Hughes, Yankee rotation hopeful, showed improved velocity in his spring debut on Wednesday, reports Marc Carig of the Newark-Star Ledger. Insofar as the Yankees' interests are concerned, that's of course a good thing. 

Last season, Hughes suffered diminished velocity early on and shortly thereafter spent almost three months on the DL with shoulder inflammation. He showed more oomph on the fastball after his return from injury, and said oomph was still with him on Wednesday in his first Grapefruit League appearance. 

Needless to say, Hughes will need to maintain that low- to mid-90s fastball as the season wears on and avoid the shoulder problems that hindered him in 2011. While the Yankees have done much to improve the rotation this offseason -- e.g., trading for Michael Pineda, signing Hiroki Kuroda and making A.J. Burnett go away -- a healthy and vintage Hughes may be necessary if they're going to win baseball's toughest division. 

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Posted on: March 7, 2012 8:07 pm
Edited on: March 7, 2012 8:10 pm
 

John Lannan on the block?

By Dayn Perry

John LannanNationals lefty John Lannan could be traded by Opening Day, reports MLB.com's Bill Ladson. Ladson's source believes that the Nats will seek a package of prospects in return. 

Washington certainly has the rotation depth to make such a move. Barring injury or trade, they'll likely break camp with six starting pitchers on the active roster: Lannan, Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, Edwin Jackson, Jordan Zimmermann, and Chien-Ming Wang

As for Lannan's allure on the market (besides the general interest that surrounds any starting pitcher up for trade), the Nats will no doubt find suitors. Lannan will be arbitration-eligible for the third time after the upcoming season and is slated for free agency following the 2013 campaign. 

In 2011, Lannan posted a 3.70 ERA in 184.2 innings. However, Lannan's peripherals (i.e., things like strikeouts, walks, and home run rates) suggest he was a bit lucky last season. Most of the projection systems tab him for a 2012 ERA that ranges from slightly better than league average to slightly worse than league average. Still, a guy who can give you average-ish innings from the back end has value. Since the Nats will be dealing from a position of strength, trading Lannan makes sense. 

On the other hand, almost no team uses just five starters for an entire season, and given Strasburg's probable innings limit and Wang's injury history (and the Nats' legitimate designs on contention), depth might be more necessity than luxury for D.C.

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Posted on: March 7, 2012 6:34 pm
Edited on: March 7, 2012 6:41 pm
 

The Darvish has landed

Yu Darvish

By Dayn Perry

Rangers right-hander Yu Darvish, whose first named will be punned a million humorless times in the coming years, made his U.S. major-league debut on Wednesday. In two scoreless frames, Darvish whiffed three Padres and surrendered two hits, including a one-out double to Orlando Hudson

On the day, Darvish logged 36 pitches -- 26 for strikes -- and mixed in five different offerings, thus flashing the deep repertoire that made him so coveted this offseason. Varied location, horizontal and vertical movement -- it was all there. And this velocity graph from Brooks Baseball shows that Darvish is familiar with the old pitching chestnut about "changing speeds":

Darvish Velocity Chart

In Japan, Darvish crafted a career ERA of 1.99, and, counting the posting fee, the Rangers have invested more than $110 million in the 25-year-old. Considering the free-agent loss of outgoing ace C.J. Wilson (to the division-rival Angels), Darvish will have little time for an adjustment curve if Texas is to win the pennant a third-straight season.

While it's foolish to draw any lasting conclusions from two Cactus League innings, Darvish did nothing to disappoint on Wednesday. ​

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Category: MLB
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com