Category:MLB
Posted on: March 4, 2012 5:17 pm
Edited on: March 4, 2012 8:15 pm
 

Bees delay Diamondbacks-Giants game

By C. Trent Rosecrans

I've heard of rain delays, but bee delays?

Sunday's Diamondbacks-Giants game was delayed by 41 minutes as a swarm of bees took over the field, starting in from right-center field into the infield and then into the Giants' dugout.

According to MLB.com, local fire officials and the grounds crew worked together to get rid of the bees. In the end, the grounds crew used a mixture of lemonade and cotton candy to disperse the bees.

Arizona's Ian Kennedy was pitching for the Diamondbacks with one out in the top of the second when the bees took over the field at Salt River Fields. Although Kennedy threw a couple of pitches during the delay, he didn't return afterward. Barry Enright pitched for the Diamondbacks when play continued.

Oddly enough, this isn't the first time a Diamondbacks spring training game has been delayed by bees. In 2005, a game between the Diamondbacks and Rockies was delayed by a bee attack. That game was at Tuscson Electric Park in Tucson, Ariz., and caused a 20-minute delay. There was also a bee delay at that same park in 2003. The Diamondbacks and Rockies moved from Tucson to Scottsdale, Ariz., last season.

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Posted on: March 4, 2012 4:58 pm
 

Brewers' Corey Hart may miss opening day

Corey Hart

By C. Trent Rosecrans


Brewers right fielder Corey Hart could miss opening day for the second consecutive season.

Hart will have surgery on his right knee to repair a meniscus tear and will be out three-to-four weeks, Milwaukee assistant GM Gord Ash told reporters (via the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel).

"The tough part is that he will miss the at-bats here," Ash said. "But it could have been worse."

Hart had an MRI on Sunday and Ash said Hart would have the surgery sometime this week.

Last season Hart started the season on the disabled list with a strained oblique. Hart, who will turn 30 later this month, didn't play his first game last season until April 26. He did play 130 games, hitting .285/.356/.510 with 26 home runs.

Hart was a late scratch for Sunday's exhibtion game with swelling on his knee. Second baseman Rickie Weeks was also held out with right-shoulder tightness, but his injury wasn't seen as serious.

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Posted on: March 4, 2012 2:49 pm
Edited on: March 4, 2012 3:00 pm
 

Joel Zumaya to have Tommy John surgery

Joel ZumayaBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Joel Zumaya will attempt to return to baseball following his latest injury.

Zumaya will undergo Tommy John surgery on his right elbow later this month. Dr. James Andrews will perform the surgery.

He signed a one-year deal with the Twins, but hasn't decided whether to rehab with the Twins or on his own.

"We haven't figured all that out yet," Twins assistant GM Rob Antony told MLB.com. "We just talked to his agent last night. He just called me and said that after thinking about it that he'd like to see Dr. Andrews and he'd like to have the surgery at the end of March. I spoke with [head trainer] Rick McWane this morning, and he's going to set it up with Dr. Andrews tomorrow."

The Twins right-hander tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow while throwing batting practice on Feb. 25. He hasn't pitched since June of 2010 when he was with the Tigers. The surgery will be the sixth of his career.

Zumaya had said he wasn't sure he'd go through with another surgery.

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Posted on: March 4, 2012 2:17 pm
Edited on: March 4, 2012 5:51 pm
 

Union knows who leaked news of Ryan Braun test

Michael WeinerBy C. Trent Rosecrans

The Major League Baseball Players Association knows who leaked Ryan Braun's positive drug test to ESPN, but is not considering a lawsuit, executive director Michael Weiner told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

"The union is not," Weiner said when asked if they were considering legal action. "I guess I can't speak for Ryan on that point. That will be their decision. My sense is that what's done is done. I think that's also the best thing for everybody."

The leak came from someone whom the Braun defense team talked to in preparation for its case, the newspaper reported.

Weiner said the union does not believe there is an issue with confidentiality with MLB's drug program.

"Everyone associated with the case is extemely disappointed that it leaked out," Weiner told the newspaper. "I'm certain the leak was specific to this case. It does not threaten the confidentiality of the program and as I've said to players who have asked about that, confidentiality is as important as any aspect of this program.

"The program has a bunch of different goals but confidentiality is critical. If we felt there was any system-wide problem with respect to confidentiality, we really would have a problem. And that's not the case."

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Posted on: March 4, 2012 2:14 pm
Edited on: March 4, 2012 2:26 pm
 

Rockies' Alex White arrested for DUI

Alex WhiteBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Even as a reporter, when we covered spring training in Arizona, we were told not to drink and drive. Not that you should anywhere, but in the Phoenix area, they don't mess around.

Rockies pitcher Alex White learned the hard way. The 23-year-old right-hander was arrested Saturday night for driving under the influence of alcohol, the team announced on Sunday.

The Rockies released a statement on Sunday:
"We were extremely disappointed to learn that Alex White had been arrested last night. This type of behavior is taken very seriously by our organization, and through our discussions with him we know that he clearly understands the seriousness of his poor decisions, the harm that could have been inflicted on others and the embarrassment his mistake has caused himself, his family and the organization.

"Alex is taking full accountability for his actions with his teammates and manager.  The man we have grown to know is a dedicated teammate who has strong values that are grounded in his family and hard work. We believe he will learn from his unfortunate decision and clearly understands the severity of the situation."
White was acquired in the deal that sent Ubaldo Jimenez to Cleveland last year. The Rockies also acquired Drew Pomeranz, Joseph Gardner and Matt McBride in the Jimenez deal. Poemranz, who like White was a first-round pick by the Indians, was arrested last October in Oxford, Miss., for disturbing the peace. Those charges were dropped in January.

White made seven starts for the Rockies last season, going 2-4 with an 8.42 ERA, while going 1-0 with a 3.60 ERA in three starts for the Indians. Overall he was 3-4 with a 7.01 ERA. He went 2-1 with a 1.80 ERA in eight starts in the minor leagues, last season. He's in the mix this spring for a spot in the Rockies' rotation.

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Posted on: March 4, 2012 12:46 pm
Edited on: March 4, 2012 12:47 pm
 

Blue Jays' Litsch out after emergency surgery

Jesse LitschBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Blue Jays right-hander Jesse Litsch will miss the start of the season after undergoing an emergency shoulder surgery last week, manager John Ferrell told reporters on Sunday.

Litsch had been bothered by right shoulder inflammation and was given a platelet-rich plasma injection by Dr. James Andrews to help clear up the inflammation. Instead of clearing up the infection, Litsch got an infection and had to have arthroscopic surgery.

Farrell said Litsch will not throw for six weeks.

"There's a small risked when you receive an injection," Farrell said (National Post). "Unfortunately, in this case, he was hit with it."

Litsch, 26, missed a month last season with a shoulder injury. He was 6-3 with a 4.44 ERA in 28 games and eight starts, going 2-0 with a 4.08 ERA and a save as a reliever. He also had a much better strikeout rate as a reliever, recording 30 strikeouts in 28 2/3 innings as a reliever and 36 in 46 1/3 as a starter. He was expect to be used out of the bullpen this season.

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Posted on: March 3, 2012 8:43 pm
 

Spring primer: Toronto Blue Jays



By Matt Snyder

The 2011 Blue Jays were 81-81, despite blowing an AL-worst 25 saves. So the task heading into the offseason for general manager Alex Anthopolous was pretty clear: Improve the bullpen. And he did, in trading for Sergio Santos and signing Francisco Cordero, among other upgrades. If the Blue Jays can knock off 10-15 of those blown saves and basically play similarly in every other aspect, they'll have a great shot at one of the two wild card spots. And the good news for the Jays is that they appear a bit better in other aspects than last season, like getting a full season from Brett Lawrie, to name one example.

Major additions: RHP Sergio Santos, RHP Francisco Cordero, LHP Darren Oliver, RHP Jason Frasor, OF Ben Francisco, IF Omar Vizquel
Major departures: C Jose Molina, RHP Frank Francisco, RHP Jon Rauch

Probable lineup
1. Yunel Escobar, SS
2. Kelly Johnson, 2B
3. Jose Bautista, RF
4. Adam Lind, 1B
5. Edwin Encarnacion, DH
6. Brett Lawrie, 3B
7. Colby Rasmus, CF
8. Eric Thames, LF
9. J.P. Arencibia, C

Probable rotation
1. Ricky Romero
2. Brandon Morrow
3. Henderson Alvarez
4. Brett Cecil
5. Dustin McGowan

Kyle Drabek is also in the mix.

Back-end bullpen
Closer: Sergio Santos
Set-up: Francisco Cordero, Casey Janssen

Important bench players

OF Rajai Davis, OF Ben Francisco, OF Travis Snider, C Jeff Mathis, IF Omar Vizquel

Prospect to watch
Catcher Travis d'Arnaud, one of the players who came over in the Roy Halladay trade, just turned 23 years old and is considered a top 20 prospect in all of baseball. He hit .311/.371/.542 with 21 homers in 114 Double-A games last season. And while Arencibia hit 23 bombs last season, he also had a paltry .219 batting average and .282 on-base percentage. He struck out 133 times while only walking 36. So it's entirely possible he struggles mightily and is replaced by d'Arnaud at some point this season. Or maybe the Jays trade one of them? We'll see, but keep your eye on d'Arnaud's progress. Many believe he's special.

Fantasy sleeper: Henderson Alvarez
"Alvarez wasn't considered a high-profile prospect at this time last year, so understandably, his 10 starts during a late-season trial weren't enough to put him on most Fantasy owners' radars. But consider just how impressive those 10 starts were. Better yet, consider how impressive his final eight were. He pitched at least six innings in each, posting a 3.06 ERA and 1.06 WHIP. He also issued only six walks during that stretch. Six. In 53 innings. And this isn't some soft-tosser who took the league by surprise simply by throwing strikes, a la Zach Duke in 2005. Alvarez throws in the mid-90s. He has top-of-the-rotation stuff to go along with a good feel for the strike zone and has already tasted success in the heavy-hitting AL East." - Scott White [Full Blue Jays fantasy team preview]

Fantasy bust: J.P. Arencibia
"Arencibia was one of five catchers to hit 20-plus homers last year, and he did it as a rookie. But before visions of Mike Piazza start dancing in your heads, keep in mind he was especially old for a rookie, turning 25 before the start of the season. He's 26 now, which means he's already in the thick of his prime, which means what you see with him might be exactly what you get. And it's even worse than it looks. Arencibia hit only .219 in 2011, which is discouraging enough, but when you consider he got worse over the course of the season, hitting .199 over the final four months, you have to wonder if his excessive strikeout rate makes him a sitting duck against major-league pitching." - Scott White [Full Blue Jays fantasy team preview]

Optimistic outlook
Morrow has a huge breakout campaign, giving the Jays a potent 1-2 punch in the rotation. Alvarez blossoms into a good No. 3 while Drabek realizes his potential and has a huge second half. Lawrie enters stardom early and Rasmus reaches his potential, making the offense even more potent than before. Plus, the new back-end of the bullpen is dominant. That gets the Blue Jays into the 90s in victories and they win a wild card.

Pessimistic outlook
The Jays just didn't do enough to close the gap, as they still aren't good enough to finish ahead of any of the following, at the very least: Yankees, Rays, Red Sox, Rangers or Angels. Instead, they're more on the same footing as the Royals and Indians. Thus, it's another fourth-place finish for the Blue Jays, who haven't made the playoffs since 1993.

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Posted on: March 3, 2012 7:25 pm
Edited on: March 3, 2012 9:56 pm
 

Ike Davis may have Valley Fever

By Matt Snyder

Young Mets first baseman Ike Davis has had blood tests to see if he has either Valley Fever or Desert Fever, reports MLB.com. He had the tests 11 days ago but is still waiting on the results. Meanwhile, the Mets are treating him as if he has Valley Fever.

"We're treating him as if that's what it is," Mets manager Terry Collins said (MLB.com). "We can't let him run down. That's what we've been told. We'll give him some days off. He says he can go, and he's been doing everything he's supposed to. But we need to be sure he doesn't push it."

If Davis does have Valley Fever, it would be a rather significant blow to his chances of having a productive 2012 season and could even do long-term damage. Conor Jackson had the malady in 2009 and it limited him to just 30 games. He lost about 35 pounds. In the three years before 2009, Jackson was an everyday player and had an .822 OPS. Since 2009, Jackson has been a bench player with a .656 OPS. And he's only 29.

Back in 2009, Jackson said this on playing with Valley Fever: "By the third inning, it felt like I had played 20 innings with an 80-pound backpack on. It was brutal." (Arizona Republic)

Davis, 24, is trying to keep his head up.

"No one has told me for sure what it is, and I haven't asked," he said (MLB.com). "But they're pretty positive it is [Valley Fever]. I'm trying to be positive about it. I'll just be careful the way they tell me to be careful."

The Mayo clinic defines Valley Fever as "a fungal infection caused by coccidioides (kok-sid-ee-OI-deze) organisms. It can cause fever, chest pain and coughing, among other signs and symptoms." Also, the clinic says this: "Mild cases of Valley Fever usually go away on their own. In more severe cases of Valley Fever, doctors prescribe antifungal medications that can treat the underlying infection."

Davis missed most of last season with an ankle injury. He hit .302/.383/.543 with seven homers and 25 RBI in just 36 games. As a rookie in 2010, Davis hit 19 homers with a .791 OPS and finished seventh in Rookie of the Year voting.

UPDATE: The Mets have released the following statement, and it doesn't sound like they believe Davis' case to be severe:

"Ike Davis underwent a routine physical exam after his arrival in PSL. The exam included an abnormal chest X-ray. Following additional tests here and in NYC, pulmonary and infectious disease specialists have concluded that Ike likely has Valley Fever, which is expected to resolve itself over time. Ike is not contagious, is not taking any medication for his condition and does not currently exhibit any of the outward symptoms associated with Valley Fever. However, Ike has been instructed to avoid extreme fatigue. No additional tests or examinations are pending, but Ike will have a follow up exam when the team returns to NYC in early April."

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Category: MLB
 
 
 
 
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