Category archive: Gary Matthews Jr.
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Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun is day to day with a right thumb contusion after leaving in the second inning of Tuesday night's game against the Padres.
The 2007 National League rookie of the year was struck by a first-inning line drive off the bat of the Padres' Brian Giles when he lost the ball in the lights. X-rays of Braun's thumb were taken but showed no significant damage.
Braun, who drove in a run in his only at-bat, was making only his sixth Cactus League appearance after playing for the United States in the World Baseball Classic. Last season, he hit .285 with 37 homers and 106 RBIs.
MYERS GETS OPENING DAY NOD (11:48 p.m. ET)
Brett Myers had a strong outing in his final spring appearance and earned the Opening Day start for the Phillies for the third straight year.
Myers held Toronto to one run on three hits in four innings, leading the Phillies to a 9-1 win over the Blue Jays on Tuesday night. He struck out four while walking none.
After the game, Philadelphia manager Charlie Manuel announced that the 28-year-old right-hander will start the opener. Cole Hamels, originally scheduled to start the first game, was officially ruled out a day earlier as he battles back from elbow tightness.
"Once Cole couldn't start, the way we keep the rotation, [Myers] follows Cole and then [Jamie] Moyer and [Joe] Blanton," Philadelphia manager Charlie Manuel said. "That's how we've had it when we won."
Myers' lone mistake came in the second inning when he gave up a two-out, solo homer to Travis Snider on a 3-2 pitch.
"I'm ready to pitch whenever, as long as they give me the chance," Myers said before Manuel announced he would start the opener. "Whenever they give me the green light, I'll be ready."
PUTZ EXITS EARLY (10:54 p.m. ET)
Setup man J.J. Putz left the Mets' 9-2 victory over the Marlins on Tuesday night after irritating the fingernail on his right middle finger.
"Nothing serious," Manuel said. "We figured it would be best just to get him out of there and get it taken care of."
Putz was a key offseason acquisition for the Mets, who overhauled their bullpen in one day when they obtained Putz from Seattle in a three-team, 12-player trade hours after signing closer Rodriguez.
BERKMAN SITS AGAIN (10:43 p.m. ET)
Astros first baseman Lance Berkman missed his fourth consecutive game with biceps tendinitis in his left shoulder.
Berkman said Monday that he planned to DH on Tuesday, but Houston manager elected not to use a DH against the Braves in order to give Berkman another day of rest.
Berkman is expected to play Wednesday against Cincinnati.
OHMAN MAKES SPRING DEBUT (9:42 p.m. ET)
Los Angeles reliever Will Ohman gave up a homer and showed rust while making his spring debut. The veteran left-hander, signed on Monday to a one-year minor league contract, was playing catch-up after not being in camp.
"Obviously signing so late I wanted to bring as much attention to myself as possible. I thought I would go up there and give up a dinger to the first guy," Ohman said, with a laugh.
Ohman got ahead of Chad Tracy for an 0-2 count before allowing a two-run homer to right field. It was the first batter he faced in the fifth inning. The longtime reliever, who has a career 10-9 record in 303 games, walked Conor Jackson before striking out Miguel Montero to end the frame.
"This is a building block. They are looking for me to refine my stuff and get in a position where I am locked in," Ohman said. "All I am looking for and I think all the club is looking for is a general progression so it gets better each and every time."
Ohman, who was 4-1 with a 3.68 ERA in 83 games with Atlanta last year.
The moves left the Nationals with 34 players in their spring camp.
Pena refused an assignment to the minor leagues after being waived Saturday.
He hit .205 with only two homers and 10 RBIs in 195 at-bats in 2008 before having an operation on his left shoulder in July. In October, the Nationals rejected their $5 million option for 2009 on Pena, but he exercised his $2 million option.
The Nationals acquired Pena from Boston in July 2007, one of a long series of deals in which former Washington general manager Jim Bowden acquired players he knew from his days working for the Reds. The Red Sox got first baseman Chris Carter in what was a three-team deal that involved Washington sending Emiliano Fruto to the Diamondbacks.
The lineup was solidified Tuesday when the Marlins optioned rookie first baseman Gaby Sanchez to Triple-A New Orleans.
Bonifacio was acquired from the Nationals to add depth. A natural second baseman, he impressed the Marlins with his speed and defense.
"I like him in that lineup some place," manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "He has made unbelievable improvement at third base, a position he didn't play. He's been learning under the gun a little bit."
Cantu played mostly third last season for Florida, but he started 23 games at first and is better there defensively. Before joining the Marlins last year he was primarily a second baseman.
BURRISS GETS STARTNG NOD (8:17 p.m. ET)
Emmanuel Burriss is San Francisco's starting second baseman.
The Giants optioned Kevin Frandsen to Triple-A Fresno on Tuesday, giving the job to Burriss after a strong competition in spring training.
"[Burriss'] all-around play was very solid," Giants general manager Brian Sabean said. "It was a unanimous opinion from all involved -- front office, coaching staff, scouts. He had a tremendous spring."
Burriss, 24, was hitting .357 with four doubles, four stolen bases and nine RBIs entering the Giants' game against Texas in Surprise on Tuesday. Frandsen hit .274 with a homer and six RBIs.
"Every day is a learning day," Burriss said earlier in camp. "I want to say I'm pretty comfortable [at second], but I have to get better. There is always room for improvement."
Frandsen, 26, missed all but one game in 2008 after suffering a ruptured Achilles tendon in spring training on March 24. He made one pinch-hit appearance, against Los Angeles on Sept. 28.
DUCHSCHERER HAS SURGERY (8:00 p.m. ET)
A's right-hander Justin Duchscherer underwent elbow surgery on Tuesday morning.
It was an arthroscopic cleanup and manager Bob Geren said everything went well.
Geren said the A's still won't know how much time Duchscherer will miss until he starts throwing. He is expected to miss at least six weeks, though.
OPPORTUNITY LOST FOR PONSON? (7:57 p.m. ET)
Sidney Ponson didn't do much to help his bid for a spot in the Royals' rotation.
Ponson gave up seven runs in five innings in the Royals' 7-2 loss to the Athletics on Tuesday, hours after Luke Hochevar was optioned to Triple-A Omaha, eliminating one of the contenders for the final spots in the Kansas City rotation.
"It wasn't good at all," said Ponson, who threw three scoreless innings but also gave up two runs in the first and five in the fourth. "I gave up seven runs today. That's not what I wanted to do. That fourth inning I was behind everybody and everything was over the plate. I didn't throw the way I wanted to throw. I kept giving up hits, and everything went downhill."
The Royals signed the 32-year-old veteran after his performance for the Netherlands in the World Baseball Classic. In two outings this spring, he has allowed 11 earned runs in 10 1/3 innings.
"I'm not disappointed," Royals manager Trey Hillman said. "I didn't like the results, but I'm not disappointed in what he brings to table. ... We still saw stuff, pitchability."
Ponson is still likely to win one of the final spots in the Royals' rotation. Gil Meche, Zack Greinke and Kyle Davies are the top three starters. Ponson, Horacio Ramirez and Brian Bannister are the candidates for the fourth and fifth spots.
METS MAKE FINAL MOVES (7:32 p.m. ET)
The Mets reassigned right-hander Elmer Dessens and outfielder Bobby Kielty to their minor league camp and waived right-hander Fernando Nieve on Tuesday, leaving 25 players in the major league camp.
Dessens pitched three innings in the spring, giving up four hits and two walks. Kielty batted .296 with one home run and 10 RBIs in 24 games. Nieve posted a 3.00 ERA in six innings, allowing two runs on four hits and three walks.
BAKER BOUNCED (5:20 p.m. ET)
Reds manager Dusty Baker was ejected by plate umpire D.J. Reyburn following a heated argument in the sixth inning. It was an unusual outburst by Baker, who was ejected only once last season.
The blowup came after someone in the Reds dugout yelled something at Reyburn, who turned and said something back. Baker, who was seated next to the dugout on a folding chair, got into an animated exchange with the umpire and was ejected.
Instead of leaving the field immediately -- Baker would have had to walk along the right-field foul line and leave through a gate -- he told crew chief Charlie Reliford that he was going to watch the rest of the inning from the dugout.
"I said, 'Hey, man, I ain't leaving right now because I ain't walking down there,'" Baker said. "It's a long walk. I wasn't going to hold up the game. I told Charlie I'll leave after the inning."
CHAMBERLAIN STICKS AROUND (5:14 p.m. ET)
Joba Chamberlain pitched into the sixth inning Tuesday, a step forward in his development as a starter, and the Yankees took advantage of four Cincinnati errors in a 6-3 victory over the Reds.
The Yankees wanted Chamberlain to pitch six innings for the first time this spring, and he came close. The right-hander allowed five hits and two runs in 5 1/3 innings, leaving after the Reds scored twice.
"Good," Chamberlain said. "It's still got to get better. Velocity and attacking the [strike] zone, I felt good. It was something to build on."
The Yankees' fifth starter hadn't lasted longer than 4 1/3 innings in any of his five previous games this spring, going a total of 14 2/3 innings. It was Chamberlain's final chance to pitch deeper into a game, and he did what the Yankees wanted, striking out six along the way.
"It's what we wanted to see from him," manager Joe Girardi said. "A good step. He was pretty good today. He was anywhere between 90-96 [mph] today."
Meanwhile, Yankees DH Hideki Matsui was limited in drills by a stiff neck. Girardi said Matsui could play on Wednesday. Right fielder Xavier Nady said he was OK after being hit on the left elbow by a pitch in the sixth. He left the game with a bruise.
Park had an outstanding spring after signing a $2.5 million, one-year contract with the Phillies in January. He came into camp competing with incumbent No. 5 starter Kyle Kendrick, rookie prospect Carlos Carrasco and Happ.
Park, a former All-Star, was 4-4 with a 3.40 ERA in 54 appearances for the Los Angeles Dodgers last season. He was 1-0 with a 2.16 ERA as a starter and 3-4 with a 3.84 ERA in relief.
REDS DEAL KEPPINGER TO ASTROS (4:50 p.m. ET)
Jeff Keppinger was packing his gear when he got a call saying manager Dusty Baker wanted to talk to him. The reserve shortstop thought he was about to be released.
Instead, the Reds traded him to the Astros on Tuesday for a player to be named, giving him a chance to play for his fifth major league organization. He batted only .140 in 21 games this spring and knew it was likely that he wouldn't make the team.
"I'm just glad they didn't release me," Keppinger said. "I was going to ask if they were going to release me just because of my spring numbers."
Keppinger bailed the Reds out last season, when starting shortstop Alex Gonzalez was sidelined by a fractured knee. Keppinger started 101 games at shortstop, batting .266 with three homers and 43 RBIs.
Gonzalez is back from the injury this season, although a strained hamstring has held him back recently. He played in a minor league game for the second day in a row Tuesday and reported no problems.
DEVINE'S ELBOW SENDS HIM TO DL (4:17 p.m. ET)
Joey Devine will start the season on the disabled list because of a recurring elbow problem, leaving the Athletics without one of their two closers.
Devine, who had to come out of Monday's game because of elbow pain, said Tuesday morning he will see noted orthopedist Dr. James Andrews next week. With Devine out, the A's will use right-hander Brad Ziegler as their lone closer.
Devine, 25, has had the same problem in his right elbow throughout the past few years, including a two-month stint on the DL last season. He missed about two weeks this spring. During his second big league exhibition game after his return, he said he felt more pain.
"It's been a roller coaster," he said. "I've have some ups but I've had more downs. I try to tell myself it will be fine, but there is only so much you can do. I've got to get it diagnosed and get it fixed. Whether that's sitting out and rehabbing it or going from there [to have surgery]."
Devine was 6-1 with an 0.59 ERA in 42 innings last season, the lowest ERA in major league history for a pitcher with at least 25 innings.
THANKS FOR THE HIT, BUT YOU'RE OUT (4:10 p.m. ET)
Geoff Jenkins, who had a key hit for Philadelphia in the resumption of Game 5 of last year's World Series, is no longer a Phillie.
The Phillies released Jenkins on Tuesday, giving them 29 players as Saturday's deadline approaches for the team to set its 25-man roster.
Philadelphia owes Jenkins $8 million on his contract: $6.75 million for this season plus a $1.25 million buyout of his 2010 option.
The 31-year-old outfielder hit .246 with nine home runs and 29 RBIs last season for the Phillies. His double in the first at-bat of the resumption of Game 5 of the World Series led to the go-ahead run.
The Tampa Bay Rays later tied the game, but the Phillies went on to win and secure their first World Series title in 28 years.
Jenkins is a career .275 hitter with 221 home runs and 733 RBIs in 12 seasons.
FOGG HAS TO MOVE ON (4:07 p.m. ET)
Josh Fogg, who signed a minor league deal Feb. 2 with the Rockies, wasn't able to make his way back onto the team that he played with in 2006 and 2007. Fogg was reassigned to Triple-A Colorado Springs on Monday.
"I will look for another job. If not, then I will head to the Springs and start there," Fogg said, according to the Denver Post. "Hopefully I can get stretched out, start, and wait for an opportunity."
Outfielder Matt Murton was optioned to Colorado Springs, though manager Clint Hurdle expected he will be called up this season at some point, according to the Post.
ALBALADEJO SNAGS BULLPEN JOB (3:30 p.m. ET)
Jonathan Albaladejo has won the competition for the final spot in the Yankees' bullpen, beating three long-relief candidates, who were sent to the minors on Tuesday.
Tomko had been considered the front-runner for the spot but the Yankees opted to keep Albaladejo. Albaladejo and Phil Coke can throw multiple innings and fill the long-reliever void.
"I'm extremely disappointed," Tomko said. "I respect their decision. I feel like I pitched my way onto this team. They said they wanted to go with a short-[inning] guy and not a long man. I can do that. That's what the frustration comes from."
MANUEL CONFIRMS LIVAN, LINEUP SPOTS (2:45 p.m. ET)
No big surprise here: Mets manager Jerry Manuel said on Monday that RHP Livan Hernandez will be the team's fifth starter.
The Mets also signed LHP Ken Takahashi to a minor league contract. Takahashi, 39, appeared in one game this spring with the Blue Jays, allowing four hits and two runs in 1 2/3 innings.
MIJARES, BUTERA SENT TO ROCHESTER (11:19 a.m. ET)
The Twins optioned Jose Mijares to their Triple-A Rochester team after the left-handed reliever had a rocky spring training.
He gave up 18 hits, walked nine and struck out seven in 10 innings. His ERA stands at 9.90.
Mijares started last season in Double-A, but took over as the main set-up man in late September and posted an 0.87 ERA with only three hits allowed in 10 1/3 innings.
The team also sent catcher Drew Butera to Triple-A. Catcher Jeff Christy and infielder Alejandro Machado were assigned to minor league camp. The Twins now have 30 active players remaining in camp, including 14 pitchers.
MATTHEWS RETURNS TO CAMP (10:10 a.m. ET)
After being informed Sunday that he was the Angels' fifth outfielder, Gary Matthews Jr. took a day to reflect on the development, then returned Monday and went 2-for-3 with two RBIs in a 13-3 victory against the White Sox.
"I want to play every day," Matthews said Monday, according to the Los Angeles Times. "I would like to do that here ... But if it's not going to happen, we need to explore different options."
Matthews declined to say if he had asked the team for a trade. "It's kind of obvious what the subject was," he said of Sunday's meeting with Angels management. But complicating any movement would be the fact he has three years and $33 million left on his deal.
Matthews is coming back from offseason knee surgery, which repaired the patellar tendon. He was not expected to play until May, but he has appeared in 13 games this spring, and was hitting. 294 with two home runs and 11 RBIs.
"Based on how I recovered from surgery and how I've performed this spring, my opinion is that I'm an everyday player," Matthews said, according to the Times. "I discussed this [with manager Mike Scioscia and general manager Tony Reagins]. We agree to disagree at this point."
WISE WINS STARTING JOB (9:54 a.m. ET)
Dewayne Wise officially has been handed Chicago's starting center fielder's job, and the career journeyman will be the leadoff hitter as well.
"[Manager] Ozzie [Guillen] came to me, told me congratulations, whatever," Wise said. "He told me he was going to put me in that leadoff spot, see what happens. He told me he was proud of the way I played this spring, and best of luck to me."
Wise, who has been with the Blue Jays, Braves and Reds, has never played more than 57 games a season in the majors.
"This is a great feeling," Wise said in the Chicago Tribune. "This is something I wanted my whole career. Now at 31 I get the opportunity. I just go out and have fun, do whatever it takes to help the team win."
Wise won the spot over Jerry Owens, whom the White Sox have been grooming the past three seasons. But Owens, who was placed on waivers on Monday, disappointed them with his lackluster efforts this spring. Unless another team picks him up, he will be outrighted to Triple-A Charlotte.
"I was a little disappointed," Guillen said, according to the Tribune. "We've been waiting for him for three years, and we gave him the job for three years. Last year he got hurt. It's unfortunate and a shame this kid didn't get it done."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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Eric Chavez says he's ready for Opening Day.
Chavez, who is rehabbing from shoulder surgery, started and played third in the Athletics' 9-5 victory over the Dodgers, his first back-to-back games in the field this spring.
Chavez was limited to designated hitter duties early in the spring, and then he had a setback that cost him about two weeks. On Monday, Chavez had a double and a walk in three trips to the plate. He is 3-for-17 this spring, but he's 2-for-6 since he returned to the lineup following his setback.
"Timing feels good," Chavez said. "I've just got to get used to getting in there every day and back-to-back days. It's always different playing in a game with the adrenaline. For some reason there are different parts that work when you have adrenaline versus when you don't."
Meanwhile, left-fielder Manny Ramirez dropped a fly ball on the warning track, then fell down while trying to make a running catch, drawing an error, during the A's four-run second inning. "My gold glove is in jeopardy," Ramirez said.
BENSON ON BOARD? (9:06 p.m. ET)
Kris Benson believes he has done enough to nail down the final spot in Texas' rotation, and manager Ron Washington agrees.
"He's one of mine," Washington said when asked if Benson is one of the Rangers' five best starters. "It's more than me making the decision."
Benson pitched six strong innings and the Rangers beat the Giants 7-5. He gave up three runs and six hits, struck out two and walked none.
Benson, who has a 4.76 ERA in 17 innings this spring, hasn't pitched in the major leagues since 2006 after rotator cuff surgery.
"I feel like every time I step on the mound and face hitters it's an audition," said Benson, who missed the 2007 season, pitched 11 Triple-A games last year and signed a minor league deal with the Rangers in February.
HARDEN BACK ON MOUND (8:24 p.m. ET)
Rich Harden returned to the mound for the first time since March 15 because of food poisoning and gave up three homers and five runs in the Cubs' 8-8, 10-inning tie with the Royals.
"I'm feeling good and got my strength back," said Harden, who gave up four hits in 4 2/3 innings while walking two and striking out four. "I threw 80 pitches and was still feeling just as strong at the end of it, which is good. We'll extend it a little more next time. My body is as strong as it's going to be. I'm ready to go."
Harden lost seven pounds after eating tainted chicken salad.
"I'm starting to put some weight back on," he said. "I'm still down a couple of pounds, but that's it. I'm definitely feeling a whole lot stronger now and it's back to normal, back to where I was before. My shoulder is feeling really strong, which is good."
Harden's next start will be Saturday at the new Yankee Stadium in the Cubs' final exhibition game.
"It's going to be nice being in Yankee Stadium, a big game like that," Harden said. "It will be like regular season. It will be packed there."
BAEK SIDELINED (8:15 p.m. ET)
Cha Seung Baek will miss his final Cactus League start and possibly the start of the season for the Padres because of a strained right forearm.
Baek left a start Sunday after four innings, complaining of soreness. The Padres are uncertain if the right-hander will be put on the disabled list.
Baek is 2-4 with a 9.27 ERA in seven starts this spring. Kevin Correia, who started for San Diego on Monday, is likely to take Baek's rotation spot should the injury linger into the season.
YANKS WATCHING CHAMBERLAIN (7:52 p.m. ET)
Joba Chamberlain needs to show Yankees manager Joe Girardi two things in his next-to-last spring training start for it to be considered a success.
"Efficency and location," Girardi said before leaving for Monday's road game against Toronto in Dunedin. "I'd like to get six innings if we could."
Chamberlain, the Yankees' No. 5 starter, is 3-0 with a 3.68 ERA in five major league spring training starts. However, the right-hander has pitched just 14 2/3 innings during the stretch, with a long of 4 1/3 innings.
Girardi feels it is "fairly important" that Chamberlain have a longer outing before spring training ends. His last scheduled preseason start is in a minor league intrasquad game Sunday in Florida.
Chamberlain split time last season between the bullpen and a starting role.
"As a reliever, it doesn't matter if you throw 25 pitches in an inning," Girardi said. "You do that as a starter, and you're not going to be deep into games. That's what we want all our starters to do."
JAYS WORRIED ABOUT RYAN (6:55 p.m. ET)
Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston expressed concern about closer B.J. Ryan after he pitched a shaky eighth inning in Toronto's 3-1 loss to the Yankees.
Ryan gave up one run and two hits, including Angel Berroa's RBI double to left-center. The left-hander, who skipped the World Baseball Classic to work on his mechanics, has a 9.00 ERA this spring.
Gaston said he might consider making Scott Downs the closer and putting Ryan "somewhere else for a while and go from there." He said he wants to see how Ryan does in his final two spring appearances.
Ryan said he's moving in the right direction.
"The runs are just [from] pitching behind," he said. "Pitch behind in counts and you get in predictable counts. Aside from that there were some good things that came out of today."
JACKSON EARNS SPOT WITH TRIBE (6:40 p.m. ET)
Zach Jackson will open the season as the final pitcher on the Indians' staff.
The left-hander was told by manager Eric Wedge that he will be with the team when Cleveland opens the season in Texas against the Rangers on April 6.
"I'm excited, actually close to speechless right now," said Jackson, who was one of four players acquired by Cleveland in the July trade that sent CC Sabathia to the Brewers.
"Zach is a guy who is going to help us and I think sooner than later. He's had a very good camp."
Jackson began spring training in a competition for the No. 5 spot in the rotation, but Wedge liked the way the 25-year-old worked in relief. In six outings over 18 1/3 innings, he had a 6.87 ERA, but had a good walks-to-strikeouts ratio of four to 11.
RAYS RELEASE ENSBERG (6:27 p.m. ET)
The Rays released former All-Star Morgan Ensberg.
The infielder agreed to a minor league deal with the Rays in February. He hit .227 with four RBIs this spring.
Rays manager Joe Maddon said he appreciated Ensberg's efforts, but Tampa didn't have a place for him with the Triple-A club.
Ensberg, an All-Star with Houston in 2005, appeared in 28 games for the Yankees last season, batting .203 with one homer and four RBIs. He spent parts of the previous six seasons with the Astros and Padres, and is a career .263 hitter with 110 home runs.
DICE-K VS. KAWAKAMI (6:23 p.m. ET)
Kenshin Kawakami relished the opportunity to match up against fellow countryman Daisuke Matsuzaka.
Matsuzaka allowed two hits and an earned run over five innings in his return to the Red Sox from the World Baseball Classic. Kawakami gave up a two-run homer to Rocco Baldelli for his only runs, and the Braves rallied to beat the Red Sox 4-3 in 10 innings on Monday.
More than 30 Japanese media members in the press box made the game a bit more intense for the starters.
"With so many media, I guess I felt a little more excited," Kawakami, who signed with the Braves this winter after starring in Japan, said through an interpreter. "If I was in Japan, I'd probably enjoy [the matchup] also."
Matsuzaka, who was the MVP of the tournament, liked the timing of the pitching pairing as he adjusted from the pressure of the WBC to spring training.
"Luckily today, going up against Kenshin-san on the other side gave me a change to get revved up," Matsuzaka said through an interpreter. "When I'm going up against any Japanese player, whether pitcher or position player, I'm always keeping an eye out on what kind of game they're going to pitch or how they're doing in the batter's box."
MAUER LIKELY TO STAY BEHIND (6:18 p.m. ET)
Twins All-Star catcher Joe Mauer likely won't travel with his team when it heads north to Minnesota next week.
Mauer, who is battling lingering pain and inflammation in his lower back, will consult with doctors and Twins officials in the next few days to evaluate his progress.
Manager Ron Gardenhire said there is no timetable for Mauer's return but that he seemed to be improving.
"He's moving around really good," Gardenhire said. "That's kind of nice. He has a smile on his face, which he hasn't had in a long time."
Mauer told reporters Sunday: "I feel the best I've felt all spring." The catcher said he hopes to engage in baseball activity this week but he's unsure when that will be.
"This week, I'm going to try to do more baseball stuff," Mauer said, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press. "When, I don't know. But it'll be good to get out there. I can't wait. It's been a long spring. But I'll put it all behind me when I get back on the field."
"It was good to see everybody," Smoltz, who ended his 20-year tenure with the Braves by signing with the Red Sox in January, said before Boston's spring game against Atlanta. "It was different. There are a lot of memories. ... You miss it. But it's time to move on."
Braves manager Bobby Cox said the clubhouse hasn't been nearly as loud this spring without Smoltz.
"You always heard him," Cox said. "[But] players move up."
During Smoltz's later years with the Braves, a golf date with Woods was always part of spring training. This round came a day after Woods' victory in the Arnold Palmer Invitational at nearby Bay Hill.
"I didn't see his [winning] putt, but I'll tell him I did," Smoltz said prior to leaving for Isleworth Country Club.
MOTTE THE MAIN MAN (5:26 p.m. ET)
The Cardinals reassigned Chris Perez to the minor leagues following their 2-1 victory over the Marlins on Monday, clearing the way for Jason Motte to get the bulk of the work as their closer.
Perez, a first round pick in 2006, experienced arm trouble earlier this spring. He entered Monday's game having made eight one-inning appearances and allowed only two earned runs.
"He's got 100 innings in minor league baseball," manager Tony La Russa said. "He's really such a young pitcher. He needs to work. He needs to work regularly. He can be the closer in Memphis and get valuable experience."
Perez's departure means Motte will get first crack at saving games, though La Russa will probably give opportunities to other relievers as well.
"We are going to use whoever is available but I would believe that Motte is going to get a chance to close games," La Russa said.
The Rockies now have 34 players on their major league spring training roster, including eight non-roster invitees.
The Tigers sent minor league pitcher Rudy Darrow to Atlanta in Monday's deal.
Anderson hit three home runs and stole 10 bases in 40 games with the Braves last year.
Darrow played at Double-A Erie and Class A West Michigan last year. The 25-year-old right-hander finished 1-1 with a 2.63 ERA in 14 appearances at Erie and went 4-2 with a 1.85 ERA in 33 games with West Michigan.
The 26-year-old Anderson was a fourth-round draft pick in 2003.
Dellucci hit .240 (6-for-25) with two homers and five RBIs in eight spring games for Cleveland. This is his sixth trip to the DL since reaching the majors in 1997 with the Baltimore Orioles.
The 35-year-old signed a three-year contract as a free agent before the 2007 season.
The Indians also recalled outfielder Trevor Crowe from Triple-A Columbus on Monday. Crowe, 25, batted .289 with one homer, three RBIs and went 6-for-6 in stolen-base attempts this spring before being optioned out on Saturday.
CARPAL TUNNEL LIMITS ARROYO (2:35 p.m. ET)
Bronson Arroyo is having a flare-up of the carpal tunnel syndrome that has bothered him from time to time over the last few years. This bout is especially nasty, along with the timing. The season starts in less than one week.
"I don't know what it's from, man," Arroyo said in an interview with The Associated Press. "I can't write. I can't do anything with my pointer finger and thumb without it being irritated. I had it back in '04 in the playoffs [with Boston] pitching against the Yankees. I've had it for years."
So far, Arroyo has been able to overcome the problem, which bothers him much more when he holds a pen or a guitar pick. It returned last May and gave him problems for about three months. Arroyo finished 15-11 with a 4.77 ERA last season, when he was the only Reds pitcher who didn't miss a start. He led the staff with 200 innings. The right-hander can pitch with the problem. He'd rather not have to try.
Arroyo hasn't done very well in his last two starts during spring training. He gave up 11 hits in five innings of a game against minor leaguers on March 24 and was pounded for 14 hits and 10 runs -- three earned -- in only 4 2/3 innings against Tampa Bay on Sunday. The Rays took advantage of his inability to throw a breaking ball, something he passed off as just a bad day. There's more to it, though.
Asked if the carpal tunnel bothers his hand when he's pitching, Arroyo said, "Yeah. It's almost like taking a 220 [volt] line of electricity and pinching it off and you're only getting about two-thirds of it. You feel like you don't have much power, and you don't have much command. So I've got about another week to try to get it out of there. We'll see."
BERKMAN HAS BICEPS TENDINITIS (2:18 p.m. ET)
Lance Berkman was diagnosed with biceps tendinitis Sunday after seeing the team's doctor.
The Astros slugger will sit out the next few days but he doesn't appear to be in jeopardy of missing Opening Day. He was scratched from the Astros' lineup Saturday.
"I don't think Lance feels it's anything of great significance," Astros GM Ed Wade said, according to the Houston Chronicle. "[Athletic trainer] Nate [Lucero] didn't want him to make the trip [Saturday] because if he went over there with orders to swing the bat X number of times he would have swung the X times one hundred times. We wanted to keep him from being tempted to do too much."
Berkman said his injury doesn't affect his swing. It only bothers him when he throws.
"I'm going to try to DH [Tuesday]," Berkman told MLB.com. "That's what I'd like to do, if they'll let me."
CUBS CUT BAKO, STANTON (2:14 p.m. ET)
The Cubs released veteran catcher Paul Bako and left-hander Mike Stanton. Bako, 36, was hitting .364 this spring after signing a free-agent contract with Chicago on Jan. 30. Stanton, 41, who was out of baseball last season after being released by the Reds on April, has a career record of 68-63 with a 3.92 ERA in 1,178 games.
The Cubs also announced that catcher Koyie Hill and first baseman Micah Hoffpauir have made the Opening Day roster. Hill, who spent most of last season at Triple-A Iowa while recovering from a hand injury sustained after the 2007 season, was batting .381 this spring. Hoffpauir was batting .295 this spring, with a team-high five home runs and major league-leading 22 RBIs.
ROMERO WINS ROTATION SPOT (11:56 a.m. ET)
Rookie Ricky Romero pitched himself into the Blue Jays' starting rotation, manager Cito Gaston said Monday.
The 24-year-old left-hander was in a competition with Brad Mills and Scott Richmond for the final two spots in Toronto's rotation. Mills and Richmond are still battling for the fifth spot.
The 22-year-old McCutchen is one of the team's top prospects and was a first-round draft pick in 2005. This spring, he batted .318 with two home runs, seven RBIs, two stolen bases and a team-best 12 walks.
General manager Neal Huntington said he expects both McCutchen and Bixler will play for the Pirates at some point this season.
Bixler will be Indianapolis' starting shortstop, and will get some playing time at second base.
The Pirates have 35 players remaining in camp.
The 33-year-old Jones signed with the Reds on Feb. 5, getting a chance to win a reserve spot. He went only 4-for-45 (.089) in spring training, and was reassigned to the minor league camp Monday.
The Reds optioned Hopper and Thompson to Triple-A Louisville. Hopper batted .132 this spring, costing him a shot at a reserve role. The 23-year-old Thompson jumped from Class A to Triple-A last season. The Reds want him to get more experience in the minors.
PHILLIES CUT INFIELDER GILES (10:25 a.m. ET)
The Phillies released veteran infielder Marcus Giles on Monday. Giles was in camp as a nonroster invitee.
They also informed reliever Gary Majewski, utility infielder Pablo Ozuna and outfielder John Mayberry Jr. they won't be making the team, but they will go north with the club and play in exhibition games in Philadelphia this weekend against Tampa Bay.
-- ESPN.com's Jayson Stark
MATTHEWS STEWS AFTER DEMOTION (9:34 a.m. ET)
Gary Matthews Jr., who is in the third year of a five-year, $50 million contract, was told Sunday in a meeting with club officials that he will start the season as the Angels' fifth outfielder. He didn't take the news well.
Matthews did not travel with the team Sunday to play the Rangers. Instead, he requested and was granted a day off to cool off. He wasn't in a talking mood when approached by reporters.
"Just give me a day, guys, OK?" Matthews told reporters, according to the Los Angeles Times. "Thanks."
It is unclear if Matthews has requested a trade, but when asked by reporters if he was being dealt, he said "no."
Angels general manager Tony Reagins said that currently he has no plans to deal Matthews and wouldn't disclose details of the meeting.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.