Category archive: Mark Buehrle

CUDDYER, MAUER HELP TWINS POUND MILLWOOD (11:14 p.m. ET)
Michael Cuddyer homered, reigning AL MVP Joe Mauer had two hits and the Twins beat the Orioles 8-3.

The game was called in the top of the ninth inning because of rain.

Kevin Millwood, in line to be Baltimore's Opening Day starter, was hit hard again. He was charged with five runs and nine hits over 2 2/3 innings and has a 29.70 ERA this spring.

Scott Baker, slated to start on Opening Day for Minnesota, worked three effective innings. He limited Baltimore to five hits, including Robert Andino's homer in the third.

-- The Associated Press

CERVELLI TO WEAR SPECIAL HELMET (8:04 p.m. ET)
Francisco Cervelli is choosing safety over style.

The Yankees' backup catcher will begin wearing a bulky protective helmet similar to one briefly worn last season by Mets star David Wright after he sustained a concussion.

Cervelli talked about the change before Thursday night's game against the Braves was canceled due to rain.

Like Wright last summer, Cervelli was hit in the helmet by a 94 mph pitch that gave him a concussion -- Cervelli's second since November. Cervelli was injured Saturday and was cleared by a neurologist Monday. He is scheduled to play his first game Friday, when the Yankees travel to Viera to face the Nationals.

-- The Associated Press

RAYS MAKE FIRST SPRING CUTS (7:48 p.m. ET)
The Rays have optioned left-handed pitcher Jake McGee to the minor leagues and reassigned shortstop Tim Beckham and catcher Nevin Ashley to minor league spring training camp.

The team announced the moves after Thursday's 4-1 split-squad victory over the Blue Jays.

The Rays did not say which affiliate McGee will be assigned to.

-- The Associated Press

COOK HIT HARD IN SECOND SPRING START (7:07 p.m. ET)
Aaron Cook was hit hard in his second spring start, allowing nine hits and nine runs, five earned, in 2 2/3 innings, as the Rockies were pounded by the Rangers 16-3.

Cook hit Ian Kinsler with a 1-2 pitch during a four-run first when he gave up three hits, including a two-run homer to first baseman Chris Davis, who went 4-for-4 with 3 RBIs. Michael Young was 3-for-3 and Taylor Teagarden knocked in three runs for the Rangers, who had 23 hits.

Cook was hoping to throw 40 pitches or less but ended up throwing 73, leaving after a double by Young during a five-run second inning for Texas. Four of those runs were unearned because of a throwing error by third baseman Ian Stewart on an attempted force play.

-- The Associated Press

AFTER ADJUSTMENT, SILVA THROWS THREE SCORELESS INNINGS (7:00 p.m. ET)
Carlos Silva threw three scoreless innings after making an adjustment during a bullpen session, helping the Cubs beat the Padres 8-7.

ilva, acquired from Seattle for Milton Bradley and cash in December, allowed four hits, walked one and struck out none.

Starlin Castro, one of Chicago's top prospects, had two hits and scored three times. The shortstop hit his first homer of the spring in the fifth.

-- The Associated Press

VOTTO HOMERS FOR FIRST SPRING HIT (6:23 p.m. ET)
Joey Votto homered for his first hit of spring training, leading the Reds to a 3-1 victory over a Brewers split-squad.

Votto hit a solo shot off left-hander Chris Capuano, who is trying to resume his career after reconstructive elbow surgery. Votto was 0-for-9 before he homered in the sixth inning.

Reds right-hander Johnny Cueto pitched three scoreless innings, a big improvement over his first spring outing.

-- The Associated Press

ORTIZ CONTINUES BID TO MAKE DODGERS' ROTATION (6:22 p.m. ET)
Russ Ortiz pitched three scoreless innings and Andre Ethier and Casey Blake homered as the Dodgers beat the Royals 6-4.

Ortiz, a veteran right-hander who is a non-roster invitee, gave up two singles, struck out three and walked none. He has worked five scoreless innings and yielded four hits in his bid to make the Dodgers' rotation.

Ethier hit a three-run homer in the third off Gil Meche, while Blake homered in the fifth off rookie left-hander Edgar Osuna.

-- The Associated Press

LINCECUM ROUGHED UP VS. MARINERS (6:17 p.m. ET)
Tim Lincecum, the two-time reigning NL Cy Young Award winner, doesn't quite look like himself yet at spring training and struggled through 2 2/3 innings in the Giants' sloppy 6-2 loss to the Mariners. He isn't one bit worried.

He is finding his balance, his rhythm -- acknowledging perhaps that he's even thinking about a few too many things at once when it comes to mastering his mechanics. He's not concerned with results this early.

"Stuff-wise I felt like everything was good," Lincecum said. "I think right now everything is just location. I just try to take something positive from each outing. My curveball was breaking really well, the slider was doing well. The changeup when it was down was good, same with the fastball. The only time I really got hurt was Ichiro's hit. ... The key for me is rhythm. My mechanics kind of follow that."

The 25-year-old right-hander had his second subpar outing in as many appearances against the team he once hoped to play for as a kid growing up in Seattle. Lincecum was tagged for six hits, struck out four and walked two in his 59-pitch day. He lowered his spring ERA by nearly half, from 18.00 to 9.82.

-- The Associated Press

NAVARRO INJURES LEFT THUMB (5:58 p.m. ET)
Dioner Navarro and the Rays were hoping for the best after a simple pickoff play in the third inning. Navarro was struck by a pickoff throw during the Rays' 16-15 victory over the Pirates and departed with an injured left thumb.

Navarro was hit when Jack Taschner threw over to first. It was diagnosed as a contusion, and he returned to the Rays' complex in Port Charlotte for further evaluation.

Navarro described the ball as pushing his thumb backward.

"I've been hit so many times that I don't even know when my bone is broken," he said. "This one, maybe because I wasn't catching, hurt more than when I'm behind the plate. Hopefully, it's OK."

-- The Associated Press

JACKSON STEPS UP IN WEBB'S ABSENCE (5:54 p.m. ET)
With the uncertain status of Brandon Webb, newcomer Edwin Jackson's performance thus far this spring must be comforting for the Diamondbacks.

The right-hander, acquired in a trade with the Tigers in the offseason, blanked the Angels on one hit through three innings in Arizona's 4-1 victory. The right-hander has yet to give up a run in five innings this spring.

Jackson, an All-Star with the Tigers last year, will start the season as the Diamondbacks' No. 2 starter behind Dan Haren.

-- The Associated Press

LACKEY'S SHUTOUT STREAK CONTINUES (5:16 p.m. ET)
John Lackey is off to a nice start with the Red Sox. The right-hander threw three shutout innings in Boston's 8-2 victory over Jason Bay and the Mets.

Lackey allowed three hits in his second spring outing and has yet to allow a run since he finalized an $82.5 million, five-year contract with the Red Sox in December.

After Lackey was finished on the field, he got some work done in the bullpen before showers caused a 30-minute delay after the fourth inning.

Bay, playing in his first game against his former team, went 0-for-2 before leaving during the delay.

-- The Associated Press

JOHNSON STARTS STRONG, BUT NUNEZ ENDS BADLY (4:50 p.m. ET)
The Marlins got another strong start from ace Josh Johnson but a bad ending from their closer. Johnson struck out four in three scoreless innings before the Cardinals beat up on closer Leo Nunez during a five-run ninth for a 5-3 win.

Nunez, who saved 26 games last season, allowed four hits before leaving with two outs and runners at second and third. He was charged with five runs, three earned.

Johnson, the Marlins' Opening Day starter, struck out the side in the first inning, mixing in a changeup with a fastball that hit 94 mph.

-- The Associated Press

WHITE SOX LOOK TO KEEP BUEHRLE WELL RESTED (2:54 p.m. ET)
Ace Mark Buehrle won't have his second start of spring training until next Monday as the White Sox seek to keep him rested before the regular season begins.

Buehrle made his first start on March 5 against the Dodgers, allowing an unearned run on three hits with two strikeouts over two innings.

Jake Peavy starts Friday against the Angels in a split-squad game. Gavin Floyd and John Danks, the next two pitchers in the White Sox's projected rotation, get the call Saturday and Sunday against the Brewers and Reds.

Closer Bobby Jenks is also scheduled to pitch on the same day as Buehrle.

-- The Associated Press

GIANTS HALL OF FAMERS VISIT SPRING TRAINING (1:35 p.m. ET)
Hall of Famers Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Orlando Cepeda and Gaylord Perry gathered for a little reunion and some good-natured ribbing.

Mays, often the instigator with his gentle jabs, razzed Perry and then got it right back. It's not every day these guys turn up together at spring training. On Thursday, they spent the morning leading a team meeting for the San Francisco Giants -- something that has become a spring tradition of sorts for these old greats.

Players took turns greeting the guys before the meeting began.

-- The Associated Press

MOUSTAKAS AMONG SEVEN SENT DOWN BY ROYALS (1:30 p.m. ET)
Third baseman Mike Moustakas, the second overall pick in the 2007 draft, was among seven players reassigned to minor league camp Thursday by the Kansas City Royals.

Also sent down were outfielder David Lough, who hit .325 last season and was the Royals' 2009 minor league player of the year, and left-hander Danny Duffy, who pitched in the Futures All-Star Game and was 9-3 with a 2.98 ERA with Single-A Wilmington.

Other players sent to the minor league camp were outfielder David Robinson, first baseman Ernest Mejia, infielder Mario Lisson and catcher Steve Lerud.

All seven players were non-roster invitees. The Royals have 58 players left in camp.

-- The Associated Press

GUARDADO, ESTES CUT BY NATIONALS (10:38 a.m. ET)
Left-handers Eddie Guardado and Shawn Estes have been released by the Washington Nationals in the first round of spring training cuts.

The Nationals also reassigned six players to their minor league camp.

Guardado had pitched in two exhibition games and had an ERA of 18.00 in two innings. Estes had made one appearance, pitching one inning to an ERA of 18.00. Both veterans had been signed to minor league contracts with invitations to major league camp.

Right-handers Logan Kensing, Joel Peralta, Ryan Speier, left-hander Victor Garate, outfielder Jerry Owens and catcher Derek Norris were reassigned to the minor league camp.

-- Associated Press

IF AT FIRST, TRY, TRY AGAIN (10:06 a.m. ET)
The last time Garret Anderson played first base, he was a 21-year-old prospect playing for the Los Angeles Angels' Triple-A team in Vancouver.

Now he's a 37-year-old veteran in Dodgers camp on a minor-league deal, facing a roster logjam in the outfield and no guarantees manager Joe Torre will keep a left-handed bat on the bench. So Anderson, a longtime outfielder, is digging out his first baseman's glove and headed back to the infield, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Anderson, who signed last week and has yet to appear in a spring training game, says he's doing his best to learn the position, according to the report.

"It wouldn't be instinctive," Anderson said, according to the Times. "As an outfielder, I have an idea of where the infielders are going to be when I throw a ball in. I know where the first baseman is going to be. But to actually have that point of view of it and do it, it's going to be different. I'm going to have to learn some stuff."

-- ESPN.com news services

DUNCAN TRYING TO MAKE IT BACK WITH NATIONALS (9:52 a.m. ET)
In years past, when Chris Duncan wanted a pregame word with his father, longtime St. Louis pitching coach Dave Duncan, he simply walked into his dad's office. On Wednesday, they had to chat outside the batting cage when the Nationals went to play the Cardinals.

Chris Duncan, who is in Nationals camp as a non-roster invitee, spent parts of five years with St. Louis, hitting .293 with 22 home runs in 90 games during the Cardinals' World Series title run in 2006. But injuries limited Duncan's effectiveness the past three seasons. He was traded to the Red Sox in July and released after he hit less than .200 in 92 minor-league at-bats.

"It was kind of tough at the end," Duncan said. "I remember the last game I started at home I was getting booed. The bottom line was that I was not playing well and we were competing for a pennant."

Washington manager Jim Riggleman expects Duncan to compete for a reserve spot on the Opening Day roster. Riggleman has liked what he's seen so far from Duncan, who went 0 for 5 with an RBI on Wednesday, including two strikeouts in the late innings with runners in scoring position.

"In your idle time as a manager when you are scribbling out lineups and rosters on napkins, there are some scenarios where he is there and there are some where he is not," Riggleman said prior to the game. "He's competing and he's going to make it a tough decision for us."

-- The Associated Press

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March, 25, 2009
03/25/09
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HARDEN BACK ON MOUND (11:56 p.m. ET)
Chicago Cubs right-hander Rich Harden pitched four innings in a minor league game Wednesday.

Harden was scratched from his March 20 start because of a stomach ailment, which he attributed to food poisoning. He threw 63 pitches against Sacramento, the Oakland Athletics' Triple-A affiliate.

"I felt pretty good," he said. "I think I'm going to be feeling better five days from now."

Harden is scheduled to start Monday against Kansas City and next Saturday in an exhibition game against the New York Yankees at new Yankee Stadium. He is on track to start the fourth game of the regular season, April 10 at Milwaukee.

Harden has a history of shoulder problems, and the Cubs have been easing him into action this spring. He has pitched in only two Cactus League games, going 0-0 with a 5.79 ERA.

RED SOX GET CHERRY (10:33 p.m. ET)
The Boston Red Sox have signed right-hander Rocky Cherry to a minor league contract.

The 29-year-old Cherry was 0-3 with a save and a 6.35 ERA in 18 relief appearances for the Baltimore Orioles last year. He spent most of the season at Triple-A Norfolk, where he was 0-1 with a 2.89 ERA in 28 relief appearances.

MARLINS MAKE DEAL (10:31 p.m. ET)
The Florida Marlins traded right-hander Eulogio De La Cruz to the San Diego Padres on Wednesday.

The Marlins said they would get a player to be named or cash in the deal, while the Padres' release just mentioned a player to be named.

De La Cruz was acquired by the Marlins in an eight-player trade with the Detroit Tigers in December 2007. He made his major league debut last season and had no record with an ERA of 18.00 in six games.

The Marlins also optioned right-hander Tim Wood to Double-A Jacksonville and reassigned infielder Chris Coghlan to their minor league camp.

HUNTER BANGED UP (9:41 p.m. ET)
A stiff wind blowing out to center field made things difficult for the pitchers Wednesday. Torii Hunter had it worse, though

The Angels center fielder had a ball deflect off his nose in the first inning, turning a drive by Jeff Baker into a two-run inside-the-park homer, but Los Angeles beat the Colorado Rockies 18-11.

Hunter tried to make a leaping catch at the wall but the ball hit the padding and struck him in the face. He had to leave the game. X-rays were negative.

Jered Weaver was hit hard again, giving up seven hits, six runs -- five earned -- and three homers in 4 1/3 innings.

Jason Marquis allowed 10 hits, 12 runs -- 11 earned -- with four walks over 3 1/3.

COLON LOOKS GOOD (9:16 p.m. ET)
Bartolo Colon took a big step toward making the Chicago White Sox's starting rotation Wednesday, pitching two-hit ball into the fifth inning of a 5-4 win over the Oakland Athletics.

Colon, coming back from offseason elbow surgery, struck out four in 4 1/3 innings and did not walk a batter. He threw 33 of 43 pitches for strikes.

Also for the White Sox, Jose Contreras gave up four runs -- three earned -- in four innings, while striking out three and walking one. Contreras is coming back from a ruptured Achilles tendon. He originally wasn't expected back until midseason.

ORIOLES TRIM DOWN (9:15 p.m. ET)
John Parrish and Brad Hennessey, minor league invitees who were competing for spots in the starting rotation before getting hurt, were among eight cuts made by the Baltimore Orioles on Wednesday.

Parrish will return to Baltimore this week to undergo diagnostic arthroscopic left shoulder surgery to determine the cause of soreness. Hennessey injured his right elbow in the Orioles' Grapefruit League opener and hasn't appeared in an exhibition game since.

Both were reassigned to the team's minor league camp in Sarasota along with infielders Donnie Murphy and Justin Turner, and outfielder Justin Christian.

PAVANO BOUNCES BACK (8:20 p.m. ET)
Carl Pavano rebounded from a rough outing with six strong innings Wednesday, and the Cleveland Indians beat the San Diego Padres 8-4.

Pavano, who appeared in only 26 games in four seasons for the Yankees after signing a $39.95 million contract in 2005, has had his share of struggles this spring. He entered the game with a 9.82 ERA, but threw 53 of 77 pitches for strikes Wednesday and was the first Indians pitcher to go six innings this spring. He gave up six runs over four innings in his last start.

ASTROS RELEASE GRAVES (7:41 p.m. ET)
Right-hander Danny Graves has been granted his release by the Houston Astros.

The club announced the move Wednesday.

The move makes Graves, an 11-year-veteran, a free agent.

He began spring training with the major league club, posting a 6.43 ERA in seven relief appearances. He was reassigned to minor league camp on Sunday and was given permission to talk to other teams.

Graves has a career record of 43-44 with 182 saves and a 4.05 ERA in 518 games with Cleveland, Cincinnati and the New York Mets.

CARDS SEE REYES; ASTROS' ORTIZ ON (6:55 p.m. ET)
Dennys Reyes made his debut in a St. Louis Cardinals uniform Wednesday, pitching a scoreless inning of relief in a 4-3 loss to the Houston Astros.

Reyes, who is with his 10th club after signing a two-year deal with the Cardinals earlier this month, showed little signs of rust after having not thrown since making three appearances for Mexico in the World Baseball Classic. Mexico was eliminated in the second round March 16.

On Wednesday, he entered the game in the top of the eighth with the score tied at 3 and faced four batters, surrendering only a double to Hunter Pence.

Houston's starter Russ Ortiz is competing for the fifth spot in the starting rotation and had a two-hit shutout going into the fourth inning before giving up back-to-back, two-out doubles to Ryan Ludwick and Khalil Greene.

Ortiz left after the fifth inning, having allowed one run on five hits with two walks and four strikeouts. His delivery and routine on the mound were hampered because of a stomach illness.

Cardinals manager Tony La Russa left before the game started to fly to Richmond, Va., for the visitation for his mother-in-law, Mozelle Coker, who died Monday. He also will miss Thursday's game against the New York Mets.

PEREZ WILD; ROBERTSON HURT (5:55 p.m. ET)
Oliver Perez's outing Wednesday alarmed his manager, not because he gave up six runs but because he walked six in 3 2/3 innings of the New York Mets' 10-6 loss to the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday.

Tigers starter Nate Robertson left the game with a sprained thumb on his pitching hand. Robertson, competing for the No. 5 spot in the rotation, was hit by a throw while trying to cover first base in the bottom of the first inning.

Mets manager Jerry Manuel said he will watch Perez, who gave up five hits, carefully in his next couple of outings.

"I think when you don't have command and you don't have that extra velocity, you're going to struggle and that's what happened today," Manuel said. "[Perez] had neither. We have some things to work out."

Tigers shortstop Adam Everett also left the game in the top of the first after spraining his ankle sliding into second base.

Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez and set-up man J.J. Putz saw their first game action since returning from the World Baseball Classic. Each tossed a scoreless inning in a minor league game Wednesday.

PETTITTE THROWS IN MINOR LEAGUE GAME (5:10 p.m. ET)
Yankees left-hander Andy Pettitte threw 83 pitches over 5 1/3 innings in a minor league game on Wednesday.

Pettitte allowed five runs -- one earned -- and seven hits for Class A Tampa against Philadelphia's Clearwater team. All the runs came in the second, when Tampa committed three errors.

"I felt good with everything," Pettitte said. "Obviously you always wish you could have a little better command sometimes. All in all, it was good. Got through it. Stretched me out."

Pettitte struck out three and walk one. He had an aching left shoulder during the latter part of 2008, but has experienced no problems during spring training.

"It's been great," Pettitte said. "I didn't think it was going to be a concern going into the season. I'm hoping that I worked hard enough that I shouldn't have any problems."

Pettitte went 14-14 with a 4.54 ERA in 33 starts last year.

BREWERS RELEASE NIXON (4:26 p.m. ET)
Veteran outfielder Trot Nixon was released by the Milwaukee Brewers, leaving three players competing for two outfield spots on the Opening Day roster.

Nixon, who will be 35 on April 11, was a non-roster invitee with four hits in 38 spring at-bats.

Brewers manager Ken Macha on Wednesday said the decision was tough because Nixon's career meant so much to him. Macha managed Nixon for four years in Boston's minor league system.

Macha asked general manager Doug Melvin to release Nixon now so he might catch on with another major league team. Nixon has 137 homers and 555 RBIs with a .274 average over 12 seasons, 10 with Boston.

Tony Gwynn Jr., Chris Duffy and Brad Nelson are the finalists for the two backup slots.

CHISOX PULL BACK ON BUERHLE (1:23 p.m. ET)
Left-hander Mark Buehrle will be held out of his scheduled start Thursday against Arizona, but the White Sox were hardly sounding an alarm.

"We're going to take care of Buehrle, meaning we're not going to pile up innings or pile up work," pitching coach Don Cooper told reporters Tuesday. "He'll be in line for the opener."

Rather than start against the D-backs, Buehrle is expected to throw a side session that day, rest for a few days, then make a final spring start next Tuesday. If he's fine in the coaching staff's eyes, he'll get a five-day respite before getting Chicago's Opening Day start at home against Kansas City on April 6.

"Buehrle is fine," manager Ozzie Guillen said. "We have a different schedule for him right now. I expect him to be ready for the start of the season. He's going to throw on the side the next couple of days and we'll see, but the one guy we have to worry about the least is him."