Category archive: John Lackey

DEWITT TO START AT SECOND FOR DODGERS (10:31 p.m. ET)

The Dodgers have chosen Blake DeWitt as their Opening Day second baseman and knuckleballer Charlie Haeger as their No. 5 starter.

Manager Joe Torre delivered the news to both players when they reported to Dodger Stadium on Thursday for the first of the team's final three exhibition games.

Before Torre and general manager Ned Colletti let DeWitt know he had made the club, they played an April Fool's joke.

DeWitt said Torre told him he was being sent to Triple-A Albuquerque. After DeWitt admitted he didn't know the date, Torre told him it was April 1.

Ronnie Belliard and newly acquired Jamey Carroll will serve as infield backups.

-- The Associated Press

PEAVY SAYS HE FEELS AS GOOD AS '07 (9:53 p.m. ET)

Jake Peavy declared he feels as good as he did in his 2007 Cy Young Award season despite giving up two home runs in four innings in his final spring start as the White Sox lost to Triple-A Charlotte 4-3.

Peavy gave up three runs and four hits with seven strikeouts and no walks. Peavy struck out six through three scoreless innings before surrendering home runs to Stefan Gartrell and Josh Kroeger on cut fastballs. He left after throwing 68 pitches.

Mark Kotsay and Carlos Quentin homered for Chicago, which played its regulars four innings before finishing the game with many players from Class A Winston-Salem.

Jeff Marquez allowed two runs and five hits in five innings for the Knights.

-- The Associated Press

REDS DELAY ROSTER CUTS (9:03 p.m. ET)

The Reds' plans to slash their spring training roster have been pushed back another day.

The Reds made two moves, optioning right-hander Carlos Fisher to Triple-A Louisville and reassigning catcher Corky Miller to their minor league camp. They're left with 38 players in camp -- 13 over the limit for Opening Day.

General manager Walt Jocketty had indicated the club would substantially reduce the roster on Thursday. However, the team wasn't able to tell some of the players about its plans before they left the training complex following a 7-6 win over Texas, so the rest of the moves were put off for another day.

-- The Associated Press

ANDERSON TO TRY TO BECOME PITCHER (8:57 p.m. ET)

Outfielder Brian Anderson is going to give pitching a try.

Anderson signed a one-year, $700,000 free-agent contract with the Royals in the offseason after finishing 2009 with the Red Sox. But instead of taking a minor league assignment as an outfielder, the former first-round draft pick opted to go to the low minors and work his way back as a pitcher.

Royals manager Trey Hillman says he's not sure how the transition will work "but it's going to start at the very bottom."

Anderson last pitched in college for Arizona, where he appeared in 17 games and had a 5.40 ERA in 21 2/3 innings.

Selected by the White Sox with the 15th overall pick in the 2003 amateur draft, Anderson has a .227 average in five major league seasons with 22 homers and 80 RBIs.

-- The Associated Press

CUETO STRUGGLES THROUGH BACK PROBLEMS (7:53 p.m. ET)

Right-hander Johnny Cueto had trouble getting his back loose and struggled through four innings, but Scott Rolen hit a homer and sacrifice fly that rallied the Reds to a 7-6 victory over the Rangers.

Cueto hasn't had any issues with his back this spring and didn't think the problem was serious. He gave up 10 hits and five runs in four innings. He also hit two batters.

Rolen hit a two-run homer off closer Frank Francisco, who started the game and gave up four hits in his one inning. Reds minor leaguer Daniel Dorn singled home a run in the seventh and hit a two-out solo homer in the ninth off left-hander Richard Bleier to win it.

-- The Associated Press

SORIANO SPOILS FRANCIS' BEST OUTING THIS SPRING (6:33 p.m. ET)

Jeff Francis, who missed last season after undergoing shoulder surgery, pitched five scoreless innings for Colorado before Alfonso Soriano's two-run homer in the sixth lifted the Cubs to a 2-0 victory over the Rockies.

Francis entered with a 7.27 ERA but Colorado's No. 2 starter held the Cubs to three singles and three walks in his best outing. The left-hander won 17 games in 2007 before going 4-10 the next year as his shoulder became problematic.

Soriano, who slumped most of March, capped his three-hit day with a homer off Matt Daley. Coming off his worst season -- .241 with 20 HRs and 55 RBIs -- Soriano has only two homers and five RBIs this spring.

Cubs starter Carlos Silva allowed six hits over five scoreless innings.

-- The Associated Press

WHITE SOX'S ELARTON OUTDUELS MARINERS' SNELL (6:28 p.m. ET)

Scott Elarton pitched two scoreless innings in his first start since 2008 and a squad of White Sox minor leaguers roughed up Ian Snell in a 9-4 win over the Mariners.

Elarton, who hasn't pitched in the majors since the Indians placed him on the disabled list in July 2008 for what the club then called a non-baseball medical condition, signed a minor league deal this week. He gave up one hit and struck out one.

Snell, the Mariners' No. 2 starter, gave up six runs and 10 hits while striking out five.

The White Sox's big league roster left Thursday morning for exhibition games in Charlotte, N.C., and Atlanta.

-- The Associated Press

LACKEY WALKS FIRST BATTER OF SPRING (5:58 p.m. ET)

John Lackey walked his first batter in 20 innings this spring and gave up a run in the Red Sox's 5-3 win over the Twins.

The Red Sox scored two runs in the eighth inning off Twins reliever Ron Mahay. Scott Schoeneweis pitched a scoreless eighth for the Red Sox.

Lackey went five innings and gave up six hits, including a homer to Jim Thome. He walked six and struck out two.

"I thought he got on some fastballs," manager Terry Francona said. "I think like [Jon] Lester and [Josh] Beckett, he's ready for the season. I think he's raring to go. I think he was chomping at the bit a little bit today even."

-- The Associated Press

MOYER, PHILLIES CLOSE OUT SPRING SCHEDULE (4:58 p.m. ET)

Jamie Moyer pitched six strong innings and the Phillies closed out their spring training schedule with a 4-2 win over the Pirates.

Moyer, who was named the fifth starter two days earlier, gave up solo home runs to Ryan Church and Ryan Doumit but held Pittsburgh in check the rest of the way. The 47-year-old left-hander scattered six hits while striking out three and walking none.

Moyer, who underwent three offseason operations, enters his 24th major league season healthy and coming off a strong spring. In six starts, including three B games, Moyer had a 2.02 ERA while striking out 23 and walking just one in 26 2/3 innings.

-- The Associated Press

ROBERTSON DEBUTS WITH MARLINS (4:34 p.m. ET)

Newly acquired Nate Robertson allowed one earned run on two hits in seven innings and even drove in a run in the Marlins' 3-1 victory over the Cardinals.

"I got here yesterday with a full car, my family is back in Detroit and I'm pitching seven innings in the final game of the Grapefruit League," Robertson said. "But I'm excited to be here. If there was a team to go to, it's definitely the team that drafted me and got me going into my professional career."

Robertson, acquired in a trade with the Tigers on Wednesday, surrendered a run in the fifth when Ryan Ludwick led off with a double to left, stole third and scored on David Freese's groundout to short.

"What I saw today I liked," Florida manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "He threw a lot of strikes. I think he went seven innings and didn't get to 90 pitches."

-- The Associated Press

ASTROS' JOHNSON HITS SEVENTH SPRING HOMER (4:31 p.m. ET)

Chris Johnson hit his team-leading seventh home run of the spring, but the Astros dropped a game to a Tigers split-squad 4-2.

Houston reliever Brandon Lyon allowed three runs on four hits in one inning.

-- The Associated Press

TEIXEIRA RETURNS AFTER TWO-GAME ABSENCE (4:05 p.m. ET)

Mark Teixeira doubled and singled after missing two games with a sore elbow as the Yankees beat the Blue Jays 5-2.

Teixeira wore a protective shield on his right elbow, which was bruised when he was hit by a pitch Monday against Baltimore. Robinson Cano and Nick Swisher each had a pair of singles for New York.

Right-hander A.J. Burnett allowed two runs on five hits in 4 2/3 innings for the Yankees, including Jose Bautista's home run on his second pitch.

New York's Joba Chamberlain pitched in consecutive games for the first time this spring.

-- The Associated Press

MAINE GIVES UP SIX HITS TO NATS (3:18 p.m. ET)

Mets right-hander John Maine pitched through stomach problems and allowed four runs in 4 2/3 innings as the Washington Nationals defeated New York 9-3 Thursday.

Maine, who will pitch second in the Mets' rotation, gave up six hits and walked four.

Josh Willingham hit a two-run homer for Washington in the fourth off Maine to make it 3-2, and the New York pitcher couldn't get through the fifth.

He walked two to start the fifth. Adam Dunn followed with an RBI single and Willingham drove in another run on a ground-rule double to take the lead.

-- The Associated Press

SWEENEY LIKELY PART OF MARINERS' ROSTER (2:28 p.m. ET)

Five-time All-Star and camp long shot Mike Sweeney has likely made the Seattle Mariners as a pinch-hitter and backup first baseman.

The news came as part of the Mariners' announcement infielder Ryan Garko was claimed off waivers by Texas. Left-hander Garrett Olson was optioned to Triple-A Tacoma.

The 36-year-old Sweeney has kept his spring batting average well above .500. He also has picked up where he left off last season by mentoring young players, and has been a popular clubhouse leader.

-- The Associated Press

INDIANS NAME HUFF FIFTH STARTER (12:48 p.m. ET)

David Huff is the Cleveland Indians' No. 5 starter.

Right-hander Carlos Carrasco, who was in competition for the job, was optioned to Triple-A Columbus.

Huff gave up one run and five hits in seven innings to the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday in his final spring audition. The 25-year-old led Cleveland with 11 wins a year ago as a rookie after making his major-league debut on May 17.

Carrasco, 23, was one of four players acquired from Philadelphia in the trade that sent 2008 AL Cy Young Award winner Cliff Lee to the Phillies in July. He had a 12-inning scoreless stretch earlier this spring and compiled a 4.60 ERA overall in four outings.

-- The Associated Press

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, 28, 2009
03/28/09
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LINCECUM LOOKS SHARP IN TUNEUP (10:55 p.m. ET)
Tim Lincecum got in some work on the mound in a minor league warmup against the Los Angeles Angels.

The NL Cy Young winner, trying to improve his mechanics, allowed one run on five hits and struck out six in five innings Saturday night for the San Francisco Giants.

San Francisco held Lincecum out of the team's game against San Diego because he could face the Padres twice in the first three weeks of the regular season. Lincecum is scheduled to start the first game of the Bay Area series against Oakland on Thursday before facing Milwaukee in the Giants' regular-season opener April 7 at AT&T Park.

"I can't emphasize it enough, the rhythm thing," Lincecum said. "I just haven't found a consistent track to keep holding onto that rhythm. It's a little frustrating, but I'm glad I got a little bit more time before the season starts. [Spring training] is always a matter of trying to get everything back. It's a matter of getting your body used to the games, the grind, everything. Just taking all that in.

"Every year, it's trying to get that again and again."

HAMMEL MAKES CASE FOR ROTATION (7:14 p.m. ET)
Jason Hammel made his case to win a spot in Tampa Bay's starting rotation, tossing five scoreless innings in the Rays' 5-1 loss to the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday.

Hammel walked Willy Taveras to start the game, but picked him off first base for the first out. Hammel sailed from there, allowing just two hits and striking out four.

"I just went back to the aggressive approach that I was using early in camp," Hammel said. "It was basically just attack. I wasn't going to walk guys today. The one walk to Willy was pretty close."

Manager Joe Maddon was pleased with the way Hammel commanded his fastball, pounding it low in the strike zone. He also liked the way the right-hander was able to shake off his previous outing against the Pirates, in which he allowed four runs on six hits and walked five in four innings against the Pirates.

Hammel is competing with Jeff Niemann for the final spot with the runner-up headed to the bullpen as the long man.

LACKEY RECEIVES CORTISONE SHOT (5:53 p.m. ET)
John Lackey received a cortisone shot to hasten the healing process for his sore right elbow Saturday.

"It's difficult to quantify but I don't think it's anything major," said Dr. Lewis Yokum, who flew in to examine Lackey. "Obviously it's frustrating for him."

Yokum said the current elbow strain is unrelated to the elbow injury that caused Lackey to miss the first six weeks of last season. This strain is on the inside of the elbow while last year's was on the outside.

Lackey, who will almost certainly open the season on the disabled list, will rest the arm for at least three to four days. Yokum said it's a coin flip as to how long he'll need once he begins throwing again. "Hopefully we got the elbow quieted down. It could be a couple weeks. But if we didn't get rid of the inflammation, it could be longer.''

With Ervin Santana (elbow) and Kelvim Escobar (labrum) also likely to open the year on the d.l., Joe Saunders, Jered Weaver, Dustin Mosely, Nick Adenhart and Shane Loux are the probable rotation when the season opens.

Escobar threw 40 pitches and retired the first 10 batters he faced in a minor league game Saturday.

-- ESPN.com writer Jim Caple

MARTIS, ZIMMERMAN IN ROTATION (4:45 p.m. ET)
Shairon Martis and Jordan Zimmermann have won the last two spots in the Washington Nationals' starting rotation.

Martis will start the year on the big league roster, but Zimmermann will start the year in the minors before his first start against Florida on April 19.

The Nationals also placed outfielder Wily Mo Pena on waivers Saturday, and reassigned infielder Jose Castillo and outfielder Corey Patterson to minor league camp.

Catcher Javier Valentin also was reassigned, but opted out to become a free agent. Pitcher Collin Balester also was reassigned to Triple-A Syracuse.

MARLINS GET C PAULINO IN TRADE (4:26 p.m. ET)

Catcher Ronny Paulino was traded Saturday for the second time in 24 hours and the third time since December, and he's now with the Florida Marlins.

The San Francisco Giants sent Paulino to Florida for minor-league right-hander Hector Correa. The deal was announced Saturday after Paulino was traded Friday night to the Giants from the Philadelphia Phillies for left-handed pitcher Jack Taschner.

Paulino is expected to share playing time with John Baker. Paulino was traded to the Phillies from Pittsburgh last Dec. 10 for catcher Jason Jaramillo. He had spent his entire career with the Pirates and hit .212 last year while being limited to 40 games because of a sprained ankle.

JETER HURTS FINGER, STAYS IN GAME (3:51 p.m. ET)
Derek Jeter bruised a knuckle on his left pinkie during a collision at first base in the first inning of the New York Yankees' game against Atlanta on Saturday, but remained in the game.

He played three innings in the field, and the team said Jeter is fine.

The Yankees captain ran into Braves first baseman Greg Norton, who moved along the first-base line to catch a throw from second baseman Martin Prado after Prado fielded Jeter's grounder.

REDS' HARANG SHEDS POUNDS (3:41 p.m. ET)
Cincinnati Reds right-hander Aaron Harang got a quicker start on his offseason conditioning program.

The stocky starter lost 33 pounds in an effort to make sure last year's hideous 6-17 season didn't happen again.

The 6-foot-7 pitcher is noticeably thinner around the middle. During his career-worst season in 2008, he topped out at 284 pounds. He was hurt for nearly a month, with a strained right forearm disabling him from mid-July to early August.

"That was a tough year on him last year," manager Dusty Baker said. "Different people handle those tough years in a different way. But I think he really dedicated himself over the winter. You don't lose that weight in a month. You dedicate yourself for three or four months. It's really tough to do that.

"It shows you how badly he wanted to return to excellence."

Once glance says it all.

INDIANS SEND CROWE, GIMINEZ TO MINORS (3:32 p.m. ET)
The Cleveland Indians optioned outfielder Trevor Crowe and utility player Chris Gimenez to Triple-A Columbus of the International League on Saturday.

Crowe, drafted in the first round out of Arizona in 2005, lost a battle to veterans Tony Graffanino and Josh Barfield for the final position-player spot on the roster. The switch-hitter batted .289 with one homer and three RBIs in 17 spring exhibition games.

The 26-year-old Gimenez hit .357 with two homers and seven RBIs in 20 games at catcher, first base, third base, left field and right field.

"He's put himself on the radar," Wedge said of Gimenez, a 19th-round pick out of Nevada in 2004.

PIRATES SEND DOWN DIAZ, PEARCE (3:04 p.m. ET)
The Pirates reduced their spring training roster to 37 players Saturday by optioning outfielder Steve Pearce and catcher Robinzon Diaz to Triple-A Indianapolis and assigning infielder Anderson Machado to their minor league camp.

Diaz was sent down after the Pirates settled on Jason Jaramillo as catcher Ryan Doumit's backup. Jaramillo was acquired during the offseason from the Phillies for former Pirates starting catcher Ronny Paulino, was dealt by Philadelphia to San Francisco on Friday for reliever Jack Taschner.

Pearce was unable to break into a now-crowded outfield that added Eric Hinske and Craig Monroe during the offseason and is expected to play first base at Indianapolis. Pearce hit .212 this spring with no homers and three RBIs.

LEYLAND: BONDERMAN NOT READY YET (2:32 p.m. ET)
Don't count on seeing starter Jeremy Bonderman or reliever Joel Zumaya on Detroit's active roster when the Tigers start the regular season.

"In my personal opinion, it's highly unlikely that [Bonderman] will be ready to start the season," manager Jim Leyland said Saturday in Dunedin, Fla., where the Tigers were playing the Blue Jays.

Leyland said the same goes for Zumaya, who has yet to pitch in an actual game this spring. Zumaya threw in a minor-league intrasquad game on Saturday, but the team didn't disclose the results of that outing.

Bonderman is scheduled to start on Sunday in Lakeland and throw 50 pitches against the Braves.

Last season, the Tigers unsuccessfully tried to bring Bonderman and Zumaya back from injuries. It didn't work, and there won't be a repeat of that strategy this year, Leyland said.

"We've gotta use our brains [with Bonderman]," Leyland said. "The same goes for Zumaya. We're not going to rush them back. ... I've had enough of that. We don't want to go through that again."

If Bonderman isn't ready for Opening Day, Zach Miner is likely to wind up in the Tigers' rotation. And 20-year-old Rick Porcello, a highly-touted prospect, is still very much in the mix for a roster spot.

How much? Leyland, rather than take the bus from Lakeland to Dunedin on Saturday morning, stayed behind to watch Porcello throw a bullpen session, then drove to Dunedin on his own.

Leyland said he wanted to have a few words with Porcello. "I just wanted to talk to him. I wanted to make a few comments. I think that was really important," he said.

-- ESPN.com baseball writer Jayson Stark

LACKEY EXPECTED TO MISS OPENER (1:07 p.m. ET)

John Lackey is doubtful to start for the Angels on Opening Day after an MRI revealed inflammation in his throwing elbow. Lackey was expected to start the season on the disabled list.

Angels manager Mike Scioscia said Friday that "right now, it's definitely unlikely" Lackey will be ready for the April 6 game against the Oakland Athletics, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Lackey joins Ervin Santana, out with a sprained elbow ligament, and Kelvim Escobar, who is rehabbing from shoulder surgery, as Angels starters recovering from injury.

"We have starting pitching depth, but right now we're stretching it as far as we're comfortable with," Scioscia said, according to the newspaper.

RED SOX TO START BECKETT IN OPENER (11:45 a.m. ET)
The Boston Red Sox will send Josh Beckett to the mound on Opening Day against the Tampa Bay Rays, manager Terry Francona said Saturday. James Shields will oppose Beckett in the opener, on Monday, April 6 at Fenway Park. On Wednesday, the Red Sox will start Jon Lester against the Rays' Scott Kazmir.

On Thursday, Daisuke Matsuzaka will go for Boston against Tampa Bay's Matt Garza.

Francona also said that Lester and Matsuzaka will start a pair of exhibition games April 3-4 against the New York Mets at their new home, Citi Field.

-- The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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MORROW MAY WORK OUT OF 'PEN (10:33 p.m. ET)
Seattle right-hander Brandon Morrow may have to pitch out of the bullpen to get his work in this spring.

Morrow, who is projected to be the Mariners' fifth starter, has been slowed by a stiff forearm in training camp and hasn't pitched in a Cactus League game since March 1. There are concerns the 24-year-old's arm won't be strong enough to handle the rigors of starting when the regular season begins April 6.

Manager Don Wakamatsu in the past has shot down talk of using Morrow in the bullpen, but now is keeping his options open.

Wakamatsu said Saturday that he thinks it will come down to the last week of camp, to see how much Morrow progresses, before he can decide whether he will be a starter.

GLAVINE NEARING ROTATION SPOT (7:56 p.m. ET)
Tom Glavine knows the end of his career is in sight and he wants to leave on his own terms.

The Atlanta Braves lefty pitched three pain-free innings against his former team in his first start this spring, allowing only two hits Saturday in a 12-1 win over the New York Mets.

Glavine had thrown a simulated game Monday and said he felt as though he'd be ready to join the rotation in about a month.

The two-time Cy Young Award winner has 305 wins, but he started a career-low 13 games last year, going 2-4 before his season was cut short due to elbow surgery. Glavine, who will turn 43 on Wednesday, contemplated retirement but said he wasn't quite finished.

YOUKILIS ON WAY BACK, DREW OUT (6:38 p.m. ET)
Kevin Youkilis could rejoin the Boston Red Sox lineup on Monday after giving his sprained left ankle more time to lead. J.D. Drew could need more time to get back on the field after bruising a hand when getting hit by a pitch.

Youkilis returned to the Red Sox on Wednesday from the World Baseball Classic with a mild sprain and mild Achilles tendinitis in his left foot. The first baseman had been wearing a hard plastic boot, then was examined Saturday by team physician Dr. Peter Asnis and took batting practice while wearing running shoes.

"He can maybe get a couple of at-bats on Monday," manager Terry Francona before his team's game against the Marlins in Jupiter. "We certainly don't want this to linger."

Drew did not participate in an on-field workout Saturday, a day after he was hit on the right hand by a Donnie Veal pitch. X-rays Friday were negative.

"Just kind of hang out until it feels well enough to start swinging and stuff," Drew said. "It feels pretty good, just stiff and sore from the bruise. But fortunately, it doesn't look like it's broke or anything. Hopefully, I don't have any issues when I start coming back to swing."

Francona said the team will proceed cautiously.

"It will be completely day to day on how he feels and how quickly the bruise doesn't feel bruised," the manager said.

UPTON HIT BY PITCH, BUT SHOULD BE OK (6:37 p.m. ET)
Tampa Bay's B.J. Upton was hit by a pitch on the left hand during a minor league game, however the Rays don't believe it's a serious injury.

X-rays were negative Saturday. The defending AL champions said the center fielder has a bone bruise and described his status as day to day. Upton has been limited throughout spring training while rehabbing from offseason shoulder surgery.

The 24-year-old played most of last year with an injured left shoulder that affected his production at the plate. He had surgery shortly after the World Series and has yet to appear in a major league exhibition this spring training.

CHAVEZ GETS THE GO-AHEAD (4:25 p.m. ET)
Eric Chavez has been cleared to take batting practice for the first time in nearly two weeks.

Chavez, rehabbing from shoulder surgery, was tested Saturday using pulleys and swinging a bat without a ball. Chavez had not swung a bat since a setback on March. 8.

In other A's news, left-hander Dallas Braden was scratched from his scheduled start in Saturday's split-squad game against the Mariners at Peoria. Braden had a root canal operation on Friday and was not ready to pitch. He was rescheduled for Sunday against the White Sox.

LHP PARRISH TO UNDERGO SHOULDER SURGERY
(3:57 p.m. ET)

Left-hander John Parrish will return to Baltimore for exploratory arthroscopic procedure on his sore pitching shoulder.

Parrish, with the Orioles on a minor league contract, hasn't pitched during spring training because of the shoulder injury.

The 31-year-old was 1-1 with a 4.04 ERA last year for Toronto in six starts and seven relief appearances.

NATIONALS SIGN CATCHER BARD (3:22 p.m. ET)
The Washington Nationals signed catcher Josh Bard to a minor-league deal on Saturday, adding another veteran to compete for the backup job behind Jesus Flores.

Bard was released by the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday, and will join the Nationals' big league camp. He would make $600,000 this year if he makes the major league team.

The 30-year-old catcher played 57 games for San Diego last season, hitting .202 with a home run and 16 RBIs. His best season came in 2006, when he hit .338 with nine home runs and 40 RBIs in 93 games for the Padres.

Wil Nieves caught 68 games as the Nationals' backup last season, and figured to have a roster spot locked up until Washington signed Bard. The two will now compete for the backup spot.

DREW, YOUKILIS TO RETURN SOON (2:17 p.m. ET)

Right fielder J.D. Drew was held out of the Boston Red Sox's lineup with an injured right hand Saturday, a day after getting hit by a pitch from Pirates left-hander Donnie Veal.

"It'll be day-to-day on how he feels, and how quickly the bruise doesn't feel bruised," manager Terry Francona said, according to MLB.com.

First baseman Kevin Youkilis, who returned this week to Fort Myers, Fla., from the World Baseball Classic with a mild sprained ankle and mild Achilles tendinitis in his left foot, took batting practice and fielded ground balls Saturday.

Youkilis could return to live games as soon as Monday, MLB.com reported.

"We'll see about that," Francona said. "Since he's in the boot and not feeling too good, we certainly don't want this to linger, so I'll talk to Youk and the medical people about that."

HUGHES AMONG 6 SENT TO MINOR LEAGUE CAMP (2:01 p.m. ET)

Phil Hughes was among six right-handed pitchers the New York Yankees sent down Saturday to their minor league spring training camp.

"I told him that he had a great camp and to keep working," Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said of Hughes, according to MLB.com. "We told him about all the things that we saw and what he needs to continue to work on.

"He's in a great frame of mind. He knows he did great here, but he also knows that it's not in his best interest to now be held back."

Hughes joined Anthony Claggett, and Steven Jackson, who were sent to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Humberto Sanchez was shipped to Double-A Trenton, while Sergio Mitre and Jason Johnson were also shipped to the Yankees' minor league camp.

"Because his pitch count continues to climb, there's no innings to provide here," Cashman said of Hughes.

GARDENHIRE BACKS LHP MIJARES (11:12 a.m. ET)

The Minnesota Twins are standing behind the left-handed Jose Mijares despite a shaky spring in which he's recorded a 11.37 ERA.

"What we need to do is get him straightened out, right here," manager Ron Gardenhire said, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press. "I can always throw problems to somebody else, and not try to do it ourselves right here before we break camp.

"But he's a pretty good arm, and if we can figure this out, we'll be a better baseball team."

Gardenhire had been critical of Mijares, hinting of a connection to his performance and a lack of conditioning.

The rookie continued to struggle Friday, going to a 3-0 count on three Yankees hitters and allowing a home run to Todd Linden and singles to Doug Bernier and Juan Miranda.

"We're going to keep trying to get him going in the right direction," Gardenhire said, according to the newspaper. "He did some pretty good things last year, and even though I'm a little bit upset at him, we have to get this kid right. That's our job."

LF ANDERSON ON MEND (10:49 a.m. ET)

Left fielder Garret Anderson said he felt much improved Friday since pulling a calf muscle while warming up for a spring training game two weeks ago.

"[Trainers] just wanted me to get the muscle fatigued and see how it responded the next day," Anderson said, according to the The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "I didn't feel anything when I ran at all. I think we waited more than enough time to start running."

Anderson said he expected to return as early as next week.

LACKEY, ANGELS STILL IN TALKS (10:38 a.m. ET)

John Lackey's four-year, $27-million deal expires after this season, and according to the right-hander, the Angels' efforts to re-sign him to a new deal before the season starts continue to poke along -- without much steam.

"They're not trying very hard," Lackey said Friday, according to the Los Angeles Times. "It's kind of on them at this point. I love playing here and I'd like to stay, but I've put myself into a category that they need to get to."

One of the possible problems for the Angels?

Lackey may be using CC Sabathia's seven-year, $161-million contract he received from the New York Yankees this offseason as a measuring stick.

"Except for his time in the National League, look at the numbers," Lackey said, according to the newspaper. "That's how you do it; you throw out comparables."

-- The Associated Press contributed to this report.