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Tag:NL East
Posted on: March 6, 2012 2:05 pm
Edited on: March 6, 2012 4:22 pm
 

Johan Santana pitches, lives to tell about it

Johan Santana

By C. Trent Rosecrans


Pitching for the first time since 2010, Mets left-hander Johan Santana threw in a game. It may have only been an exhibition, but for someone with Santana's recent past, it was no doubt a big game.

So how'd he do?

He threw two scoreless innings, allowed a hit and a walk. Of his 29 pitches, 17 were strikes. According to the New York Times, he hit 90 mph on the gun once, while sitting around 87-88.

"Finally I had an opportunity to go out there and finally get the first one out of the way," Santana told reporters (via ESPNNewYork.com). "... I was excited about today. Even as I was preparing myself prior to the game, I was anxious to go out there and do it. But, at the same time, it was all about how I feel. I know it is a game situation and you have to do your job out there, but I was just focused on making sure I do the mechanics the right way and feeling good and not feeling anything in my arm. And that's how I felt today. I felt good."

 And his arm, apparently, remained attached to his body. At this point, that's all that really matters.

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Posted on: March 5, 2012 8:57 pm
Edited on: March 5, 2012 9:24 pm
 

Injury roundup: Marcum, Longoria, Posey and more

By Matt Snyder

Brewers starting pitcher Shaun Marcum still has a stiff shoulder. For more, check out Danny Knobler's blog on the subject, as he's on site.

As for the rest, here's Wednesday's injury wrap:

• A's first baseman Daric Barton has been shut down for three days after requiring a second cortisone shot in his surgically-repaired shoulder. Per MLB.com, the chances of Barton making the opening-day roster are "slimming by the day."

Mets ace Johan Santana is all set for his Tuesday start against the Cardinals (ESPN New York).

• Also in Mets news, third baseman David Wright missed Monday's game with his lingering ribcage stiffness. He previously said he'd be playing if these were regular-season games but was expected to suit up and give it a go Monday. Meanwhile, Ike Davis -- who the Mets believe has Valley Fever -- is scheduled to play both Monday and Tuesday for three innings (MLB.com).

Marlins ace Josh Johnson had a 41-pitch, "pain-free" start Monday. He's moving forward slowly, but the Marlins project him atop their rotation. (MLB.com)

Rays third baseman Evan Longoria was hit in the hand with a pitch last week. He was fortunate to avoid any breaks, but is still suffering from the bruise and swelling. His batting practice session was cut short Monday and he'll wait a few more days before trying again (Rays Report).

• Just one week after dislocating his kneecap, Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman is going to be in the lineup for his club's spring game Tuesday (AJC.com via Twitter).

Giants second baseman Freddy Sanchez "likely will play" in an exhibition game later this week, but here's the big news: Buster Posey "could join him." Getting Posey into game action this early in the spring as he looks to return from a broken leg would obviously be huge. He has already been cleared to hit in a game and will likely be used as a DH at first (same with Sanchez). "We don't need setbacks. We just don't want to risk anything," said manager Bruce Bochy.

Monday night's game is on TV, but Bochy still won't risk going with Posey. "I know they [fans] want to see him. We do, too, but it's not worth the risk."

Also in Giants news, Brian Wilson will face hitters Wednesday and is scheduled to pitch in a game March 11. They are also hoping Ryan Vogelsong can throw off a mound Thursday. (All info courtesy of Knobler, who was in camp)

• New Reds closer Ryan Madson has been shut down for a few days with irritation in his throwing elbow, but he'll resume throwing Tuesday. He called it a "normal" and said it's happened to him the "past couple of years." (MLB.com)

Yankees infielder Eduardo Nunez was hit in the right hand with a pitch Monday. His X-rays were negative and -- like Longoria -- has a bruised hand. (MLB.com)

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook.
Posted on: March 5, 2012 6:42 pm
Edited on: March 5, 2012 6:46 pm
 

Marlins home run sculpture a vision obstruction?



By Matt Snyder


There may be a problem with the sculpture in left-center field at the new Marlins ballpark, and not just because it's an eyesore for many people. It may, in fact, be placed too close to center field and be a distraction to left-handed hitters when facing right-handed pitchers. Some left-handed hitters on the Marlins reportedly think it will be.

“If it is an issue, it can no longer be there,” said Marlins utility player Greg Dobbs (MiamiHerald.com). “I won’t be the only left-handed hitter saying something. If other teams have a problem with it, they’re definitely going to voice their concern to the league.”

Marlins new ballpark
Catcher John Buck squatted behind the plate to get a look recently, and he thinks it's close.

“It’s kind of my job to scope those things out,’’ Buck said (MiamiHerald.com). “It might be close. It might be all right. I don’t know. We’ll see. I think for left-handed batters it might be trouble.”

A lot more will be known Tuesday night, after the Marlins square off against the University of Miami in the stadium. For the time being, though, club president David Samson says MLB officials investigated the park last Thursday and found no "issue whatsoever." (MiamiHerald.com) Meanwhile, the batter's eye in center field is being painted black instead of the green color you can see in the above photo, so that's one thing they've already had to change.

If the home run celebration sculpture does pose an issue, it will be very interesting to see what the Marlins choose to do with it. At that size, it can't be easy to move, and it reportedly cost over $2 million to construct.

Hat-tip: Big League Stew

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Posted on: March 5, 2012 12:36 pm
Edited on: March 5, 2012 12:50 pm
 

Suit against Wilpons clears hurdle

By Dayn Perry

The Wilpon family, owners/saboteurs of the New York Mets, suffered a courtroom setback today, report Terri Thompson and Michael O'Keefe of the New York Daily News:

A federal judge in Manhattan ruled Monday that the contentious and highly public battle between the owners of the New York Mets and the trustee overseeing the Bernard L. Madoff bankruptcy case will proceed to trial, continuing a case marred by leaks and sordid accusations that has jeopardized the ownership of the Mets for more than a year. U.S. District Court Judge Jed Rakoff refused to dismiss the suit, ruling that the trustee, Irving Picard, can proceed to trial on three counts against Fred and Jeff Wilpon and Saul Katz and their partners in Sterling Equities and can claim as much as $83.3 million in “fictitious profits” without a trial.

The Wilpons, whose Madoff entanglements have already whittled down the family fortune, are already pawning off ownership stakes in the team, so it goes without saying that they can't afford a such a pricey judgement against them. On the other hand, anything that puts the House of Wilpon on the log flume out of Queens is probably good news for beleaguered Mets fans.

UPDATE: Adam Rubin tweets that this might not be entirely bad news for the Wilpons.

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Category: MLB
Posted on: March 5, 2012 12:04 pm
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Posted on: March 4, 2012 8:29 pm
 

Injury roundup: Howard, Nix, Madson and more

Ryan HowardBy C. Trent Rosecrans

There is no timetable for Ryan Howard's return to the field after he suffered an infection near the site of his Achilles injury, Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. told reporters on Sunday.

Howard is currently in a walking boot and fighting the infection with antibiotics. Howard will keep the boot on his left leg for the next week to 10 days.

"Once we're comfortable with where the infection is at, we can be more aggressive with his rehab," Amaro said (DelawareOnline.com).

In other injury news from around baseball on Sunday:

• Phillies outfielder Laynce Nix is limited to pinch-hitting and DH roles while he deals with tightness in his hamstring. Nix is expected to be in competition for the Phillies' job in left field, but Philadelphia is being cautious with him. The left-handed Nix is also expected to play some first base in Howard's absence. [DelawareOnline.com]

• New Reds closer Ryan Madson has a "minor" elbow injury and hasn't appeared in either of the Reds' first two spring games.

"He has a little irritation in his arm," manager Dusty Baker said (MLB.com). "The doctor looked at him today. Hopefully he will be all right in the next couple of days."

• David Wright will sit out at least the first two games of the exhibition season with pain in his left ribcage. Wright is still working out with the team, but the team is being cautious.

"We're going to hold him out until he's asymptomatic," general manager Sandy Alderson told reporters. [New York Times]

• Marlins right-hander Anibal Sanchez will rest his shoulder two more days before determining when he can return to the mound.

"I want to make sure everything is fine," Sanchez said (Palm Beach Post). "We're early in spring training, no reason to rush. I want to make sure nothing is bothering me."

He felt soreness in his should after a bullpen on Friday.

• Plenty of injury news from Rays camp -- left-hander Matt Moore threw off the mound for the first time in more than a week on Saturday, and on Sunday said he felt "normal." The left-hander had suffered from a lower abdominal strain and expects to throw again Monday and batting practice on Thursday. He could appear in an exhibition game as early as next weekend. Third baseman Evan Longoria said his bruised right hand should be good enough for him to play Tuesday, if not Monday. First baseman Carlos Pena and DH Luke Scott will take BP on Monday and expect to play as soon as Tuesday, but at least sometime in the coming week. [Tampa Bay Times]

• Giants reliever Dan Runzler will meet with Dr. James Andrews on Monday to get a second opinion on how to treat his strained lat muscle. Runzler's initial diagnosis has him out three-to-four weeks. [San Francisco Chronicle]

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

Ike Davis may have Valley Fever

By Matt Snyder

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Category: MLB
Posted on: March 3, 2012 6:19 pm
Edited on: March 3, 2012 6:29 pm
 

Injury roundup: Wright, Marcum, Gordon and more

By Matt Snyder

Mets third baseman David Wright was scratched from the lineup in an intrasquad game Saturday due to soreness in his left side. Per the Associated Press, he has stiffness near his ribcage, something he felt back on Monday. He has been limited in workouts this week, but it's nothing to worry about just yet.

"If it was a real game, obviously I would be playing," Wright said (Associated Press). "But they wanted to try to take it slow, especially this early in the spring."

The Mets are looking for Wright to play in their Grapefruit League opener Monday night.

Other minor injury news and updates from Saturday:

• Hopefully this doesn't become a daily thing, but we have another Carl Crawford update. The Red Sox left fielder had a setback Friday with swelling in his surgically repaired wrist, but Saturday he reiterated his goal is to be ready for opening day. He's taking anti-inflammatory medication and the swelling has already decreased. (BostonHerald.com)

Brewers starting pitcher Shaun Marcum threw Saturday and reportedly indicated he felt "much better." His shoulder soreness is going away and he's scheduled to pitch his first spring game March 10. (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel via Twitter)

Dodgers shortstop Dee Gordon took a bad hop to the mouth Saturday. He received "several stitches to close a gash on his lip." (MLB.com)

• Remember Kiko Calero? CBSSports.com insider Jon Heyman reports that Calero is "considering Bartolo Colon surgery as he weighs a comeback." Colon had surgery that placed fat and bone marrow stem cells into his elbow and shoulder, helping him get his career back on track with the Yankees last season. Calero, 37, last pitched in 2009 for the Marlins. He had a 1.95 ERA, 1.10 WHIP and 69 strikeouts in 60 innings.

Giants pitcher Ryan Vogelsong was one of several starting pitchers to go down with lower back stiffness early on in camp, but he threw from 105 feet Saturday and will back up to 120 feet Sunday. He will then hit the mound either Tuesday or Wednesday, as his back is feeling better. (CSNBayArea.com via Twitter)

• Mets outfielder Scott Hairston was removed from Saturday's intrasquad game with an apparent side injury. Remember, Hairston ended the 2011 season on the disabled list with a strained oblique. (ESPN New York)

• Giants reliever Dan Runzler has left camp and will fly to see Dr. James Andrews for an examination on his left shoulder and lat area. An MRI showed the left-handers' rotator cuff, but surgery hasn't been ruled out. It really doesn't sound good, as even a strained lat muscle would put Runzler out for around six weeks. (CSNBayArea.com)

Padres infielder Logan Forsythe fractured a sesamoid bone in his left foot Saturday and will be out for anywhere from two to eight weeks. (San Diego Union-Tribune)

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