Storylines: Oakland's pitching depth gets put to the test
In this MLB News and Notes segment, I will be giving occasional reports on the latest news and rumors throughout the MLB. I also will try to tweet news and rumors as I see them, so feel free to follow me on Twitter: @ajnicholsIBI.
Here are the stories from Monday, March 17th.
- The AL West-favorite Oakland Athletics got dealt a significant blow on Monday discovering that starter Jarrod Parker would require a second Tommy John surgery. Another A's starter, A.J. Griffin, has been shut down for three weeks and will likely miss the first month of the season due to arm issues, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. On top of that, starter Scott Kazmir was scratched from Monday's start because of triceps stiffness. However, Oakland's assistant general David Forst told reporters that Kazmir's injury is not serious and that he could have pitched on Monday.
- Michael Bourn told reporters that he believes he will be ready for Opening Day on March 31st, despite being diagnosed with a mild left hamstring strain on Monday. Bourn left Sunday's game early after experiencing tightness in his hamstring, and manager Terry Francona stated that the centerfielder is expected to miss at least one week of Cactus League action.
- A walk-off two-run double by Reds prospect Steve Selsky lifted Cincinnati to a 5-4 victory over the Indians on Monday. Corey Kluber got the start for Cleveland and surrendered three runs on seven hits in his 4.1 innings of work. He also struck out five and walked two. Nick Swisher hit his second home run in as many days in the loss.
- Tribe infielder Justin Sellers is expected to miss a few games with a slight hip flexor strain.
- Carlos Santana is scheduled to catch for the first time this spring in Wednesday's game against the A's.
- Former Indians fan-favorite Grady Sizemore continued his stellar spring with Boston, going 3-4 with a double and three runs scored in a nationally televised game against the Cardinals on ESPN. Sizemore also made a diving catch in the gap and a leaping catch that caused him to slam into the center field wall.
Others News and Notes
- According to Sean McAdams of Comcast SportsNet New England, the Red Sox are shopping catcher Ryan Lavarnway. The 26-year-old Lavarnway was once considered a top 100 prospect, but has had trouble finding a permanent home in the Boston lineup. The Pirates are likely losing backup catcher Chris Stewartto knee surgery and could be a potential trade partner with Boston. Along with Pittsburgh, MLBTradeRumors.com suggests the White Sox could be a good fit for Lavarnway as well.
- The Padres are awaiting word on the fate of right hander Joe Wieland after he had an MRI on his right elbow on Monday. San Diego fears that the 24-year-old pitcher could be headed for a second Tommy John surgery. Wieland spent the 2013 season recovering from a 2012 Tommy John procedure.
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported that the Dodgers are on the lookout for bench help. Rosenthal noted that rival evaluators have stated that Los Angeles has the weakest bench in their division, despite spending $225 million on payroll.
- Troy Renck of the Denver Post wrote that Rockies starter Jordan Lyles could be forcing his way into the starting rotation with his solid spring, despite Colorado's front office originally believing he may need more time in the minors when they acquired him from the Astros this offseason. Lyles is competing with Franklin Morales for the last spot in the Rockies rotation, but Morales does have experience in the bullpen.
- Righty reliever Jose Contreras is contemplating retirement after being told by the Rangers that he will not make their 25-man roster.
- The Nationals traded catcher Koyie Hill to the Phillies for a player to be named later or cash.
Rollins to Detroit would make sense if Philly ate salary as still not convinced the Tigers are able to add much payroll right now.
I wouldn't do Rollins for Cabrera straight up at this point. Rollins is still better defensively but the difference isn't what it once was and his bat is not as likely to rebound IMO as Cabrera's is given Rollins's advanced age. Plus he makes more (granted only $1M). Rollins also has an option for 2015 that vests at $11M if he has 600 plate appearances...something he's done ever year but one this millennium. That's a lot of money to tie up to 2015 and may kill any Masterson extension chance.
Looks like the Indians could have made the right call on Kazmir.