MLB Report 3/14

March 14, 2012

News:

- Major League Baseball has decided to not expand the use of instant replay for the 2012 season.  That means replay can only be used to determine if a ball was a home run or not.  MLB hopes to implement the expanded use for next year.

- The Philadelphia Phillies have made nine cuts including Dave Bush, Austin Hyatt, B.J. Rosenberg, Pat Misch, Harlod Garcia, Cesar Hernandez, Tyson Gillies, Sebastian Valle and J.C. Ramirez.  In other news, Chase Utley is exptected to return to the lineup soon.

Wright hopes to be back in time for opening day

- Detroit Tigers top prospect Jacob Turner, who is fighting for Detroit’s fifth start spot, has been shut down from throwing for a week with tendinitis in his right shoulder.  He will miss his next start and it is questionable what his timetable is for return after that.

- St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Chris Carpenter played catch for the first time since March 3 after being sidelined with neck stiffness.  He reports that he felt no issues after this activity.

-  New York Mets third baseman David Wright was informed his injury was a tear in one of his abdominal muscles.  Although he will certainly miss a few more weeks, he is hopeful he will be ready to start by opening day.

- New York Yankees pitcher Freddy Garcia left today’s game with a right hand bruise.  X-rays were taken and came back negative.  There is no word on his likelihood to make his next start.

- Los Angelas Angels pitcher Ervin Santana was hit with a line drive in today’s game against the White Sox.  He regained his composure and made the out, but was removed from the game without facing another batter.  He’s listed as day-to-day.

- Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez is having surgery on his left knee after suffering a lateral meniscus tear.  There is no timetable for his return but similar procedures typically can expect a few weeks before returning to the game.

Stats:

- Detroit Tigers first baseman Prince Fielder picked up his 2nd home run of the spring today off Mets pitcher Dillon Gee.  In the same game, pitcher Max Scherzer struggled against the Mets allowing 3 ER off 4 hits and 2 walks in 2.2 innings.

Pujols arrives in LA with a bang

- Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Edwin Encarnacion went 3-3 with 2 HRs, 3 R and 4 RBIs bringing his spring total to 9 RBIs.

- Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay struggled in today’s game against the Twins, allowing 5 ER off 7 hits and a walk in 2.2 innings.

- Miami Marlins pitcher Anibal Sanchez recorded 4 strikeouts in 2 scoreless innings against the Rays today.  Rays picther Jeremy Hellickson was not as sharp, allowing 4 ER off 4 hits (2 HR) and a walk in 3 innings.

- Los Angeles Angels first baseman Albert Pujols went off in today’s game against the White Sox, hitting 2 home runs for 4 RBIs.  Kendrick also homered in the game, driving in 3.

- Texas Rangers pitcher Neftail Feliz allowed 1 earned run on 3 hits with 3 strikeouts in 3 innings of work.

- Milwaukee Brewers catcher George Kottaras went 2-4 with 5 RBIs against the Cubs.

- Cincinnati Reds pitcher Aroldis Chapman allowed 1 run off 4 hits in 3 innings.  Chapman intends to try to move to starter this season.

Game of the Day: Washington Nationals vs. Atlanta Braves

I was very excited to watch this game since the starting pitchers were two promising prospects of Stephen Strasburg for the Nationals and Julio Teheran for the Braves.  In other exciting news, Bryce Harper was finally back in the lineup for the Nats.  Neither starter had been particularly successful thus far in the spring.

After letting up a hit right away, Teheran settled down and got out of the inning with a little help from his catcher throwing out a stolen base attempt.  His curve ball looks great and seemed to really fool Mark DeRosa resulting in a three pitch ground out.  Strasburg started off very strong and got a strikeout off a great fastball.  However he then let up a base hit and a home run by Uggla to give the Braves an early 2-0 lead.

Braves left fielder Eric Hinske made a fantastic diving catch to rob a base hit.  I was not aware but apparently the Braves broadcasters call him “the diesel”.   Harper’s first at bat resulted in a strike out off a beautiful high fast ball from Teheran.

Strasburg got himself into trouble in the 3rd by loading the bases with only one out.  Uggla came up and just missed the grand slam for a very exciting sac fly.  This was the only damage done in the inning.  Teheran looked to be on cruise control but ended up allowing a home run to Tracy in the 4th inning.  This home run and the Uggla home run were both two of the more boring home runs I have seen.  Harper came up again and grounded out.  The next batter hit another boring home run that no one knew was gone until it landed just beyond the fence.  Either way, Teheran’s stuff looked great but the hitters were able to make great contact.

In the bottom of the 4th, there was finally an exciting home run as Jason Heyward crushed Strasburg’s pitch to give the Braves a 4-3 lead.  The Braves brought Randall Delgado, the pitcher competing with Teheran for the 5th spot, in to start the 5th inning.  Delgado threw strikes with a strong fastball which led to a 1-2-3 inning for him.

Not much excitement for awhile as Delgado pitched well.  Jason Heyward made great contact with a pitch from Gorzelanny that bounced off the wall for a leadoff double in the 6th inning.  The Braves weren’t able to drive him in but it was great to see the young hitter making such good contact.

A lot of the game was fairly routine, a few base hits here and there.  Although Chipper Jones was interviewed by the broadcasters and he mentioned the rumor about his retirement.  He also discussed how there will be days his legs will prevent him from playing as often as he wants but all things considered, he feels good.

Things got interesting in the 8th as Delgado let a lot of runners on base and the Nationals scored 2 runs to take the lead.  However, he got a strikeout with the bases loaded, preventing what could have been much more damage.  He finished with 5 Ks in 4 innings of work. This lead was short lived as Jordan Parraz crushed a monster homerun off the score board in center field to tie the game.  Parraz has impressed during the spring so far.  The Braves tacked on another run in the inning to take the lead at 6-5 which was the final score.

All in all, I was not very impressed with Strasburg or Teheran.  Delgado looked strong at points but was hardly complete.  Harper was a non factor.  But hey, that’s what spring training is all about.

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