MLB Report 3/15

March 15, 2012

News:

- Washington Nationals first baseman Michael Morse and catcher Wilson Ramos are both missing time with minor injuries.  Although neither injury is considered serious, there is currently no timetable for a return.  Pitcher Chien-Ming Wang also suffered an injury in today’s game when trying to field a ground ball and strained his left hamstring.  There is no word as of now on his return.

- New York Yankees outfielder Nick Swisher left yesterday’s game with tightness in his groin.  His injury is not serious and should return shortly.

- Texas Rangers manger Ron Washington left the team to return home due to a death in the family.  He is expected to rejoin the team this weekend.

The Royals made Alcides Escobar an offer he couldn't refuse. So he didn't.

- Atlanta Braves pitcher Arodys Vizcaino (2nd best Braves prospect, 36th overall) may need Tommy John surgery.  He will be visiting Doctor James Andrews on Monday to determine if it is necessary.  Tune in next week to find out the results.

- Kansas City Royals signed shortstop Alcides Escobar to a multiyear contract through 2015 plus 2 club option years.  The deal guarantees $10.5 million and could be worth up to $21.75 million.

- Boston Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine is the man.  In other news, he announced that Carl Crawford would begin hitting “soon”.  Crawford is coming back from wrist surgery and it is considered very unlikely he will be starting on opening day.

Stats:

Baltimore Orioles pitcher Brian Matusz struck out 6 in 4 scoreless innings against the Tigers.  Matusz recorded the highest ERA in MLB history of a pitcher with at least 10 starts last year.  He outpitched Verlander who recorded 8 strikeouts in 3.2 innings with 3 hits and 1 ER.

- Miami Marlins pitcher Josh Johnson allowed 1 run off 5 hits in 3 innings today against the Mets.

Top prospect from last year Eric Hosmer continued his hot spring today

- The Pirates scored 17 runs against the Twins today included 4 RBIs from designated hitter Garrett Jones.  Twins pitcher Terry Doyle allowed 8 earned runs in 2/3 of an inning.

- Toronto Blue Jays designated hitter Travis Snider recorded 2 RBIs in today’s game against the Astros, bringing his spring total to 12.

- Kansas City Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer went 2-3 with 1 R and 4 RBIs in today’s game against the Dodgers.  He now has 12 RBIs in the spring.

- Oaklan Athletics prospect pitcher Brad Peacock had a rough outing today, allowing 5 ER on 5 hits and 3 walks in 2.2 innings.

Game of the Day: Cincinnati Reds vs. Los Angelas Angels

If this was the regular season this would certainly promise to be a great game.  It was between the Angels who I think are the early favorites to win the AL and the Reds who are a powerhouse team in the tough NL Central.  CJ Wilson got the start for the Angels and Jonny Cueto took the mound for the Reds.

The first inning started off with a strikeout for Wilson.  Then reds youngin’ Cozart popped a drag bunt up that Wilson was unable to catch and stole second base the next pitch.  Anyone who is interested in fantasy has probably heard of Cozart as a young prospect with a lot of potential and he showed his speed early in this game.  Now’s a good time to mention that Votto did not play today so if you were reading for his stats, check back tomorrow.  Anyway, Wilson got another K in the inning (both were looking) and ended up getting out with no harm.  He looked in control and strong to start.

Cueto took the mound wearing long sleeves which seemed crazy.  He let up a leadoff triple to Erick Aybar who showed his speed getting around the bases.   As bad as that may have been, Cueto did get Pujols (who was batting .500 this spring) to pop out.  That didn’t save him as Torii Hunter drove Aybar in.  In what was already an exciting inning, Cueto then picked Hunter off at first.  Cueto looked good for the most part but the two hits he let up with on meat pitches that the hitters took advantage of.

There was a scare in the 2nd inning when after recording a strikeout, trainers needed to check on Cueto but he stayed in the game and seemed fine.  The Angels did manage to tack on another run in the 2nd, although it was unearned after a throwing error let a runner on with two outs.  Cueto got another pickoff to end the inning with two on.

What I expected to be a high scoring shootout turned out to be a bit of a pitcher’s duel, or the equivalent since in Spring Training, the bullpen takes over early no matter what.  Lots of strikeout, not a lot of run scoring.  Final score: Angels 3 – Reds 1