Hot Stove Baseball: Spring Training Edition

Spring is here, kind of, as we had the start of baseball this weekend. All of us fantasy baseball fanatics have been waiting for this day since the end of last season and it’s been a long winter of withdrawal.

Without further ado, let’s get to the highlights from the games and the week of training:

Game Highlights

Friday

  • Giants 7, Diamondbacks 6 . Lincecum started and pitched 1 2/3 giving up 3 runs and 5 hits. Not a stellar start for the ace, but about typical for him in spring training. Joe Saunders started for Arizona and took the loss but had a nice 1-2-3 first inning. Aaron Rowand started in center with Andres Torres at DH, they are the 2 candidates for the CF job at the moment.

Saturday

  • Rays 9, Pirates 5. Manny Ramirez went 1-2 in his first action with the Rays who also got solo homers from Evan Longoria and Sean Rodriguez. David Price pitched a scoreless inning and Johnny Damon opened 0-2. The Pirates moved lead off man Andrew McCutchen to the 3rd spot in the lineup for opening day trying to find ways to score more runs with the lineup.
  • Tigers 4, Blue Jays 0. Phil Coke went 2 scoreless for Detroit and Brandon Inge hit two doubles. The Jays loaded the bases in the fifth only to see their new high price hitter Jose Bautista strike out and Adam Lind fly out.
  • Phillies 5, Yankees 4. Cole Hamels gave up only 1 unearned over 2 innings. Bartolo Colon starting for the Yanks gave up 1 earned and 2 hits in 2 innings of work. Actually, much better than anticipated, but it’s early. Yankee Joba Chamberlain pitched a perfect 3rd in his bid to win a set up role in the bullpen hitting speeds as high as 94 mph with his fastball.
  • Mets 5, Braves 5 in 10. The Mets got homers from Fernando Martinez and Willie Harris along with 2 strong innings from Jenrry Mejia. The Braves got a solo shot from the well traveled Eric Hinske, but closer candidate Craig Kimbell surrendered the lead when he allowed Martinez’ 2 run blast.
  • Angels 4, Dodgers 1. Mark Trumbo hit a 2 run homer to lead the Angels of the Dodgers split squad. Dodgers starter Hiroki Kuroda looked strong giving up 1 hit in 2 innings while Matt Kemp was solid on the bases with a steal in the 2nd before scoring on a shallow fly.
  • Giants 8, Dodgers 3. Aubrey Huff and Pablo Sandoval each had run scoring singles in the game. Mark DeRosa looked solid in his return from injury and is in search of playing time. Expect to see him start at 2nd until Sanchez returns and, if his bat stays hot, Bochy will find ways to keep him in the lineup.
  • Rockies 8, Diamondbacks 7. Rockies Ace Ubaldo Jimenez threw 2 scoreless but unspectacular innings. Kelly Johnson had a solo shot for the D’backs and Aaron Heilman threw 2 scoreless in his bid for a rotation spot.

Sunday

  • Pirates 10, Rays 3. Kevin Correia lasted only 1 1/3 in his debut with the Pirates surrendering 2 runs on 2 hits. James Shields pitched 1 inning for Tampa allowing a solo home run by Andrew McCutchen who was 3-3 in the game.
  • Yankees 7, Phillies 3. The other starting pitcher for the Phillies, Joe Blanton, went 3 scoreless on Sunday. Curtis Granderson had a 2 run homer in the 4th while Yankees starter Ivan Nova struck out 2 over 2 perfect innings. Nova is competing with Freddy Garcia, Sergio Mitre and Bartolo Colon for the final 2 rotation spots.
  • Tigers 1, Blue Jays 0. Brad Penny and Max Scherzer each threw two scoreless innings for Detroit while Victor Martinez’ sacrifice fly scored the games lone run. Blue Jays starter Mark Rzepzcynski also pitched two hitless innings.
  • Mets 5, Braves 4. Chris Young started for the Mets and threw two shutout innings while Dan Uggla was 0 for 3 in his Braves debut. Recent news has Carlos Beltran deciding to move to right field due to his decreased mobility leaving center field for Angel Pagan.
  • Twins 8, Red Sox 4. The Twins Carl Pavano out-dueled Josh Beckett giving up no runs in 2 innings while Beckett allowed 1 run on 2 hits. Mike Cameron went 1 for 3 with a steal after missing most of last season with an abdominal strain.
  • Dodgers 5, Angels 0. John Ely started for the Dodgers and held the Angels scoreless over 2 innings. A Rod Barajas home run and Matt Kemp’s 2-RBI single powered the offense.
  • Athletics 15, Cubs 7. Cubs starter Carlos Zambrano looked strong, but new acquisition Matt Garza was shaky allowing 5 runs in 2 innings. Alfonso Soriano, Starlin Castro and Marlon Byrd powered the offense, but Coco Crisp’s grand slam was a tipping point for Oakland.
  • Reds 7, Indians 6. Matt Maloney pitched 2 scoreless innings for Cincinnati. Ezequiel Carrera hit a two-run homer for Cleveland.
  • Mariners 13, Padres 12. Josh Bard’s bases loaded single won the game for Seattle in the 10th overshadowing Nick Hundley’s 5-RBI performance for San Diego. Mariner Erik Bedard threw a 9 pitch scoreless first in his return from shoulder surgery.
  • Royals 4, Rangers 2. Billy Butler had a 2-run single and a stolen base in the game to lead Kansas City to victory. Rangers starter CJ Wilson retired the last 6 batters he faced with 2 strikeouts after Butler’s hit. Jeff Francoeur homered against his old team after moving to the Royals over the off season.
  • Diamondbacks 4, Giants 3. Kung Fu Panda had his second homerun of the spring with a solo shot off Daniel Hudson. Matt Cain allowed 3 hits in 2 scoreless innings for the Giants.

Injury Updates

  • Brandon Webb of the Texas Rangers threw 26 pitches off a mound on Sunday. Webb hasn’t pitched in the Majors since the beginning of 2009, so reports that he felt good afterward are a positive sign for the former Cy Young winner.
  • Rockies Third Baseman Ian Stewart sprained his left knee in a collision with Carlos Gonzalez on Saturday and will miss up to a week of action. Gonzalez suffered a slight shin bruise but is expected to only miss Monday’s game.
  • Mike Stanton strained his right quad during a ground out on Sunday in the Marlins opener. There is no timetable for his return at this point, but after seeing his first pitch homerun earlier in the game, let’s hope its quick.
  • Shin-Soo Choo was held out of the Indians lineup on Sunday to rest his left elbow which has been sore recently. An MRI showed no structural damage and he’s hoping to be back in the field by the end of the week.
  • Chipper Jones was 1 for 3 in his first action with the Braves since tearing his ACL last season. He even had a double play busting slide into second that shows he’s not planning to take it easy this year.
  • Phillies All-Star Second Baseman Chase Utley sat out his second straight game this weekend battling tendinitis in his right knee. He had a precautionary MRI on Saturday and is still awaiting results.
  • Josh Beckett was rewarded for his performance Monday by his coach Ino Guerrero with a shot to the back of the dome by a batted ball. Beckett is experiencing concussion like symptoms and you can expect Guerrero to have similar headaches when he finds himself on the unemployment line.
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