Hanley Ramirez to have MRI and more
Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez could be sidelined for more than two months or maybe just two weeks because of an injured left thumb.
"They've painted both pictures, and it's a pretty big window," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said Wednesday. "We're guessing."
Ramirez was hurt diving for a ball while playing third base Tuesday night in the championship game of the World Baseball Classic. He helped the Dominican Republic beat Puerto Rico 3-0.
Yankees GM unsure if Jeter will be ready for opening day
"The Yankees are bracing for the possibility of an Opening Day without Derek Jeter, as the captain's availability is now in doubt after an anti-inflammatory cortisone injection was administered to his left ankle on Wednesday morning.
General manager Brian Cashman said that the stiffness and soreness Jeter is experiencing with his surgically repaired ankle is not a serious setback, but Jeter may need to begin the year on the disabled list with the club's April 1 opener approaching.
"I just can't rule it out," Cashman said. "We've got to do what's right for him. Whatever is right for him, it will be right for us."
Doubront has talent, but has adjustments to make
"Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz have a World Series championship and a no-hitter on their résumés. John Lackey has started a dozen playoff games in his career, and Ryan Dempster has thrown 200 or more innings seven times in his career.
But the most talented pitcher in the Red Sox rotation may be 25-year-old lefthander Felix Doubront, whose list of accomplishments would not take long to read.
After five seasons in the minors, Doubront had short stints with the Red Sox in 2010 and ’11 before earning a place in the rotation a year ago. He was 11-10 with a 4.86 earned run average, statistics that at face value were not particularly impressive."
MLB sets sights on A-Rod, Braun
"Ryan Braun, the Milwaukee Brewers' All-Star outfielder, knows they are out there.
Everywhere he turns, everywhere he looks, they are there.
They are talking to his friends. They are talking to his peers. They are talking to his associates. They are scouring through paperwork. They keep digging.
They are the Major League Baseball investigators."
Pujols won't let sore foot slow him down
"Albert Pujols is wearing custom orthotics for the first time in his career, and he has to spend a little extra time in the training room, but those are the only concessions the Angels first baseman has made for the plantar fasciitis in his left foot.
“I’ve had it for the last seven years; is that a problem?” Pujols said of the condition, which causes inflammation of the thick tissue on the bottom of the foot and can be very painful when it flares up. “It’s one of those things that comes and goes.”
Pujols has been eased into action this spring as he recovers from last October’s surgery on his right knee — he played the field for the first time Tuesday — but Manager Mike Scioscia said Pujols’ knee hasn’t been as big a concern lately as the foot."
Halladay trying to regain strength
"And the mystery continues.
Roy Halladay sat at his locker Tuesday morning, fresh off eating breakfast. He looked skinny. And, considering Halladay’s last three or so days, holding down breakfast might have been a big accomplishment.
Two days earlier, Halladay ignited a storm of worry by leaving his start after just one inning of work. Both the Phillies and Halladay said it was a stomach virus.
“I feel like I’m going in the right direction,” Halladay said. “Just bad timing for a setback.”
Bud Norris to start Astros opener
"Bud Norris has been considered a “B”-level player his entire career. A good but not great pitcher; a solid athlete who’s never been a star.
Wednesday, the former second-tier pitcher was named the Astros’ opening-day starter.
Norris, 28, will take the mound next Sunday at 7 p.m. against the Texas Rangers at Minute Maid Park in MLB’s 2013 season-opener. The game will be televised on ESPN.
The honor fulfills a childhood dream for Norris, who’s long wanted to be able to call himself an opening-day pitcher. When Norris joined the Astros in 2009, he asked Roy Oswalt what it was like to receive the ball on one of sports’ most memorable days. Now, Norris’ name will forever be attached to the Astros’ American League debut, and he’ll pitch before family and friends on national TV."
Giants and Posey working on mega deal
"The Giants have quietly started contract talks with the goal of locking up young superstar catcher Buster Posey to a mega-deal.
Word is, there's a decent-sized gap at this point, though not enough of a gap that the team or Posey has given up trying. Posey surely would like to be a Giant for life if at all possible, and the Giants, run by very smart and deep-pocketed people, wouldn't be opposed to such an arrangement, either, if it can be accomplished.
The question is, how long?
And of course, for how much?
These are not easy questions since Posey is a once-in-a-generation type player who's won two World Series and an MVP award , and he is just starting out."