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Spring Training Notes: Loney to Bat 4th, Pedro to Close?

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Eric brings you some of the more relevant spring training boxscore stats on a daily basis, here are some notable spring training developments over the past few days:

Manny Ramirez: Mannywood will more than likely hit 3rd in the Dodgers lineup. Expect alot of runs for Rafael Furcal and Orlando Hudson.

James Loney: well, with Manny batting 3rd, who will protect him in the Dodgers lineup? Joe Torre is leaning toward batting 1bman James Loney in the cleanup spot. Loney drove in 90 runs last year, but has not developed the power expected of him yet. He should get plenty of RBI opportunities with Furcal, Hudson and Manny hitting in front of him.

Pedro Martinez: an unsigned free agent looking for a job. He pitched 3 shutout innings for the Dominican Republic today in the WBC. He gave up 1 hit and struckout 3, throwing 32 of his 40 pitches for strikes. Not bad. The downside of his performance is it came against the Netherlands WBC team, most of which I have never heard of. The Cardinals are rumored to be interested in using Pedro as their closer.

Manny Corpas/Huston Street: these two are fighting for the Rockies closer position. While Corpas has thrown 4 shutout innings so far this spring, Street was knocked around yesterday giving up 3 hits, 2 HRs, 2 BBs, and 5 runs in 1/3 of an inning. It appears Corpas has teken the lead in the battle for the closer spot.

Ivan Rodriguez: another unsigned free agent looking for a job. All he did today for Peurto Rico was go 4-for-4 today vs. Panama, with 2 HRs and 4 RBI, and he threw in a SB to boot. I am sure Omar Minaya is calling his Blackberry as I write this.

Andy Laroche: he's doing his best to not be the next Joel Guzman, as he is hitting .571 this spring. He could be a sleeper at 3b in NL only leagues.

Pirates OFers: with the exception of Nate McLouth, none of the Pirates OFers are hitting their weight so far this spring. Although he is only hitting .148 this spring, Andrew McCutchen leads the team in walks with 4, and is 2-2 in SBs. Nyjer Morgan, expected to be the Pirates leadoff hitter on Opening Day, is hitting .182 with no walks and is 1-2 in SB opportunities.

Cardinals Closer Battle: the battle between Chris Perez and Jason Motte is neck and neck right now, with Perez gving up 1 run in 2 innings pitched, with 1 K and 1BB. Motte has given up 2 runs, both unearned, in 2 innings, with 3 Ks and 0 BBs. Ryan Frankin, the 2008 closer, has pitched 3 innings, giving up no runs and striking out 5, but the downside is he pitched all 3 innings in one game. Managers usually don't throw their expected closer more than one inning in each appearance in spring training.