Here are a few updates after reading Buster Olney's excellent blog post this morning:
The Cubs will play the players who are hitting and if Alfonso Soriano doesn't hit, his contract won't get in the way of others starting ahead of him:
Sources say that Lou Piniella's full intention is to play the outfielders who produce. If Alfonso Soriano, who still has a little less than $90 million remaining on his contract, produces at the plate, then he will hit, and if he does not hit, somebody else will play. The same stands true for Kosuke Fukudome. Meaning that sometime soon, it's possible that the starting outfield for the Cubs will be Tyler Colvin, Marlon Byrd and Xavier Nady -- the team's three least expensive outfielders.
Orioles closer Mike Gonzalez is on the verge of losing his job:
Looks like Mike Gonzalez is out as the Orioles' closer until they get his delivery fixed. His average fastball velocity is down about 2.5 miles per hour, as compared to last year, and his fastball velocity dipped from 91 to 90 to 88 in his three outings so far this season.
Phillies closer got knocked around yesterday in his 2/3rd of an inning of work vs the Phillies Class A minor league team. He won't be back anytime soon, I don't think.
Nationals pitching prospect Stephen Strasburg makes his major league debut this afternoon against the Altoona Curve. Here is what Olney hears about the Nats plans for Strasburg this season:
Strasburg is expected to throw somewhere in the range of 140-150 innings in pro ball this year, and of those, 50 to 60 could occur in the minors, depending on his development.
Jeff Zreibeck from the Baltimore Sun on Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts:
The Orioles will make a decision today on whether to put Brian Roberts on the disabled list or give the second baseman another couple of days to see whether his strained abdominal improves to the point where he'll be back in the lineup soon.
Missed this last night, but the Twin's Jon Rauch saved his 4th game in 4 chances last night. So much for the Twins looking to trade for Heath Bell. Well, for now.