Yesterday, we learned that Giants closer may start the 2011 season on the disabled list with a strained oblique. Earlier this spring, Wilson dealt with back issues, and now he is dealing with an oblique injury. When I first heard of this news, my first thoughts were 1. an oblique injury cannot be good for a pitcher, and 2. who closes if Wilson is out for an extended period of time? I think Sergio Romo will get the first shot as he put up closer-like stats last year-2.18 ERA, 10.16 K/9, and a 5.00 K/BB.
Reds starter Johnny Cueto lasted only one inning on Saturday, and will have a doctor's appointment in the near future. One has to wonder if the appointment will be with Dr. James Andrews, aka Tommy John Surgery doc. Can someone check to see if there are any flights from Phoenix, Arizona to Birmingham, Alabama? Should Cueto miss time due to this injury, Mike Leake probably has the first shot to replace him in the Reds rotation.
More after the jump:
A few days ago, there was talk that the Nationals have been so impressed with the performance of catcher Wilson Ramos this spring that they would hand him the starting catcher job on Opening day. Well, Jim Riggleman stated yesterday that Ivan Rodiriguez would be the Opening day catcher. I have to think that Ramos will get most of the playing time as the season progresses, and will have more value at the end of the season.
Mike Stanton will play the outfield in minor league games beginning on Monday. It appears as long as he doesn't reinjure his quad, he will be ready for Opening Day. The power hitter will be the Marlins cleanup hitter this season and could be a Top 10 HR hitter as early as 2011.
Diamondbacks new closer J.J. Putz has had a rough spring, pitching in just two games this spring, and this news from Nick Piecoro doesn't help:
No one seemed worried after closer J.J. Putz's rough outing earlier in the week, but there was
at least some level of concern when the Diamondbacks' bullpen savior came down with a stiff
back Friday afternoon.
Who is the backup closer in Arizona? I think Juan Gutierrez is the first choice.
The Mets cut second baseman Luis Castillo on Friday, leaving Daniel Murphy, Brad Emaus and Justin Turner to fight it out to see who wins the second base job. Some think Emaus has the upper-hand, and he would be a late round pick in NL-only leagues.
Rangers front office folks are split on whether to move Neftali Feliz to the rotation or keep him in the closers role. This from ESPN/Dallas' Tim McMahon:
Feliz make another start Saturday, when he is scheduled to go five innings. Manager Ron Washington said the Rangers need to make a decision by the end of next week.
"It's still up in the air," Nolan Ryan said after meeting with the Rangers baseball decision-makers for a couple of hours. "If you canvassed everybody, I don't know what it'd be, if it'd be 50/50. I think you really give him these last couple of weeks to see how things shape up and see how other people vying for a starting spot are doing."
Feliz pitched well on Saturday, going 5 innings, giving up 2 runs on 4 hits, 2 walks and 3 strikeouts. Is it a coincidence that we learned yesterday that the Rangers are now willing to eat half of the remaining $48 million left on Michael Young's contract? I am not so sure, and could see the Rangers dealing Young to a team for a closer. Would the Dodgers deal Jonathan Broxton for Young? Broxton is in the last year of his contract that will pay him $7 million this year.