Baseball 3-13-14- News
07:23 AM ET 03.13 | Ryne Sandberg may be trying to send veteran Jimmy Rollins a little message this spring. Sandberg was asked whether anything was going on with Rollins after Wednesday's game in Sarasota. "No, he's fine," Sandberg said. Freddy Galvis started at shortstop and had a triple. He is 4 for 27 (.148) on the spring with a triple and a homer. Rollins is 2 for 15 (.133). Sandberg likes competition within a team. Given that, he was asked whether Galvis could be creeping up on Rollins, the Phillies starter at shortstop for 13 seasons. "Freddy's a guy that will get playing time at various positions," Sandberg said. ... "The biggest thing I like is his energy and his positive influence, his positive influence on everyone around him." Sandberg was asked what he would say about Rollins in that regard. "No comment."
07:22 AM ET 03.13 | Shin-Soo Choo may not have pictured himself as a leadoff hitter, but it's rewarding him handsomely now. Once Choo hit the open market, there were questions about whether his age and platoon splits would prevent him from reaping a contract this colossal. But the Rangers weren't the only ones with an interest in this range. The Yankees, in fact, made him a seven-year, $140 million offer in the late-evening one December day, only to pull it off the table and sign Carlos Beltran the following afternoon. "In my opinion, it takes some time to make a decision, maybe at least a couple days," Choo said. "You want to learn a city and a team. They gave me 21 hours." The discussions with the Rangers were quite a bit more interactive and, as it turned out, productive.
07:21 AM ET 03.13 | In his first season with the Cubs, Nate Schierholtz managed to play a career-high 137 games, and it paid off with personal highs in home runs, doubles and RBIs. But Schierholtz also will be a free agent after this season, and he's seen what the Cubs have done with other veteran players in his situation at the Trade Deadline. There's a need for experienced left-handed-hitting outfielders. Schierholtz isn't monitoring the trade rumors. "I love my teammates here, the fans are great, I love the city, and in a perfect world, I'd like to be here for a long time and be part of the future," he said. ... He hasn't talked to Cubs management about his desire to stay. "In this situation, it's up to them," Schierholtz said. "I think they know how I feel. I feel fortunate to be here, and I really enjoy it here."
07:21 AM ET 03.13 | The tale of Reds leadoff man Billy Hamilton grew a little on Wednesday in Arizona. Word from a couple quarters in Reds camp was that the switch-hitting Hamilton was clocked in a legend-creating 3.3 seconds on a run from home to first base on his drag bunt single off Rangers ace Yu Darvish on Monday. Naturally, there was no throw. Once the ball got past Darvish, all that was left was the clock. One scout who wasn't there said he had never even heard of a legitimate 3.3 time to first base, and another said the best he ever clocked was 3.5 (Brett Gardner of the Yankees). However, regarding Hamilton, that scout said, "With his speed, I wouldn't doubt it!" In any case, three point three is pretty crazy, if accurate. Many couldn't believe it.
07:20 AM ET 03.13 | Welcome to the club, Francisco Rodriguez. In the pantheon of oddball injuries, what befell [Rodriguez] this week might not rise to the level of Steve Sparks separating his shoulder trying to tear a phone book in two during Milwaukee's Spring Training in 1994, or general manager Doug Melvin rushing to the emergency room after being stung by a scorpion last year. Still, add this one to the list: K-Rod stepped on a cactus. Rodriguez will still try to make his spring debut on Thursday, manager Ron Roenicke said, despite stepping barefoot on a cactus -- this is the Cactus League, after all -- at some point between Monday afternoon and Wednesday morning. As Roenicke briefed the media at Maryvale Baseball Park, Rodriguez was in the trainer's room having spines pulled from his foot.