Baseball 3-20-14- News
07:24 AM ET 03.20 | Tick-tock. It's getting close to decision time in the Mets bullpen. When the Mets reconvene Thursday at Tradition Field after a day off, manager Terry Collins will have an eye on finding the final pieces to a bullpen that has provided plenty of headaches in recent seasons. As it stands -- barring injuries -- Bobby Parnell, Jeurys Familia, Jose Valverde, Scott Rice and Carlos Torres have footholds on jobs, with Vic Black and John Lannan the favorites to claim the final two spots. But Kyle Farnsworth and Gonzalez Germen remain in contention for jobs, with Jenrry Mejia expected to stay a starter and begin the season at Triple-A Las Vegas. "Nine guys vying for those [seven] spots, and they're going to be getting a lot of pitching," Collins said. "It's time to play it like we're getting ready for the season."
07:24 AM ET 03.20 | The injury bug has Detroit searching for answers. In need of outfield and infield help, [the Tigers] have their top scout watching the Cubs this week. Outfielder Nate Schierholtz and middle infielder Darwin Barney are both being evaluated by Tigers long-time executive Scott Reid. Detroit has lost shortstop Jose Iglesias and outfielder Andy Dirks to injury. Both players are projected to miss major portions on the season. The Cubs are looking for pitching in return in any deals they might consider. Barney has had extensive time playing shortstop this spring after winning a Gold Glove at second base in 2012 and following up that season with just four errors in 2013. The Tigershave had varied interest in Barney the last two seasons. Schierholtz was one of the Cubs' top hitters in 2013.
07:23 AM ET 03.20 | As we learned earlier this week, courtesy a bee delay, that Mark Teixeira likes honey. What you don't know is if his surgically repaired right wrist will hold up all season after the injury limited the Yankees first baseman to 15 games in 2013. So far, so good, Teixeira said. The results haven't been there -- he's batting .188 with a double and three RBIs in 16 at-bats -- but the absence of pain has Teixeira feeling positive. "I feel really good," Teixeira said. "I feel really good about my wrist. I feel like it's getting stronger and it'll continue to get stronger all year. And that's the exciting part. It's not like this is a good as it's going to get. It'll keep getting stronger all year." At least that's the hope.
07:22 AM ET 03.20 | What will Oakland do with big outfielder Michael Taylor? I know I say this almost every day, but it happens every day: scouts asking about the A's plans. ... He's not a fit for their roster, unlike Sam Fuld, and he's out of options, so he'd have to clear waivers for the team to keep him. He won't clear waivers, not with this level of interest. One scout told me today he would love to see his club trade for Taylor because he knows Taylor would not fall to that club on the waiver wire; one scout told me two days ago he's pretty sure his team either already has made an offer or is preparing to make an offer for Taylor. Amazing what a strong spring can do for an out-of-options player, and great to see for Taylor, who has spent four years at Sacramento.
07:22 AM ET 03.20 | March 31, that the Mariners have covered. Seattle manager Lloyd McClendon knows who he will send to the mound that night -- Felix Hernandez. After that, though, it's a bit of a jumble, even with the regular season less than two weeks away. Asked Wednesday if he'd like to have a better idea of exactly how the rotation will look, McClendon said, "Yeah, I would," then responded that other than Hernandez, nothing is set. Some of that answer, though, might just be McClendon's apparent desire not to tip his hand too early. There's little doubt that James Paxton and Erasmo Ramirez will be two other members of the opening day rotation. They have each pitched well this spring, typifying a group of starters that has generally performed well.