Baseball 4-10-14 News
07:35 AM ET 04.10 | Perhaps this was coming all along for Yangervis Solarte. Plenty of folks who knew [Solarte] before he became the newest Yankee sensation with his terrific first week in the majors say he could always hit. "Oh, man, yes," said Francisco Cervelli, who played against Solarte in their native Venezuela. Dellin Betances remembers it from playing against Solarte in the minors, and Roger Cedeno, the former Met outfielder and Solarte's uncle, can recall Solarte as a kid playing baseball around the house, in love with the game. ... The utility player with the unforgettable first name -- the melding of the names of his mother, Yanmili, and his father, Gervis -- had been remarkable over the first eight games after unexpectedly making the Yanks with a torrid spring. "He's making me so proud," Cedeno said.
07:34 AM ET 04.10 | Is it that difficult to keep oneself from sliding headfirst into first base? That goes for [Josh Hamilton]. It goes for the Dodgers' Yasiel Puig, who strained a ligament in his left thumb sliding into first last Saturday. It goes for every major leaguer, and don't tell me that it's faster sliding into first -- it is not. "Sometimes, your instincts more than anything take over -- the fun of the game," Hamilton told reporters Tuesday night, after his costly slide in the Angels' 5-3 loss to the Mariners. ... The Angels' pitching again appears suspect; they will need to rely on their offense to compensate. And now Hamilton likely will be replaced by a platoon of Collin Cowgill and J.B. Shuck. A curse? Hardly. More like a self-inflicted wound.
07:33 AM ET 04.10 | It's early yet, of course, but the Tigers bullpen is already hitting bumps in the road. [The] combination of closerJoe Nathan and fellow relievers Phil Coke, Joba Chamberlain and Al Alburquerque have given up 10 runs in 9 1/3 innings of work. So what's the problem? Nathan clued us in on his issues [Wednesday] on Mad Dog Sports Radio (SiriusXM 86), saying he has a "dead arm" right now. "For me, fortunately, I think the club has overcome me not throwing as well as I'd like to," Nathan told host Adam Schein. "I think I'm still at a case of maybe some dead arm going right now. Usually that happens to the middle or later part of spring and hopefully you get through it. But mine is going more into the season and I'm still fine tuning things but fortunately it hasn't hurt us too much."
07:32 AM ET 04.10 | At long last, the tide may finally be turning in earnest for Kendrys Morales and Stephen Drew. Several teams recently have come to scout [Morales and Drew], the top two free agents remaining on the market, and things seem to be heating up a bit with the two players who have been working out here for most of the past six weeks. The Orioles, Mariners and Brewers are among several teams believed to have interest in the first baseman/DH Morales, whose market seems to be percolating in particular now -- though it's still possible Morales could wait until after the June draft to sign. ... The market seems a little less clear on Drew, but the Tigers, Blue Jays, Mets, Red Sox and Yankees all have been linked to the veteran shortstop and could make sense for him -- though Yankees people say they are "tapped out" at the moment.
07:31 AM ET 04.10 | Unfortunately, shortstop Addison Russell is set for some unplanned downtime. [Russell], Oakland's top minor league prospect, will miss at least a month with a torn right hamstring, A's assistant general manager David Forst confirmed. Russell originally strained his hamstring during spring training, when he was impressing team officials with his play in major league camp. He was assigned to Double-A Midland and re-injured his hamstring Friday against Arkansas, a game in which he homered and singled before exiting. ... Russell has a Grade 3 strain, which is a complete tear of the muscle and can sometimes take multiple months to heal. Russell, 20, is generally regarded as a top-15 prospect in all of the minors, with ESPN recently ranking him as high as the third-best overall prospect.