BASEBALL 5-8-14 News
06:18 AM ET 05.08 | When Jeff Samardzija has some time to reflect on his Cubs career, these past few days aren't likely to be considered fondly. The Cubs' lame-duck ace didn't call anyone out by name, but he made it clear he wasn't happy with the front office for raising eyebrows over his career-high 126 pitches during a nine-inning gem Monday against the Sox. "No. Absolutely not," he said when asked if he understood upper management's potential concern, "because this is an on-field issue for uniformed personnel. That's all there is to it. I'm a grown man. I'm 29. I'm not a prospect or 22. I feel good, and I'm grown up enough and responsible enough to understand when I can go out and when I can't go. "I've earned my right in athletics to be able to understand my body and where I'm at."
06:17 AM ET 05.08 | This week has not been kind to Cincinnati Reds closer Aroldis Chapman. For the second time in less than 24 hours, [Chapman] couldn't finish an inning during a rehab appearance for the Louisville Bats, the team's Triple-A affiliate. Chapman had better command of his pitches on Wednesday but still gave up three runs on three hits with one walk and one strikeout during Louisville's 8-6 win against the Norfolk Tides. After starting Tuesday night's game and failing to get out of the first inning, Chapman entered Wednesday's afternoon game with the Bats leading the Orioles' Triple-A club 8-3 in the ninth inning at Louisville Slugger Field. He was taken out after 21 pitches, replaced by Jumbo Diaz as the Bats held on for the two-run win.
06:16 AM ET 05.08 | To some degree, the clock has been reset. For a while, Josh Hamilton was hoping to defy medical history and return from the torn ligament in his thumb in a month, not the 6-8 weeks his surgeon stressed. Now, Hamilton says he's come to grips with reality after some convincing by Dr. Steven Shin. "I just conceded to the fact that he's not going to let me come back before six weeks," Hamilton said Wednesday. "Each week, he says you should get about 20 percent better. By Week 5, I should be about 90 percent, and by Week 6, I'll be 100 percent and he'll let me go without my splint." Six weeks from Hamilton's April 11 surgery would be May 23, the day the Angels begin a homestand-concluding three-game series with the Kansas City Royals. He expects to be able to play then. It not, he says he'll definitely be back May 26.
06:15 AM ET 05.08 | Consider Homer Bailey as having done his part for the pitching fraternity, and he's not ready to apologize for his big deal. And if the deal Bailey signed in February helps a free agent-to-be like Boston's Jon Lester, as far as Bailey is concerned, so much the better. ... If the 28-year-old Bailey was worth a guarantee of more than $100 million to the Reds, it's hard to imagine the 30-year-old Lester -- a two-time World Series champion with a longer track record of success than Bailey -- taking less than $100 million from the Red Sox to forgo free agency. "For the last however many years, players have been doing that for me and for everybody in here," said Bailey. ... "That's why I got the deal I did. That's why Jon is going to get the deal he's going to get."
06:14 AM ET 05.08 | As of May 8, the facts aren't exactly onMichael Cuddyer's side. [Cuddyer], sidelined by a nagging left hamstring strain since April 18, has not begun to run yet and is 35 years old. But the defending National League batting champion is confident he'll return relatively soon. He said he doesn't think that his age means that a chronic hamstring problem could flare up once he returns to the field. "I'm not concerned with that at all," Cuddyer said Wednesday. "I mean, 35 is not old. If I was 39? Then it might be different, but I don't think that's a problem at 35." ... Cuddyer worked out in a therapy pool last week in Denver, but he won't begin light running until the Rockies are in Cincinnati this weekend. That means he's probably a week or more away from beginning a minor-league rehab assignment.