Wednesday, February 12, 2014
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MLB player notes

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[February 12, 2014]  (The Sports Xchange)  Major League Baseball player notes:

Retired player: Oswalt, Roy

RHP Roy Oswalt announced his retirement Feb. 11 after 13 major league seasons. The three-time All-Star ended his career with the Rockies, pitching in nine games (including six starts) and posting a 0-6 record with an 8.63 ERA in 2013. Oswalt, 36, compiled a 163-102 career record with a 3.36 ERA in 2,245 1/3 innings spanning 365 games with the Astros, Phillies, Rangers and Rockies. His 150 wins from 2001 to 2010 led the majors.

Seattle Mariners: Wolf, Randy

LHP Randy Wolf agreed to a minor league contract with the Seattle Mariners that includes an invitation to spring training. The 37-year-old missed the 2013 season after undergoing Tommy John elbow surgery in September 2012. Wolf, a starter throughout his career, is willing to shift to the bullpen as tries to make a comeback, The Seattle Times reported. He pitched in 30 games and started 26 for the Brewers and Orioles in 2012, posting a combined 5-10 record with a 5.65 ERA in 157 2/3 innings.

Detroit Tigers: Verlander, Justin

RHP Justin Verlander threw about 20 pitches off a mound Feb. 10 for the first time since having core muscle surgery last month.

"Felt really good," he said Feb. 11 in Lakeland, Fla. "Didn't feel anything in my groin, hip, nothing. My goal now is the start of the season. Whether that's Game 1, I don't know. But I intend on being ready."


Verlander injured his core doing squats in December. He originally felt pain on his left side, but an MRI also showed weakening on the right side, and he ended up having surgery in Philadelphia.

New York Yankees: Tanaka, Masahiro

RHP Masahiro Tanaka formally joined the Yankees on Feb. 11, with GM Brian Cashman saying "this is Yankee big, this is Steinbrenner big" during the televised portion of the press conference.

Manager Joe Girardi handed Tanaka his No. 19 jersey and cap. The 25-year-old Tanaka, who speaks limited English, stepped to the podium. He arrived in New York with a seven-year, $155 million contract.

"When I take the mound, I feel that I would like to win every single game," Tanaka said through an interpreter. "Being an ace is something that not myself but the other people label. So basically what I want to do is go out there and compete and do my best."

Tanaka comes to the Yankees after going 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA in Japan last year.

Arizona Diamondbacks: Arroyo, Bronson

RHP Bronson Arroyo, who is 138-127 in 14 major league seasons, averaged 13 victories and 207 innings since joining the Boston rotation early in the 2004 season. He has eight double-digit victory seasons since and won nine games in the other two. He has done all of that in hitters' parks, too, so Chase Field should not present an unusual challenge. He was with the Red Sox from 2003-05 before being traded to Cincinnati for OF Wily Mo Pena in March 2006.

Arizona Diamondbacks: Gregorius, Didi

SS Didi Gregorius and SS Chris Owings are involved in the only position-player battle in spring training, and GM Kevin Towers said the one who does not win the job will open the season at Triple-A Reno. "I would say Didi is the favorite," said Towers, who mentioned the possibility of a platoon at the end of the 2013 season but does not see that as an option now. "I just don't think it is good for their development," Towers said. "I think both are very, very good players, and they need at-bats. I would say one would win the job and the other would be at Triple-A, and if something happens, one will be back up."

Arizona Diamondbacks: Owings, Chris

SS Chris Owings and SS Didi Gregorius are involved in the only position-player battle in spring training, and GM Kevin Towers said the one who does not win the job will open the season at Triple-A Reno. "I would say Didi is the favorite," said Towers, who mentioned the possibility of a platoon at the end of the 2013 season but does not see that as an option now. "I just don't think it is good for their development," Towers said. "I think both are very, very good players, and they need at-bats. I would say one would win the job and the other would be at Triple-A, and if something happens, one will be back up."


Arizona Diamondbacks: Delgado, Randall

RHP Randall Delgado likely will win a bullpen job if he is squeezed out of the rotation, GM Kevin Towers said. Delgado, who was 5-7 with a 4.26 ERA in 19 starts with Arizona last season, is out of options, and the D-backs do not want to expose him to waivers for fear of losing him. "There is not as much flexibility with him," Towers said. Delgado, who is working to develop a breaking ball to add to his fastball/changeup mix, could be used as a second long reliever to pair with RHP Josh Collmenter.

Arizona Diamondbacks: Ross, Cody

OF Cody Ross will be the fourth outfielder if he continues his ahead-of-schedule progress from August hip surgery. "Cody, if he is healthy and ready to go, you are not going to want to overdo it with him right off the bat," Towers said. "Don't know if you'll be pinch-running him much."

Arizona Diamondbacks: Pennington, Cliff

2B/SS Cliff Pennington and 1B/3B Eric Chavez are expected to be the only infield backups when camp breaks, barring unforeseen circumstances. The starters are 1B Paul Goldschmidt, 2B Aaron Hill, 3B Martin Prado and the winner of the shortstop competition between Didi Gregorius and Chris Owings. Goldschmidt played in 160 games last season and Prado played in 155, and each could play that many again. Prado also can play left field and second base, and he could give Hill an off day when manager Kirk Gibson likes the matchup with Chavez at third.

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Arizona Diamondbacks: Chavez, Eric

1B/3B Eric Chavez and 2B/SS Cliff Pennington are expected to be the only infield backups when camp breaks, barring unforeseen circumstances. The starters are 1B Paul Goldschmidt, 2B Aaron Hill, 3B Martin Prado and the winner of the shortstop competition between Didi Gregorius and Chris Owings. Goldschmidt played in 160 games last season and Prado played in 155, and each could play that many again. Prado also can play left field and second base, and he could give Hill an off day when manager Kirk Gibson likes the matchup with Chavez at third.

Cleveland Indians: Pestano, Vinnie

RHP Vinnie Pestano became the first Indians player in 23 years to go to an arbitration hearing when he and the Indians argued their cases before an arbitration panel on Feb. 7. Pestano filed at $1.45 million, while the Indians filed at $975,000. The arbitration panel ruled in favor of the Indians, so Pestano, the first Indian to go to a hearing since Greg Swindell and Jerry Browne in 1991, will make $975,000 in 2014.

Cleveland Indians: Bauer, Trevor

RHP Trevor Bauer hopes to bounce back from a disappointing 2013 season by winning a spot in the Indians' season-opening rotation. Bauer, the third player selected in the 2011 draft, was expected to be a key member of the rotation last year, but he spent most of the season at Triple-A Columbus. He went 1-2 with a 5.29 ERA in four starts with the Indians. Bauer spent the winter retooling his mechanics. "I'm ready to face some hitters and see if my work has paid off," he said.

Cleveland Indians: Salazar, Danny

RHP Danny Salazar, who had innings and pitch-count limits in his starts last year as a rookie, will be under no such restrictions in 2014, and manager Terry Francona is excited about that. "The sky is the limit for him. I can't wait to see what he can do over 34 starts," Francona said. In 10 starts for the Indians last year, Salazar was 2-3 with a 3.13 ERA and an average of 11.3 strikeouts per nine innings.

Cleveland Indians: Santana, Carlos

C/1B Carlos Santana is going to play some games at third base during spring training. Santana, who originally signed with the Dodgers as a third baseman, volunteered for the position switch after last season, when he lost the starting catcher job to Yan Gomes. The Indians want to keep Santana's bat in the lineup, and third base, perhaps as a platoon with 3B Lonnie Chisenhall, would be a way to do it. Santana played several games during winter ball at third base. "If he can handle (third base), it gives us another option for one of our middle-of-the-order bats," manager Terry Francona said.


Cleveland Indians: Francoeur, Jeff

OF Jeff Francoeur signed a minor league contract with the Indians and will be in the major league camp as a non-roster player. Francoeur, who hit .204 with three home runs and 17 RBIs in a combined 245 at-bats for the Royals and Giants last year, will compete for a spot as a fourth or fifth outfielder.

Cleveland Indians: Lindor, Francisco

SS Francisco Lindor likely will start the season at Double-A Akron, but he could make his major league debut at some point during the season. The eighth overall pick in the 2011 draft, Lindor is clearly the team's shortstop of the future, and could make the ascent in 2014 if free-agent-to-be Asdrubal Cabrera is traded. Lindor, 20, hit a combined .303/.380/.407 with two homers, 34 RBIs and 25 steals in 104 games in Class A and Double-A last year.

Cleveland Indians: Lee, C.C.

RHP C.C. Lee had a combined 2.48 ERA and averaged 11.5 strikeouts per nine innings in 29 minor league appearances last year. He is expected to win a spot in the Opening Day bullpen.

Bonifacio, Emilio

INF/OF Emilio Bonifacio, designated for assignment by the Royals on Feb. 1, was released on Feb. 11. Bonifacio recently avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $3.5 million deal, but the contract was not guaranteed. Bonifacio had a batting line of .243/.295/.331 in 461 plate appearances in 2013.

Miami Marlins: Marmol, Carlos

RHP Carlos Marmol and the Marlins finalized a one-year, $1.25 million agreement on Feb. 11. The 31-year-old reliever spent the 2013 season with the Cubs and Dodgers, pitching in a combined 49 innings and posting a 2-4 record with a 4.41 ERA and two saves. He finished the season with the Dodgers and had a 2.53 ERA in 21 outings.

Marmol was with the Cubs for eight seasons, primarily as their closer, and had 117 saves with a 23-32 record and a 3.50 ERA. Control has always been an issue for Marmol. He has issued 385 walks in 563 2/3 career innings.

RHP Steve Cishek is expected to be the Marlins' closer in 2014, leaving Marmol to compete for a middle-relief or setup role and provide backup to Cishek.


Miami Marlins: Hatcher, Chris

RHP Chris Hatcher was designated for assignment by the Marlins on Feb. 11 to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for newly signed RHP Carlos Marmol. Hatcher, 29, went 0-1 with a 12.46 ERA in seven relief appearances for Miami last year. In 60 games for Triple-A New Orleans, he went 4-3 with 33 saves and a 3.61 ERA.

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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