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Storylines: Oakland's pitching depth gets put to the test

Storylines: Oakland's pitching depth gets put to the test
Jarrod Parker (Photo: CBS Sports)
March 18, 2014
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In this MLB News and Notes segment, I will be giving occasional reports on the latest news and rumors throughout the MLB. I also will try to tweet news and rumors as I see them, so feel free to follow me on Twitter: @ajnicholsIBI.

Here are the stories from Monday, March 17th.

Top Stories

  • The AL West-favorite Oakland Athletics got dealt a significant blow on Monday discovering that starter Jarrod Parker would require a second Tommy John surgery. Another A's starter, A.J. Griffin, has been shut down for three weeks and will likely miss the first month of the season due to arm issues, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. On top of that, starter Scott Kazmir was scratched from Monday's start because of triceps stiffness. However, Oakland's assistant general David Forst told reporters that Kazmir's injury is not serious and that he could have pitched on Monday.

Tribe News

  • Michael Bourn told reporters that he believes he will be ready for Opening Day on March 31st, despite being diagnosed with a mild left hamstring strain on Monday. Bourn left Sunday's game early after experiencing tightness in his hamstring, and manager Terry Francona stated that the centerfielder is expected to miss at least one week of Cactus League action.
  • A walk-off two-run double by Reds prospect Steve Selsky lifted Cincinnati to a 5-4 victory over the Indians on Monday. Corey Kluber got the start for Cleveland and surrendered three runs on seven hits in his 4.1 innings of work. He also struck out five and walked two. Nick Swisher hit his second home run in as many days in the loss.
  • Tribe infielder Justin Sellers is expected to miss a few games with a slight hip flexor strain.
  • Carlos Santana is scheduled to catch for the first time this spring in Wednesday's game against the A's.
  • Former Indians fan-favorite Grady Sizemore continued his stellar spring with Boston, going 3-4 with a double and three runs scored in a nationally televised game against the Cardinals on ESPN. Sizemore also made a diving catch in the gap and a leaping catch that caused him to slam into the center field wall.

Others News and Notes

  • According to Sean McAdams of Comcast SportsNet New England, the Red Sox are shopping catcher Ryan Lavarnway. The 26-year-old Lavarnway was once considered a top 100 prospect, but has had trouble finding a permanent home in the Boston lineup. The Pirates are likely losing backup catcher Chris Stewartto knee surgery and could be a potential trade partner with Boston. Along with Pittsburgh, suggests the White Sox could be a good fit for Lavarnway as well.
  • The Padres are awaiting word on the fate of right hander Joe Wieland after he had an MRI on his right elbow on Monday. San Diego fears that the 24-year-old pitcher could be headed for a second Tommy John surgery. Wieland spent the 2013 season recovering from a 2012 Tommy John procedure.
  • Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported that the Dodgers are on the lookout for bench help. Rosenthal noted that rival evaluators have stated that Los Angeles has the weakest bench in their division, despite spending $225 million on payroll.
  • Troy Renck of the Denver Post wrote that Rockies starter Jordan Lyles could be forcing his way into the starting rotation with his solid spring, despite Colorado's front office originally believing he may need more time in the minors when they acquired him from the Astros this offseason. Lyles is competing with Franklin Morales for the last spot in the Rockies rotation, but Morales does have experience in the bullpen.
  • Righty reliever Jose Contreras is contemplating retirement after being told by the Rangers that he will not make their 25-man roster.
  • The Nationals traded catcher Koyie Hill to the Phillies for a player to be named later or cash.

User Comments

Joe Chengery
March 19, 2014 - 2:32 AM EDT
I didn't realize Beachy had TJ surgery before too; that makes it four pitchers, at least, who may need TJ surgery twice, and the Braves with two of them; the Braves may be the one team who matches or exceeds the A's starting pitching injury bug at this point.
March 18, 2014 - 2:44 PM EDT
There were rumors the Phillies wanted to move Rollins last year at the deadline but he said he'd invoke his full no-trade rights. Doesn't sound like him and the new manager are getting off to the best start so you'd think maybe he'd change his tune, but according to a report from Sunday said that he still wasn't planning on waiving his no-trade any time soon.

Rollins to Detroit would make sense if Philly ate salary as still not convinced the Tigers are able to add much payroll right now.

I wouldn't do Rollins for Cabrera straight up at this point. Rollins is still better defensively but the difference isn't what it once was and his bat is not as likely to rebound IMO as Cabrera's is given Rollins's advanced age. Plus he makes more (granted only $1M). Rollins also has an option for 2015 that vests at $11M if he has 600 plate appearances...something he's done ever year but one this millennium. That's a lot of money to tie up to 2015 and may kill any Masterson extension chance.
March 18, 2014 - 12:51 PM EDT
Phillies are considering moving SS Jimmy Rollins. Should the Indians trade Cabrera for Rollins straight up? I wonder if he ends up in Detroit?
March 18, 2014 - 11:31 AM EDT
Not signing Kazmir and Jimenez was smart. They were both wonderful comeback stories but Kazmir pitches in and out of arm and shoulder problems- which only get worse with age and use- and Jimenez pitches in and out of mental/mechanical problems-it wouldn't surprise me if he had a 2.95 ERA or a 4.95.I would rather just have a guy out there that I can count on for somewhere around 3.60 and that would be Tomlin. There were a couple of things that stood out to me watching MLB highlights last night. Grady Sizemore looks like the impact player he was seven years ago. At the plate AND in the field. I cringe when I see him sprint into the gap after a fly or hit the wall but so far so good. The other thing that stood out is Yordano Ventura. This guy is the real deal. Filthy curve/change and 98 w extra ketchup. He looks as young and dominant as Jose Fernandez and the mechanics are nice and easy. I hate to say it but I think this could be the Royals year. Wish I had taken the 35/1 odds on them to win the World Series when they first came out.
March 18, 2014 - 11:18 AM EDT
Thanks Hermie13. I like keeping up with all the ex-indians/ex-indian prospects
March 18, 2014 - 11:03 AM EDT
Sounds like Pomeranz may be transitioned back to a starter but likely to open in AAA Sacramento and not with the big league club. Sounds like Jesse Chavez and Josh Lindblom are ahead of him though. Pomeranz is having an ok spring. Only 6.1 IP in big league games and 4.26 ERA but 11 Ks to just 2 walks is encouraging. Still behind Gray, Straily, Millone, Kazmir and as said likely Chavez and Lindblom.
Joe Chengery
March 18, 2014 - 10:56 AM EDT
In addition to all of the Tommy John surgeries, how many players are coming down with needing a SECOND TJ surgery? Isn't' that three, at least (Medlen, Parker, Wieland)? I can't remember the last time, if ever, I heard of a number of players in such a short time needing a second TJ surgery.
March 18, 2014 - 10:40 AM EDT
Does Drew Pomeranz has chance to make the starting rotation with A's now with all the injuries? I wonder how his spring training going?
March 18, 2014 - 9:13 AM EDT
Lavarnway is also having a very good spring (yes, spring training and small sample but still)...hitting .346 with a .615 SLG. Having one of the best springs in Boston's camp (other than Bryce Brentz).
March 18, 2014 - 9:00 AM EDT
Lavarnway is a guy that intrigues me for Cleveland. Has some power but really struggled of late. Not the best defensive catcher...but maybe a change of scenery can get that bat going again.
March 18, 2014 - 8:58 AM EDT
I wonder if we could pry a top prospect away from Oakland in exchange for Tomlin? Are they desparate yet?
March 18, 2014 - 12:14 AM EDT
Is this the year of the Tommy John surgery? Beachy, Parker, Corbin, others could be Medlen, Wieland, maybe Niese,

Looks like the Indians could have made the right call on Kazmir.

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