Category archive: Garret Anderson

CUDDYER, MAUER HELP TWINS POUND MILLWOOD (11:14 p.m. ET)
Michael Cuddyer homered, reigning AL MVP Joe Mauer had two hits and the Twins beat the Orioles 8-3.

The game was called in the top of the ninth inning because of rain.

Kevin Millwood, in line to be Baltimore's Opening Day starter, was hit hard again. He was charged with five runs and nine hits over 2 2/3 innings and has a 29.70 ERA this spring.

Scott Baker, slated to start on Opening Day for Minnesota, worked three effective innings. He limited Baltimore to five hits, including Robert Andino's homer in the third.

-- The Associated Press

CERVELLI TO WEAR SPECIAL HELMET (8:04 p.m. ET)
Francisco Cervelli is choosing safety over style.

The Yankees' backup catcher will begin wearing a bulky protective helmet similar to one briefly worn last season by Mets star David Wright after he sustained a concussion.

Cervelli talked about the change before Thursday night's game against the Braves was canceled due to rain.

Like Wright last summer, Cervelli was hit in the helmet by a 94 mph pitch that gave him a concussion -- Cervelli's second since November. Cervelli was injured Saturday and was cleared by a neurologist Monday. He is scheduled to play his first game Friday, when the Yankees travel to Viera to face the Nationals.

-- The Associated Press

RAYS MAKE FIRST SPRING CUTS (7:48 p.m. ET)
The Rays have optioned left-handed pitcher Jake McGee to the minor leagues and reassigned shortstop Tim Beckham and catcher Nevin Ashley to minor league spring training camp.

The team announced the moves after Thursday's 4-1 split-squad victory over the Blue Jays.

The Rays did not say which affiliate McGee will be assigned to.

-- The Associated Press

COOK HIT HARD IN SECOND SPRING START (7:07 p.m. ET)
Aaron Cook was hit hard in his second spring start, allowing nine hits and nine runs, five earned, in 2 2/3 innings, as the Rockies were pounded by the Rangers 16-3.

Cook hit Ian Kinsler with a 1-2 pitch during a four-run first when he gave up three hits, including a two-run homer to first baseman Chris Davis, who went 4-for-4 with 3 RBIs. Michael Young was 3-for-3 and Taylor Teagarden knocked in three runs for the Rangers, who had 23 hits.

Cook was hoping to throw 40 pitches or less but ended up throwing 73, leaving after a double by Young during a five-run second inning for Texas. Four of those runs were unearned because of a throwing error by third baseman Ian Stewart on an attempted force play.

-- The Associated Press

AFTER ADJUSTMENT, SILVA THROWS THREE SCORELESS INNINGS (7:00 p.m. ET)
Carlos Silva threw three scoreless innings after making an adjustment during a bullpen session, helping the Cubs beat the Padres 8-7.

ilva, acquired from Seattle for Milton Bradley and cash in December, allowed four hits, walked one and struck out none.

Starlin Castro, one of Chicago's top prospects, had two hits and scored three times. The shortstop hit his first homer of the spring in the fifth.

-- The Associated Press

VOTTO HOMERS FOR FIRST SPRING HIT (6:23 p.m. ET)
Joey Votto homered for his first hit of spring training, leading the Reds to a 3-1 victory over a Brewers split-squad.

Votto hit a solo shot off left-hander Chris Capuano, who is trying to resume his career after reconstructive elbow surgery. Votto was 0-for-9 before he homered in the sixth inning.

Reds right-hander Johnny Cueto pitched three scoreless innings, a big improvement over his first spring outing.

-- The Associated Press

ORTIZ CONTINUES BID TO MAKE DODGERS' ROTATION (6:22 p.m. ET)
Russ Ortiz pitched three scoreless innings and Andre Ethier and Casey Blake homered as the Dodgers beat the Royals 6-4.

Ortiz, a veteran right-hander who is a non-roster invitee, gave up two singles, struck out three and walked none. He has worked five scoreless innings and yielded four hits in his bid to make the Dodgers' rotation.

Ethier hit a three-run homer in the third off Gil Meche, while Blake homered in the fifth off rookie left-hander Edgar Osuna.

-- The Associated Press

LINCECUM ROUGHED UP VS. MARINERS (6:17 p.m. ET)
Tim Lincecum, the two-time reigning NL Cy Young Award winner, doesn't quite look like himself yet at spring training and struggled through 2 2/3 innings in the Giants' sloppy 6-2 loss to the Mariners. He isn't one bit worried.

He is finding his balance, his rhythm -- acknowledging perhaps that he's even thinking about a few too many things at once when it comes to mastering his mechanics. He's not concerned with results this early.

"Stuff-wise I felt like everything was good," Lincecum said. "I think right now everything is just location. I just try to take something positive from each outing. My curveball was breaking really well, the slider was doing well. The changeup when it was down was good, same with the fastball. The only time I really got hurt was Ichiro's hit. ... The key for me is rhythm. My mechanics kind of follow that."

The 25-year-old right-hander had his second subpar outing in as many appearances against the team he once hoped to play for as a kid growing up in Seattle. Lincecum was tagged for six hits, struck out four and walked two in his 59-pitch day. He lowered his spring ERA by nearly half, from 18.00 to 9.82.

-- The Associated Press

NAVARRO INJURES LEFT THUMB (5:58 p.m. ET)
Dioner Navarro and the Rays were hoping for the best after a simple pickoff play in the third inning. Navarro was struck by a pickoff throw during the Rays' 16-15 victory over the Pirates and departed with an injured left thumb.

Navarro was hit when Jack Taschner threw over to first. It was diagnosed as a contusion, and he returned to the Rays' complex in Port Charlotte for further evaluation.

Navarro described the ball as pushing his thumb backward.

"I've been hit so many times that I don't even know when my bone is broken," he said. "This one, maybe because I wasn't catching, hurt more than when I'm behind the plate. Hopefully, it's OK."

-- The Associated Press

JACKSON STEPS UP IN WEBB'S ABSENCE (5:54 p.m. ET)
With the uncertain status of Brandon Webb, newcomer Edwin Jackson's performance thus far this spring must be comforting for the Diamondbacks.

The right-hander, acquired in a trade with the Tigers in the offseason, blanked the Angels on one hit through three innings in Arizona's 4-1 victory. The right-hander has yet to give up a run in five innings this spring.

Jackson, an All-Star with the Tigers last year, will start the season as the Diamondbacks' No. 2 starter behind Dan Haren.

-- The Associated Press

LACKEY'S SHUTOUT STREAK CONTINUES (5:16 p.m. ET)
John Lackey is off to a nice start with the Red Sox. The right-hander threw three shutout innings in Boston's 8-2 victory over Jason Bay and the Mets.

Lackey allowed three hits in his second spring outing and has yet to allow a run since he finalized an $82.5 million, five-year contract with the Red Sox in December.

After Lackey was finished on the field, he got some work done in the bullpen before showers caused a 30-minute delay after the fourth inning.

Bay, playing in his first game against his former team, went 0-for-2 before leaving during the delay.

-- The Associated Press

JOHNSON STARTS STRONG, BUT NUNEZ ENDS BADLY (4:50 p.m. ET)
The Marlins got another strong start from ace Josh Johnson but a bad ending from their closer. Johnson struck out four in three scoreless innings before the Cardinals beat up on closer Leo Nunez during a five-run ninth for a 5-3 win.

Nunez, who saved 26 games last season, allowed four hits before leaving with two outs and runners at second and third. He was charged with five runs, three earned.

Johnson, the Marlins' Opening Day starter, struck out the side in the first inning, mixing in a changeup with a fastball that hit 94 mph.

-- The Associated Press

WHITE SOX LOOK TO KEEP BUEHRLE WELL RESTED (2:54 p.m. ET)
Ace Mark Buehrle won't have his second start of spring training until next Monday as the White Sox seek to keep him rested before the regular season begins.

Buehrle made his first start on March 5 against the Dodgers, allowing an unearned run on three hits with two strikeouts over two innings.

Jake Peavy starts Friday against the Angels in a split-squad game. Gavin Floyd and John Danks, the next two pitchers in the White Sox's projected rotation, get the call Saturday and Sunday against the Brewers and Reds.

Closer Bobby Jenks is also scheduled to pitch on the same day as Buehrle.

-- The Associated Press

GIANTS HALL OF FAMERS VISIT SPRING TRAINING (1:35 p.m. ET)
Hall of Famers Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Orlando Cepeda and Gaylord Perry gathered for a little reunion and some good-natured ribbing.

Mays, often the instigator with his gentle jabs, razzed Perry and then got it right back. It's not every day these guys turn up together at spring training. On Thursday, they spent the morning leading a team meeting for the San Francisco Giants -- something that has become a spring tradition of sorts for these old greats.

Players took turns greeting the guys before the meeting began.

-- The Associated Press

MOUSTAKAS AMONG SEVEN SENT DOWN BY ROYALS (1:30 p.m. ET)
Third baseman Mike Moustakas, the second overall pick in the 2007 draft, was among seven players reassigned to minor league camp Thursday by the Kansas City Royals.

Also sent down were outfielder David Lough, who hit .325 last season and was the Royals' 2009 minor league player of the year, and left-hander Danny Duffy, who pitched in the Futures All-Star Game and was 9-3 with a 2.98 ERA with Single-A Wilmington.

Other players sent to the minor league camp were outfielder David Robinson, first baseman Ernest Mejia, infielder Mario Lisson and catcher Steve Lerud.

All seven players were non-roster invitees. The Royals have 58 players left in camp.

-- The Associated Press

GUARDADO, ESTES CUT BY NATIONALS (10:38 a.m. ET)
Left-handers Eddie Guardado and Shawn Estes have been released by the Washington Nationals in the first round of spring training cuts.

The Nationals also reassigned six players to their minor league camp.

Guardado had pitched in two exhibition games and had an ERA of 18.00 in two innings. Estes had made one appearance, pitching one inning to an ERA of 18.00. Both veterans had been signed to minor league contracts with invitations to major league camp.

Right-handers Logan Kensing, Joel Peralta, Ryan Speier, left-hander Victor Garate, outfielder Jerry Owens and catcher Derek Norris were reassigned to the minor league camp.

-- Associated Press

IF AT FIRST, TRY, TRY AGAIN (10:06 a.m. ET)
The last time Garret Anderson played first base, he was a 21-year-old prospect playing for the Los Angeles Angels' Triple-A team in Vancouver.

Now he's a 37-year-old veteran in Dodgers camp on a minor-league deal, facing a roster logjam in the outfield and no guarantees manager Joe Torre will keep a left-handed bat on the bench. So Anderson, a longtime outfielder, is digging out his first baseman's glove and headed back to the infield, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Anderson, who signed last week and has yet to appear in a spring training game, says he's doing his best to learn the position, according to the report.

"It wouldn't be instinctive," Anderson said, according to the Times. "As an outfielder, I have an idea of where the infielders are going to be when I throw a ball in. I know where the first baseman is going to be. But to actually have that point of view of it and do it, it's going to be different. I'm going to have to learn some stuff."

-- ESPN.com news services

DUNCAN TRYING TO MAKE IT BACK WITH NATIONALS (9:52 a.m. ET)
In years past, when Chris Duncan wanted a pregame word with his father, longtime St. Louis pitching coach Dave Duncan, he simply walked into his dad's office. On Wednesday, they had to chat outside the batting cage when the Nationals went to play the Cardinals.

Chris Duncan, who is in Nationals camp as a non-roster invitee, spent parts of five years with St. Louis, hitting .293 with 22 home runs in 90 games during the Cardinals' World Series title run in 2006. But injuries limited Duncan's effectiveness the past three seasons. He was traded to the Red Sox in July and released after he hit less than .200 in 92 minor-league at-bats.

"It was kind of tough at the end," Duncan said. "I remember the last game I started at home I was getting booed. The bottom line was that I was not playing well and we were competing for a pennant."

Washington manager Jim Riggleman expects Duncan to compete for a reserve spot on the Opening Day roster. Riggleman has liked what he's seen so far from Duncan, who went 0 for 5 with an RBI on Wednesday, including two strikeouts in the late innings with runners in scoring position.

"In your idle time as a manager when you are scribbling out lineups and rosters on napkins, there are some scenarios where he is there and there are some where he is not," Riggleman said prior to the game. "He's competing and he's going to make it a tough decision for us."

-- The Associated Press

MIXED BAG FOR BRAVES' ARMS (9:01 p.m. ET)

Derek Lowe got off to a solid start after a rough first season in Atlanta, pitching two hitless innings in the Braves' 11-8 victory over the Washington Nationals on Friday.

The Braves new closer, Billy Wagner, did not fare so well. He gave up three hits and two runs in the third inning.
-- Associated Press

TIGERS PICK UP SLACK FOR ZUMAYA (7:44p.m. ET)

Making his spring debut, Joel Zumaya allowed three earned runs in two innings of the Detroit Tigers' 17-7 win over the Houston Astros on Friday.

"He's unusual," manager Jim Leyland said of Zumaya. "He gets hit when he pitches down in the zone. He's better pitching it high because, with his speed, the batters know they need to stick the bat down low to hit him. They can't when he's high."

Zumaya, who throws near 100 mph, has struggled with shoulder injuries since pitching 62 games in 2006. Since then, he's pitched little more than he did in all of 2006, but he's still expected to be a key setup man in the bullpen for new closer Jose Valverde.

Zumaya and Valverde are expected to fill the void left when Fernando Rodney left for the Angels via free agency. Leyland said he can put up with Zumaya's well-documented theatrics as long as he gets the ball over the plate.

"He's like a bull on a chain," Leyland said. "As far as his personality, he's an excited guy and I don't want him to change a thing. If he can keep his pitches under control, we're all fine with it."
-- ESPN.com news services

D-BACKS' UPTON DELIVERS BIG HIT AFTER BIG DEAL (7:41p.m. ET)

Justin Upton began earning his massive new contract in a big way Friday.

Upton hit a sixth-inning grand slam as the Arizona Diamondbacks lost 8-7 to the Chicago Cubs on Friday.

The outfielder signed a six-year, $52 million deal with Arizona on Thursday.
-- ESPN.com news services

CARDS' PENNY TINKERS IN ROUGH DEBUT (7:33 p.m. ET)

Brad Penny's debut in a St. Louis Cardinals uniform was rocky, yet he was pleased with his first outing of the spring.

Penny pitched two innings, allowing three runs and six hits in the Cardinals' 7-3 loss to a New York Mets' split squad Friday. Three of those hits were soft flyballs that landed just beyond the infield.

"I worked on some stuff today," Penny said. "I probably threw more sinkers in the first inning than I have in a game in probably my career. I'm just trying to work on a sinker and get command of it."

Penny, who signed a one-year, $7.5 million contract to join his favorite childhood team, threw 46 pitches, 29 in the first inning.

"I thought he threw the ball well and had a good day's work," La Russa said.

Penny threw for a short time in the bullpen after his outing to correct a mechanical flaw.
-- Associated Press

M'S SS WILSON HURTS RIGHT HAMMY (7:15 p.m. ET)
Seattle shortstop Jack Wilson injured his right hamstring Friday and left the game after the third inning of the Mariners' 9-3 loss to San Diego.

It was initially believed that Wilson injured the leg while scoring from first base on a triple by Ichiro Suzuki in the third inning. However, Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu said, "he did not do it on the run. He actually did it (earlier) on a play at short where he planted and threw it.

"He said he felt OK on the run but it was tight."

Wilson was expected to be re-evaluated Saturday. -- Associated Press

ROCKIES' FRANCIS PITCHES FOR FIRST TIME SINCE '08 (6:00 p.m. ET)

After missing 18 months because of shoulder problems that required surgery, Jeff Francis was back on the mound again. He gave up four runs, four hits and two walks in two innings of the Colorado Rockies' 7-4, split-squad loss to the San Francisco Giants on Friday.

"It felt good to get out there and get the blood pumping against a familiar lineup. Physically, I felt good," said Francis, who last pitched on Sept. 12, 2008, and finished with a dismal 4-10 record after going 17-9 in 2007.

The 6-foot-5, 205-pound Francis tried to throw with an easy motion, mainly fastballs.

"I did throw a few changeups, but mostly I would throw five or six [fastballs] in a row, even behind in the count. That's pretty unusual," Francis said.

Francis said he was uncertain when he might throw again, but if he is trying to stick to pitching every fifth day, his next start would come on Wednesday against the Kansas City Royals in Tucson.
-- ESPN.com news services

ROYALS' GREINKE IN CY YOUNG FORM (5:35 p.m. ET)

Zack Greinke is off to a stellar start.

The Cy Young Award winner pitched three scoreless innings Friday and the Kansas City Royals beat the Texas Rangers 4-2.

Greinke, who had a 9.21 ERA in eight spring training games last year, threw just 27 pitches, 19 for strikes. He struck out three and walked none. David Murphys two-out single in the first was the only hit Greinke allowed.
-- Associated Press

INDIANS VETERAN GRILLI, ROOKIE BROWN INJURED (2:59 p.m. ET)

Veteran pitcher Jason Grilli and promising rookie Jordan Brown were injured at the Cleveland Indians' camp in Goodyear, Ariz.

They were taken for MRI examinations and the Indians expect to issue an update Saturday.

Grilli, a right-hander in camp as a non-roster free agent, had his right leg immobilized as he rode a cart to the trainer's room after getting hurt during agility drills on Friday.

Brown, a 26-year-old first baseman/outfielder who won the Triple-A International League batting title with a .336 average last season, got into a cart on his own after being injured while shagging fly balls.
-- Associated Press

MARLINS' BAKER SIDELINED WITH TENDER ARM (11:59 a.m. ET)

Florida Marlins catcher John Baker has been scratched from their game against the New York Mets in Port St. Lucie, Fla., because of tenderness in his throwing arm.

The ailment is not considered serious, but manager Fredi Gonzalez said Baker probably will be kept out of action Saturday as a precaution.

Minor league catcher Brett Hayes replaced Baker in the starting lineup Friday against the Mets. Ronny Paulino will start Saturday against the Cardinals in Jupiter.
-- Associated Press

DODGERS MUST SORT OUT ROSTER GLUT (10:42 a.m. ET)

The Los Angeles Dodgers suddenly have a logjam of outfielders that could end up affecting the pitching staff come Opening Day.

With the signing of veteran Garret Anderson late Wednesday, the Dodgers could be in position to have five outfielders on their 25-man roster once spring training ends. That scenario might require the Dodgers to carry 11 pitchers into the season opener, instead of the 12 manager Joe Torre had originally projected.

"You think you're going to take 12 pitchers. Is 11 an option? I guess it is," Torre said Thursday, a day after Anderson was given a minor-league deal with an invitation to major-league camp.

"We have an awful lot of decisions to make but we can't really start making them until we get deep into the games. I don't bother thinking about it right now. I've written it down. I'm just happy I don't have to do that today or tomorrow."
-- Associated Press

JOHNSON REMAINS OUT OF YANKEES' LINEUP (9:46 a.m. ET)

New York Yankees designated hitter Nick Johnson will miss his second straight game because of a stiff lower back.

Johnson was hurt during batting practice Thursday when his spikes got caught on the mats used in the cage. He said his back "loosened up" after an exercise program before Friday's game against Tampa Bay. He doesn't think the injury is serious.

Johnson was signed during the offseason to take the spot of 2009 World Series MVP Hideki Matsui, now with the Los Angeles Angels.

Catcher Jorge Posada was in Friday's lineup as the DH.
-- Associated Press

AYBAR GETS FIRST CRACK AS ANGELS' LEADOFF MAN (9:44 a.m. ET)

It appears Erick Aybar will get the first shot at winning the Los Angeles Angels' leadoff spot. Aybar led off against the White Sox in Thursday's Cactus League opener.

Maicer Izturis, who is also in consideration for the job, batted fifth. Aybar was 0 for 2 with a walk and scored the first run on Juan Rivera's third-inning single. Izturis was hitless in three trips to the plate.
-- Associated Press

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MORROW MAY WORK OUT OF 'PEN (10:33 p.m. ET)
Seattle right-hander Brandon Morrow may have to pitch out of the bullpen to get his work in this spring.

Morrow, who is projected to be the Mariners' fifth starter, has been slowed by a stiff forearm in training camp and hasn't pitched in a Cactus League game since March 1. There are concerns the 24-year-old's arm won't be strong enough to handle the rigors of starting when the regular season begins April 6.

Manager Don Wakamatsu in the past has shot down talk of using Morrow in the bullpen, but now is keeping his options open.

Wakamatsu said Saturday that he thinks it will come down to the last week of camp, to see how much Morrow progresses, before he can decide whether he will be a starter.

GLAVINE NEARING ROTATION SPOT (7:56 p.m. ET)
Tom Glavine knows the end of his career is in sight and he wants to leave on his own terms.

The Atlanta Braves lefty pitched three pain-free innings against his former team in his first start this spring, allowing only two hits Saturday in a 12-1 win over the New York Mets.

Glavine had thrown a simulated game Monday and said he felt as though he'd be ready to join the rotation in about a month.

The two-time Cy Young Award winner has 305 wins, but he started a career-low 13 games last year, going 2-4 before his season was cut short due to elbow surgery. Glavine, who will turn 43 on Wednesday, contemplated retirement but said he wasn't quite finished.

YOUKILIS ON WAY BACK, DREW OUT (6:38 p.m. ET)
Kevin Youkilis could rejoin the Boston Red Sox lineup on Monday after giving his sprained left ankle more time to lead. J.D. Drew could need more time to get back on the field after bruising a hand when getting hit by a pitch.

Youkilis returned to the Red Sox on Wednesday from the World Baseball Classic with a mild sprain and mild Achilles tendinitis in his left foot. The first baseman had been wearing a hard plastic boot, then was examined Saturday by team physician Dr. Peter Asnis and took batting practice while wearing running shoes.

"He can maybe get a couple of at-bats on Monday," manager Terry Francona before his team's game against the Marlins in Jupiter. "We certainly don't want this to linger."

Drew did not participate in an on-field workout Saturday, a day after he was hit on the right hand by a Donnie Veal pitch. X-rays Friday were negative.

"Just kind of hang out until it feels well enough to start swinging and stuff," Drew said. "It feels pretty good, just stiff and sore from the bruise. But fortunately, it doesn't look like it's broke or anything. Hopefully, I don't have any issues when I start coming back to swing."

Francona said the team will proceed cautiously.

"It will be completely day to day on how he feels and how quickly the bruise doesn't feel bruised," the manager said.

UPTON HIT BY PITCH, BUT SHOULD BE OK (6:37 p.m. ET)
Tampa Bay's B.J. Upton was hit by a pitch on the left hand during a minor league game, however the Rays don't believe it's a serious injury.

X-rays were negative Saturday. The defending AL champions said the center fielder has a bone bruise and described his status as day to day. Upton has been limited throughout spring training while rehabbing from offseason shoulder surgery.

The 24-year-old played most of last year with an injured left shoulder that affected his production at the plate. He had surgery shortly after the World Series and has yet to appear in a major league exhibition this spring training.

CHAVEZ GETS THE GO-AHEAD (4:25 p.m. ET)
Eric Chavez has been cleared to take batting practice for the first time in nearly two weeks.

Chavez, rehabbing from shoulder surgery, was tested Saturday using pulleys and swinging a bat without a ball. Chavez had not swung a bat since a setback on March. 8.

In other A's news, left-hander Dallas Braden was scratched from his scheduled start in Saturday's split-squad game against the Mariners at Peoria. Braden had a root canal operation on Friday and was not ready to pitch. He was rescheduled for Sunday against the White Sox.

LHP PARRISH TO UNDERGO SHOULDER SURGERY
(3:57 p.m. ET)

Left-hander John Parrish will return to Baltimore for exploratory arthroscopic procedure on his sore pitching shoulder.

Parrish, with the Orioles on a minor league contract, hasn't pitched during spring training because of the shoulder injury.

The 31-year-old was 1-1 with a 4.04 ERA last year for Toronto in six starts and seven relief appearances.

NATIONALS SIGN CATCHER BARD (3:22 p.m. ET)
The Washington Nationals signed catcher Josh Bard to a minor-league deal on Saturday, adding another veteran to compete for the backup job behind Jesus Flores.

Bard was released by the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday, and will join the Nationals' big league camp. He would make $600,000 this year if he makes the major league team.

The 30-year-old catcher played 57 games for San Diego last season, hitting .202 with a home run and 16 RBIs. His best season came in 2006, when he hit .338 with nine home runs and 40 RBIs in 93 games for the Padres.

Wil Nieves caught 68 games as the Nationals' backup last season, and figured to have a roster spot locked up until Washington signed Bard. The two will now compete for the backup spot.

DREW, YOUKILIS TO RETURN SOON (2:17 p.m. ET)

Right fielder J.D. Drew was held out of the Boston Red Sox's lineup with an injured right hand Saturday, a day after getting hit by a pitch from Pirates left-hander Donnie Veal.

"It'll be day-to-day on how he feels, and how quickly the bruise doesn't feel bruised," manager Terry Francona said, according to MLB.com.

First baseman Kevin Youkilis, who returned this week to Fort Myers, Fla., from the World Baseball Classic with a mild sprained ankle and mild Achilles tendinitis in his left foot, took batting practice and fielded ground balls Saturday.

Youkilis could return to live games as soon as Monday, MLB.com reported.

"We'll see about that," Francona said. "Since he's in the boot and not feeling too good, we certainly don't want this to linger, so I'll talk to Youk and the medical people about that."

HUGHES AMONG 6 SENT TO MINOR LEAGUE CAMP (2:01 p.m. ET)

Phil Hughes was among six right-handed pitchers the New York Yankees sent down Saturday to their minor league spring training camp.

"I told him that he had a great camp and to keep working," Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said of Hughes, according to MLB.com. "We told him about all the things that we saw and what he needs to continue to work on.

"He's in a great frame of mind. He knows he did great here, but he also knows that it's not in his best interest to now be held back."

Hughes joined Anthony Claggett, and Steven Jackson, who were sent to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Humberto Sanchez was shipped to Double-A Trenton, while Sergio Mitre and Jason Johnson were also shipped to the Yankees' minor league camp.

"Because his pitch count continues to climb, there's no innings to provide here," Cashman said of Hughes.

GARDENHIRE BACKS LHP MIJARES (11:12 a.m. ET)

The Minnesota Twins are standing behind the left-handed Jose Mijares despite a shaky spring in which he's recorded a 11.37 ERA.

"What we need to do is get him straightened out, right here," manager Ron Gardenhire said, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press. "I can always throw problems to somebody else, and not try to do it ourselves right here before we break camp.

"But he's a pretty good arm, and if we can figure this out, we'll be a better baseball team."

Gardenhire had been critical of Mijares, hinting of a connection to his performance and a lack of conditioning.

The rookie continued to struggle Friday, going to a 3-0 count on three Yankees hitters and allowing a home run to Todd Linden and singles to Doug Bernier and Juan Miranda.

"We're going to keep trying to get him going in the right direction," Gardenhire said, according to the newspaper. "He did some pretty good things last year, and even though I'm a little bit upset at him, we have to get this kid right. That's our job."

LF ANDERSON ON MEND (10:49 a.m. ET)

Left fielder Garret Anderson said he felt much improved Friday since pulling a calf muscle while warming up for a spring training game two weeks ago.

"[Trainers] just wanted me to get the muscle fatigued and see how it responded the next day," Anderson said, according to the The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "I didn't feel anything when I ran at all. I think we waited more than enough time to start running."

Anderson said he expected to return as early as next week.

LACKEY, ANGELS STILL IN TALKS (10:38 a.m. ET)

John Lackey's four-year, $27-million deal expires after this season, and according to the right-hander, the Angels' efforts to re-sign him to a new deal before the season starts continue to poke along -- without much steam.

"They're not trying very hard," Lackey said Friday, according to the Los Angeles Times. "It's kind of on them at this point. I love playing here and I'd like to stay, but I've put myself into a category that they need to get to."

One of the possible problems for the Angels?

Lackey may be using CC Sabathia's seven-year, $161-million contract he received from the New York Yankees this offseason as a measuring stick.

"Except for his time in the National League, look at the numbers," Lackey said, according to the newspaper. "That's how you do it; you throw out comparables."

-- The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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March, 7, 2009
03/07/09
10:48
AM ET
ZAMBRANO WANTS OPENING DAY START (9:23 p.m. ET)
Carlos Zambrano wants to start on opening day for the Chicago Cubs, and he's not shy about it.

"I care," Zambrano said Saturday during a 2-0 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers. "When you're retired and you go home and your grandkids ask you what you did, for your own records it's good."

Cubs manager Lou Piniella said earlier in the day that the April 6 assignment against Houston will go to Zambrano or Ryan Dempster.

Zambrano was 14-6 with a 3.91 ERA last year, while Dempster finished 17-6 with a 2.96 ERA. Piniella said he would talk to both pitchers before making his decision.

-- Associated Press

STRAIN FORCES PELFREY TO MISS START (9:11 p.m. ET)
New York Mets pitcher Mike Pelfrey will be out indefinitely with a muscle strain in his lower left leg.

He was examined by team doctors Saturday after feeling discomfort following a bullpen session Friday and was instructed to rest, which means he will miss his next scheduled start Monday.

Meanwhile, starter Dillon Gee threw two innings in the Mets' 7-5 loss to the Washington Nationals Saturday without allowing a hit or run. Only a walk spoiled his otherwise perfect outing, which included two strikeouts. Gee was reassigned to the team's minor league camp on Friday.

Manager Jerry Manuel expects 2B Luis Castillo to return to the lineup Sunday. He was pulled in the fifth inning of Friday's 5-4 win over the Cardinals with a tight left hamstring.

-- Associated Press

WANG BACK IN FORM AGAINST BRAVES (6:16 p.m. ET)
Chien-Ming Wang passed another test, and it had nothing to do with his pitching arm.

Wang allowed one run and three hits over three innings in the New York Yankees' 3-1 loss to the Atlanta Braves on Saturday.

The right-hander missed the final 3½ months of last season because of a right foot injury that occurred while he was running the bases during an interleague game against Houston on June 15.

-- Associated Press

CONTRERAS, COLON PROGRESSING IN WHITE SOX CAMP (3:20 p.m. ET)
Jose Contreras and Bartolo Colon are scheduled to throw batting practice at Chicago White Sox camp Monday, the next step after each threw 55 pitches in a bullpen session Saturday without any problem.

"It was a very positive day," pitching coach Don Cooper said. "We're more and more excited about their chances to be ready to open the season."

It was the third bullpen session since Monday for Contreras and Colon. Without setbacks, they could see Cactus League action in about a week.

Contreras is more than three months ahead of schedule after rupturing his left Achilles' tendon last August. Colon is coming off offseason surgery to clean up some bone chips in his right elbow.

If Contreras and Colon are ready for Opening Day, that could fill out the White Sox rotation behind Mark Buehrle, John Danks and Gavin Floyd.

-- Associated Press

ZUMAYA'S SHOULDER SORENESS SAID NORMAL FOR SPRING (1:35 p.m. ET)
Detroit Tigers right-handed reliever Joel Zumaya will not throw for at least the next couple of days, following an exam of his right shoulder by Dr. James Andrews on Friday.

Tigers head trainer Kevin Rand said Andrews diagnosed Zumaya's rotator cuff with "normal spring-training soreness." And Tigers manager Jim Leyland expects Zumaya will be ready for Opening Day on April 6.

That's good news for the Tigers, considering how much trouble Zumaya has had with his shoulder. He underwent reconstructive surgery on the shoulder's AC joint in 2007, missed much of 2008 and was diagnosed with a stress fracture last fall.

"We wanted to make sure there was nothing more going on," Rand said, according to the Detroit Free Press. "To be honest, we wanted to reassure him that everything was OK.

"One thing with Joel: You've got to understand that he's gone through an awful lot. He's thinking, 'Hey, I want to make sure nothing more's going on,' " Rand said, according to the report. "And you know what? I don't have a problem with it. I want to make sure for him, too. So, that's what we went to do."

A YEAR TO REMEMBER (1:24 p.m. ET)
The Los Angeles Angels are correcting their media guide after Vladimir Guerrero let slip that he's actually 34 years old, not 33.

The missing year was uncovered by Yahoo! Sports columnst Tim Brown, who was working on a story about Guerrero. He had asked the outfielder to respond to a quote from Angels manager Mike Scioscia, who said the surgery Guerrero had last fall to clean out and repair his right knee could "point to a guy maybe turning back the clock a couple of years."

When that was posed to Guerrero through an interpreter, he responded, "I feel good. I can't say [like] 25, because, you know, I'm 34. But I feel a lot better. That's where I'm at right now."

The Angels had listed Guerrero's birth date as Feb. 9, 1976. But Guerrero admitted to a team executive later in the day that he was born on the same date in 1975, making him 34, according to the Los Angeles Times.

'THE TEAM TO BEAT,' PART THREE
Perhaps Jimmy Rollins should have copyrighted the phrase, "We're the team to beat."

Because two years after the Philadelphia Phillies shortstop uttered those words, his confident prediction has skipped leagues and time zones, to the AL West. This time, it's the Los Angeles Angels' Torii Hunter making confident predictions.

"I still think we're the team to beat. I know we are," Hunter said before Friday's Angels-Giants game, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

But what about the Oakland Athletics loading up their lineup with Matt Holliday, Jason Giambi, Orlando Cabrera and Nomar Garciaparra?

"Good pitching will beat good hitting any day. Don't forget that," Hunter said, according to the report, noting an Angels' rotation featuring John Lackey, Ervin Santana and Joe Saunders and a bullpen that added former Colorado Rockies closer Brian Fuentes.

Will the A's respond? Stay tuned ...

BRAVES' ANDERSON SIDELINED BY PULLED CALF (10:45 a.m. ET)
Baseball injuries can come out of nowhere. But even that doesn't explain what happened to new Atlanta Braves outfielder Garret Anderson on Friday.

Anderson, who signed a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the Braves, was scratched from Friday's game against the Houston Astros after pulling his right calf muscle -- while running in warmups.

"I've never done anything like this before, so I don't have any history with it," Anderson said, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "Just have to see how it responds to treatment in the next few days before you can have a guess-timate, but it's tissue that needs to heal, and there's no set time on that."

According to the report, it will be several days before Anderson knows how long he'll be out of the lineup.

"I've been working out fine," Anderson added, according to the report. "And then something out-of-the-ordinary freak happens."

-- The Associated Press contributed to this report.