March 7, 2012; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Rays center fielder B.J. Upton (2) prior to the game against the New York Yankees during spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE
The season is upon us, here's some important news and updates out of the East:
- Washington Nationals closer Drew Storen will start the season on the 15-day DL. Storen played catch Tuesday for the first time in a week and had no elbow pain. "Maybe (he'll be rady) mid-April," said manager Davey Johnson. "Maybe I'm being overly hopeful." Storen had 43 saves last season but has pitched in only two games this spring.
- Tampa Bay Rays center fielder B.J. Upton will start the season on the 15-day DL. Upton had a nasty collision with Desmond Jennings two weeks ago, but it appeared he would make a speedy recovery. Upton has played only once since the collision, but wants to make sure he's ready for the whole season. "I just rather be healthy all year than try to rush back for a weekend or so," Upton said.
- Omar Vizquel has earned a spot on the Toronto Blue Jays Opening Day roster. The 44-year-old will serve as a utility infielder and the Jays hope he can mentor their young infield. Vizquel is an 11-time Gold Glove winner and will be entering his 24th season in the majors.
- The Miami Marlins released Aaron Rowand today, possibly signaling the end of his career. Rowand, who is still being paid by the Giants as part of a five-year, $60M deal, hit just .233/.274/.347 in 331 at-bats last season before being released by San Francisco. Rowand has a .273/.330/.435 line in 11 seasons in the majors.
- Miami Marlins reliever Jose Ceda will most likely need Tommy John surgery. Ceda had a 4.43 ERA and 21 strikeouts in 20 innings in 2011. Ceda is just the latest pitcher to need Tommy John surgery this spring. The long list includes Joakim Soria and Ryan Madson.