Happy Friday everyone. Let's get to it.
- Blue Jays 3 Rays 1: Right-hander Roberto "Fausto Carmona" Hernandez made another strong bid for the final spot in the Rays' rotation, allowing just one run on three hits in six innings of work. He now has a 3.00 ERA in 21 innings this spring. Joey Bats also hit a bomb.
- Cardinals 3 Mets 2: Matt den Dekker, who hit a two-run triple off of Adam Wainwright in the third, is making me wonder whether the "worst outfield ever" moniker handed to the Mets may be a little premature. He hasn't had a great bat in camp, but the guy has a great glove. Also, the marketing opportunities for "needs more Cowgill!" are endless.
- Cubs 4 Dodgers 5: Your weekly reminder that Juan Uribe is still playing Major League Baseball. And with Hanley out two months, he might actually get some playing time. Yikes. He went 0-for-3 in Thursday's win.
- Brewers 3 White Sox 8: Chicago brought out their boom sticks early Thursday, knocking Brewers rotation not-so-hopeful Mike Friers around for seven runs in three innings. Chris Sale went seven for the Sox, giving up three.
- A's 10 Reds 9: Batting practice broke out at Goodyear Ballpark yesterday, as legitimate starters Brett Anderson and Johnny Cueto combined to give up 11 runs in 6⅓ innings. Todd Frazier hit his third homer of the spring.
- Indians 5 D'Backs 4: Michael Brantley's three-run blast off of Ian Kennedy in the first was probably the most exciting moment of the game. Everyone stopped scoring after the fourth inning.
- Astros 7 Tigers 2: If you want definitive proof that Spring Training win-loss records are meaningless, look no further. Houston is now 10-13 this spring, which isn't great but is also much better than they'll manage come April. Catcher Carlos Corporan went deep twice in Thursday's victory.
- Nats 3 Braves 4: Tim Hudson -- professional sinker-baller -- threw a first-pitch knuckle ball to Adam LaRoche in the second inning Thursday. The pitch -- clocked at 47-mph -- is apparently part of a running gag to two players have going. When not throwing knucklers, Hudson was shutting down the Nats. He went six scoreless, striking out five.
- Twins 6 Yankees 1: Potential No. 5 starter David Phelps didn't make a great case for the Yanks yesterday, giving up five in 3⅔. The Twins also nabbed three bases off of Francisco Cervelli. Oh yeah, and the Bombers got just one hit on the day.
- Phillies 1 Red Sox 6: Shane Victorino broke the game open for the Sox in the seventh, knocking a bases-loaded triple to right. John Lackey and Cole Hamels both looked solid on the day.
- Pirates 0 Orioles 0 (10 inn.): What terrible luck. You buy tickets to see some spring baseball action and a soccer match breaks out. Perennial Cy Young candidates Jonathan Sanchez and Jake Arietta did most of the shutting down Thursday.
- Angels 9 Rangers 10: Josh Hamilton and Albert Pujols hit back-to-back jacks Thursday, reminding me that we need some sort of nickname for the pair of them. I'm leaning towards Ham-Pu, but it's still a work in progress. The Rangers won with a bases-clearing, three-run double in the ninth from Leonys Martin.
- Cubs 7 Mariners 4: Notre Dame linebacker Jeff Samardzija helped his own cause yesterday, smacking his second home run of spring -- a two-run, opposite-field shot -- into the cheap seats in right-center. Those were the only runs Jon Garland allowed in yet another strong start. His opt-out clause kicks in today.
- Rockies 10 Giants 4: Matt Cain had a quasi-Matt Cain outing, striking out eight in five innings but giving up four runs along the way. Colorado pulled away in the eighth with a whole bunch of walks and singles, scoring five.
The Big Three
1. The Dodgers got the worst-case scenario news they were really hoping to avoid on Thursday. Hanley Ramirez has a torn ligament in his thumb and will be sidelined two months so he can get the surgery required to fix the tear. That means L.A. will have to power through April and May with the tag-team of Dee Gordon, Luis Cruz, Nick Punto, and Juan Uribe manning the left-side of the infield, which is probably not what they had in mind when they threw all their money around this winter. The club isn't believed to be looking at external solutions to their rather large problem just yet, but you can bet that Scott Rolen and a few others are on speed dial.
2. The Giants and Buster Posey have reportedly started talks on a MEGAdeal that would make the catcher a "Giant for life" (not literally). While there's still a pretty good chance that San Francisco is only able to work out a three-year deal with the young backstop right now -- buying out his final seasons of arbitration -- the prospect of a monster extension is exciting. This is probably as close a situation as we're going to get to what the Angels are going to face with Mike Trout in a few years time, so Halos fans and Jerry Dipoto should pay very close attention to how Posey's talks go down. If the MEGAdeal happens, I'm predicting (i.e. guessing) it'll be for at least 10 years -- though not necessarily all guaranteed -- and top $200 million.
3. After months of essentially the same "teams are looking at Rick Porcello" rumor, things got a little more interesting yesterday. Word broke that the San Diego Padres weren't just looking at the young right-hander, but rather contemplating one-for-one deals involving relievers Huston Street and Luke Gregerson. The Friars reportedly turned down both deals -- and Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski has denied those deals were ever on the table -- but the two sides are believed to still be talking. Porcello would be a great fit in the back of San Diego's rotation. His ability to eat innings (and not get hurt) would give the Pads something they've been desperate for the last couple years. The St. Louis Cardinals have also been "checking out" Porcello, which, again, makes no sense for them.
In Other News...
1. Kyle Lohse has officially been relegated to "other news." Talk on the right-hander picked up again yesterday, but it was really more of the same stuff. Boras talked about how his market is good so he won't wait until after the draft to sign, and several teams were mentioned that have already said no to Lohse on a variety of occasions.
2. The Astros are reportedly willing to listen on trade offers for "anyone" if the interested team offers two or more players. Houston's definition of "anyone" apparently does not include Lucas Harrell or Bud Norris, however. And probably not Jose Altuve either. So not "anyone" then.
3. Adam Wainwright's extension talks with the Cardinals are "progressing," and the veteran right-hander's agent is hopeful a deal can be worked out before Opening Day. I'm legitimately surprised the Redbirds are so willing to extend an aging pitcher long-term so soon after the Chris Carpenter snafu. Do they really think that can't happen again?