Don't look now, but Opening Day is closing in fast. Less than two weeks to go!
Not too much movin' and shakin' happened over the weekend but there's still plenty to talk about. Today we have dirt that Tex may be out an extra month, Selig is attempting to strike fear into the hearts of PED users, and the Yankees signed their 15th outfielder of the offseason. Also, Captain America may start the season on the DL, lots of teams are searching for back-up catchers, and the Cardinals are looking at pitchers for no discernable reason.
Lastly, a brief discussion on Kick-Ass 2.
The Big Three
1. Things seem to just be getting worse and worse for the Yankees the closer we get to the season. The early estimates for Mark Teixeira's return from his wrist injury had him suiting back up at the beginning of May. According to the man himself, however, a late May or June early return appears to be in the cards. The big man doesn't have a simple wrist strain as originally believed, but actually has a torn tendon sheath in his wrist, the same nagging injury that took Jose Bautista down for the second half of 2012. In any case, the Yanks aren't looking to rush Tex back into the lineup and potentially compound the injury (like what happened with Bautista). All this likely means that the Bombers are still very much in the hunt for a first baseman. They sort have their outfield problems solved with Brennan Boesch now on the club, but first base is a whole other matter. Some variety of Juan Rivera, Dan Johnson, and Kevin Youkilis may work for a month or so, but any longer than that is seriously pushing it.
2. Major League Baseball doled out its first round of punishment in the wake of the Biogenesis scandal, suspending Tigers minor-leaguer Cesar Carrillo for 100 games. Several reports seem to think that Carrillo's suspension is just the first in a wave of punishments that MLB is likely to hand out, and that more prominent players like Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Braun may be next to feel the Wrath of Selig. That'll be much easier said than done, however. Carrillo was a minor leaguer and not afforded the union protections that come from being on a club's 40-man roster. For MLB players, the burden of proof on MLB is potentially much greater because of all the ways the union could make the commissioner's office look terrible if they don't have all their ducks in a row evidence-wise. The last thing MLB needs is to hand out a suspension only to have it blow up in their face. The league can grandstand all they want, but if they're looking to punish the big guys, they're going to need much more tangible evidence than a newspaper report.
3. Tired of trying to find Kyle Lohse a home, Scott Boras took a little breather over the weekend and found Brennan Boesch a new team instead. The lefty-swinging outfielder inked a one-year, $1.5 million deal with the Yankees, and is likely to start the year in left field. The deal is good for the Yankees on several levels: 1) Boesch still has minor-league options left so they can always sent him down if he can't cut it, 2) He can move to DH when Granderson returns and Travis Hafner inevitably goes down, and 3) There's a good chance that Boesch will bounce back to 2010-2011 levels, especially with the Yankees' short porch in right. Boesch's addition probably means that Juan Rivera is the club's de facto first baseman right now -- which is frightening -- and that Thomas Neal is likely to take the fourth outfield spot on Opening Day.
In Other News...
1. David Wright's status for Opening Day is in question. Captain America (of the WBC) has a strained intercostal muscle in his side and is expected to miss two to three weeks. Given Wright's history with intercostal injuries, and that Daniel Murphy has missed a month with the same strain, things are looking so good for the Mets come April.
2. We're now less than two weeks from real baseball, but that hasn't stopped several squads from coming to the sudden realization that they need a new back-up catcher. The Angels, Pirates, Rays, and Phillies are all scanning the market for a supplementary backstop, and it seems likely that two of them will wind up with Ramon Hernandez and Chris Snyder. In my opinion, the Angels really don't need an alternative, but Mike Scioscia is a difficult man to please.
3. File this rumor under "weird." Despite having young pitching depth that is the envy of just about every other team in baseball, the Cardinals are reportedly looking at a pair of Astros starters: Lucas Harrell and Bud Norris. I know the grass is always greener and whatnot, but seriously. Joe Kelly, Shelby Miller, Trevor Rosenthal, Lance Lynn, and Sam Freeman are more than enough to choose from.
So the trailer for Kick-Ass 2 was released over the weekend. I wasn't the hugest fan of the original -- Nicolas Cage and Chloe Grace Moretz were great, everything else was mediocre -- but the idea itself packs a bunch of potential so I'm excited that they get a second go at it.
Here's the SFW trailer
If you'd rather watch the red-band trailer, you can watch it here.
I had absolutely no idea that Jim Carrey was in this movie, but after watching the trailer I can actually say that for the first time in years I'm really excited about one of his films. Carrey has had a really strange career arc in which at times it seems like he's been pigeonholed -- Liar Liar, Yes Man, and Bruce Almighty are all essentially the same movie (though Liar Liar is great) -- and other times it seems like he's drawing movies out of a hat -- e.g. The Number 23.
His career has been anything but boring -- Dumb and Dumber, Truman Show and Eternal Sunshine are classics -- but I often wonder how much better it could have been. Maybe Kick-Ass 2 will be a renaissance of sorts for him. Lord knows Bruce Wonderstone isn't going to do it.