Good morning, all. I'm a bit under the weather today, so apologies in advance if things seem a little sluggish this morning.
First, a moment of silence for Honkbalers of the Netherlands, who were eliminated last night in the WBC.
Today we have dirt on another big setback for the Padres, several teams scoping for pitching depth, and the Halos finding their back-up backstop. Also, a few teams are still on the prowl for outfield bats, Ramon Hernandez is drawing interest, and Tommy John watch is back on.
Lastly, some Beatles to start your day right.
The Big Three
1. There must be something in the water down in San Diego. The Friars lost yet another player to injury on Monday as star third baseman Chase Headley was diagnosed with a small fracture in his left thumb. It's not Tommy John, so that's a nice change for the Padres, but it also means there best player is likely to miss the first month of the season. Logan Forsythe and youngster Jedd Gyorko are the prime candidates to patrol the hot corner in Headley's absence. If Gyorko takes the job and breaks out like he seems to be capable of, then perhaps Headley's broken digit will be seen as a blessing in disguise. Gotta find some optimism somewhere if you're a Pads fan, right?
2. The Rangers and Red Sox are all on the hunt for some pitching depth, it seems. Texas has been on and off the market for weeks now as they seem to go back and forth about whether to put the No. 5 slot in the rotation into the hands of one of their young arms or to find a cheap veteran to take on the role. I assumed that Derek Lowe sated their desire for having a veteran arm on-hand just in case, but apparently not. Boston has its five starters set for the regular season, but things get a little dicey after that. With Franklin Morales out indefinitely, the Red Sox have Alfredo Aceves and not much else to go on if anyone goes down. I imagine the club is looking for cheap fixes so prep for additions of the Aaron Cook/Vicente Padilla variety rather than someone like Rick Porcello (who is now on the Padres' wish list, apparently).
3. There's no way this is the third biggest story of the day, but I'm an Angels' fans so bear with me. The Halos swooped in and signed veteran backstop Chris Snyder to a minor-league deal yesterday just a few minutes after the Nats granted him his release. The Angels essentially inked Snyder because former first-rounder Hank Conger has developed Rube Baker disease this spring, and they need an alternative at back-up in case he can't right the ship. Conger is young and can hit, Snyder is old and cannot. I realize the problem that a wild catcher presents when it comes to controlling the running game, but the Halos seemed to survive just fine for years with Jeff Mathis behind the plate, and he was never more than average at nabbing would-be base-stealers. Just put a pile of Playboy magazines around the bases and Conger will be fine.
In Other News...
1. The Royals and Tigers are on the lookout for an outfield bat. KC wants a lefty bat to platoon with Frenchy in right field, while Detroit is in need of a righty bat to spell Andy Dirks in left. Pretty sure the Royals missed their best opportunity when Brennan Boesch signed with the Yankees. My Geoffrey dollars are on GMDM doing nothing and Matt Diaz heading to MoTown.
2. Veteran backstop Ramon Hernandez is drawing interest from a few teams, though it's unknown who at this point. The Halos are off the catcher market, but it's believed that the Rays, Pirates, and Phillies are still looking for a guy. Trading for Hernandez -- who is owed $3.2 million this year but has been terrible lately -- seems like a very Pirates thing to do, so if he goes anywhere, that'd be my guess.
3. I'm beginning to think my estimate of 15 MLBers undergoing Tommy John was WAY too low. The Halos lost an arm to the growing epidemic this week, as southpaw Brandon Sisk is scheduled to go under the knife some time in the next few weeks. Including Sisk, I think that's now six(?) players inflicted with TJ so far this year, and the season is still two weeks away.
I <3 The Beatles and I hope you do too. I know several people who proclaim to not like the Fab Four, and I often spend sleepless nights worried for fates of their souls. Well, not really, but it does sadden me some. If you enjoy something thoroughly, you want everyone else to share in your joy.
I imagine this is the same place where the desire to proselytize comes from, though I'm not planning to go door to door spreading the gospel of Ringo, Paul, George, and John anytime soon. I'm not totally ruling it out though.
Anywho... here's a little ditty from the Beatles to start your morning: