Spring Training Starts in 7 Hours, 13 Minutes
Jurrjens Receives MRI Results Today
The Atlanta Braves have to be concerned about the right shoulder of Jair Jurrjens as he learns the results of an MRI today.
If they should lose Jurrjens after trading Javier Vazquez to the Yankees it would leave the Braves with a starting rotation of Derek Lowe, Tim Hudson, Tommy Hanson and Kenshin Kawakami and a fifth starter to be determined in spring training.
Trading Vazquez may have been a good financial move but his loss could make the difference in the Braves reaching the NL East playoffs. Kawakami was 7-12 last season so it would be imperative that he pitch better in 2010 if the Braves lose Jurrjens for an extended length of time.
Wang Agrees With Nationals On $2 Million Contract
Chien-Ming Wang has reportedly agreed with the Washington Nationals on a one year contract for $2 million. If he signs with the Nationals it would give them two potential 15 game winning starters in Wang and Jason Marquis. The Nationals starting rotation according to ESPN.com is not that strong with three starters with losing records.
If Stephen Strasburg makes the team in spring training it could give the Nationals a much stronger starting rotation with Marquis, Wang and Strasburg at the front of the rotation. The Nationals have expressed some interest in signing Kris Benson who has pitched only 22 innings since 2006.
Johnny Damon Sweepstakes Still Going Strong
The Tigers, White Sox and Braves are the only teams known to be pursuing Johnny Damon. Scott Boras may have waited too long to get Damon signed. Damon and Boras may regret turning down the contract offered by the Yankees and may have to accept less money for Damon to play in 2010.
Still can’t see the Braves paying the kind of money Damon expects. It is very unlikely that the Braves will sign Damon so it is between the Tigers and White Sox right now.
Spring Training Starts Today
The first pitchers and catchers report to spring training today. It is only two weeks till the position players are required to report to their spring camps.
It is looking like Pedro Martinez and John Smoltz won’t be pitching this season as they are still unsigned with not much buzz about them signing with anyone.
Player To Watch in 2010: Neftali Perez
Neftali Perez won’t be 22 till May 2 but he already has shown he can pitch at the major league level. He is wanting to start in 2010 and it may be tempting for the Rangers to grant his wish since they need to bolster their starting pitching.
Scott Feldman and Rich Harden are the No.1 and No.2 starters in 2010 but No.3 starter Colby Lewis hasn’t pitched in the major leagues since 2007. No.4 starterDerek Holland was 8-13 for the Rangers in 2009 and No.5 starter Tommy Hunter posted a 9-6 record in 2009.
Feliz actually pitched better in the majors in 2009 than he did in the minors. He has made 53 minor league starts and was used primarily as a starter till relieving in 12 games in 2009.
He posted spectacular numbers for the Rangers working out of the bullpen in 2009. He pitched 31 innings in 2009 and allowed only 13 hits while striking out 39 and walking eight. His 1.74 and 0.67 WHIP were unbelievable for a 21 year old pitcher making his major league debut in 2009.
Feliz was sent to the Rangers by the Braves in the Mark Teixeira trade with the Rangers also receiving Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Elvis Andrus who finished second in the AL Rookie of the Year voting.
The Braves received Teixeira and Ron Mahay in the trade with both players moving on since the trade.
It will be interesting to see how the Rangers use Feliz this season since he has the talent to pitch effectively out of the bullpen and probably would have the same success as a starter.