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Monday, March 08, 2004

Spring is in the Air

As Bart Giammati said "The game begins in spring, when everything else begins again..." and some warmer weather in the KC area the last couple of days has turned my mood even more towards baseball. Just a few more days and we'll be winging our way south to Arizona for 72 hours of the Cactus League. A few injuries to Cubs and Royals pitchers this week have also caught my eye.

  • Kyle Snyder - has had shoulder sugery and will be out indefinitely, likely until at least mid season. This is a continuation of the injury he suffered last August which put him on the DL

  • Miguel Ascenscio - has now been shelved according to a report I saw last night on TV. These two injuries should clear the way for Jimmy Gobble to make the rotation along with May, Anderson, and Affeldt and then perhaps the Royals can wait for Appier to get healthy and make it 5 in late April (you only need 4 starters in April anyway). Of course, the elephant is the room is 20-year old phenom Zack Greinke and whether he'll make the big club. All the public statements are that he won't be one more injury makes it likely he will unless they really want Chris George back out there, which I don't think anybody really wants. Greinke has pitched fairly well in 2 outings thus far (one intrasquad and one "regular" game where he gave up 3 hits in 1 and 2/3 striking out 3.

  • Mike Remlinger - had arthroscopic should surgery last October and isn't recovering as fast as the Cubs thought. He'll be out until at least mid-april. Strangely the Cubs are trying out Jimmy Anderson to perhaps fill the left-handed setup man role, a pitcher who has shown in 559 big league innings that he's really not very good with his career 5.43 ERA and 653 hits allowed. Career he has 234 walks and 235 strikeouts which makes for both a poor walk and poor strikeout rate. And although he's a groundball pitcher with a sinker he gives up a fair number of homeruns. Very hard to see any upside here although he's apparently lost 30 pounds for whatever that's worth. Along the same lines the Royals have Greg Swindell in camp, who didn't pitch at all last year and is even older than me (39). He's an extreme flyball pitcher with good control and so maybe the Royals think their deeper fences will help him out? Makes me wish I were an aging lefthanded pitcher with no prospects...wait I am so perhaps the Cubs will pick me and my 71mph fastball up while I'm in Mesa

  • Mark Prior - has an inflamed right achilles tendon that bothered him last September. He's listed as day to day and will resume throwing on Wednesday and hasn't thrown since March 1st. This is by far the Cubs biggest concern as of today
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