Cards still shopping after 'encouraging' Glaus news

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Last week general manager John Mozeliak assessed Troy Glaus’ chances of playing this season
at “probably less than 50-50,” leading to speculation that the
Cardinals could be in the market for a veteran replacement at third
base.

However, yesterday Mozeliak called the latest news
on Glaus’ recovery from offseason shoulder surgery “encouraging.” Glaus
has been cleared to begin throwing and swinging a bat next week,
although Mozeliak noted that “the timetable is still quite unknown” and
“it’s probably going to be somewhere between the All-Star game and
August 1 if he were to return.”

Mozeliak made it clear that the Cardinals are still in the market for a fill-in third baseman and the name being tossed around most often is Mark DeRosa of the Indians.

He’d be an upgrade over the Joe Thurston-Brian Barden combo that’s
hit just .247/.332/.376, plus he’s an impending free agent who’d likely
be relatively inexpensive to acquire and has enough defensive
versatility to fall back into a utility role should Glaus return.

Sandy Leon homered twice in one inning, including a grand slam

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Red Sox catcher Sandy Leon achieved a rare feat during Monday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition against the Orioles: he homered twice in one inning. One of those homers happened to be a grand slam.

Leon led off the top of the fifth inning with a solo home run off of Logan Verrett. Verrett continued to get knocked around, giving up three singles and a walk before being relieved by Brian Moran. Moran gave up a walk to load the bases, then a single to knock in a run and keep the bases loaded. Leon stepped back to the plate and swatted a grand slam to left field, making it an eight-run fifth for the Red Sox. The Sox would tack on one more before the inning was mercifully ended.

How often do players homer twice in one inning during the regular season? Not that often. Since 2010, the feat has been accomplished four times in the American League and twice in the National League. The Orioles’ Mark Trumbo was the only one to do it last year.

As for Leon, he’s on track to open the season as the starting catcher in Boston, Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald reported last week.

Phillies release veteran catchers Ryan Hanigan and Bryan Holaday

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The Phillies announced on Monday that the club released veteran catchers Ryan Hanigan and Bryan Holaday. Both were competing for the back-up catcher spot on the team’s 25-man roster. With both out of the picture, that means Andrew Knapp has won that honor.

Knapp, 25, hit a combined .266/.330/.390 with eight home runs and 46 RBI in 443 plate appearances last year at Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He did not have a great spring but has hit well as of late, which likely pushed him ahead of Hanigan and Holaday. Knapp will serve as the understudy to starting catcher Cameron Rupp.