UPDATE: Strasburg allowed zero runs and only two hits Sunday over three innings of work against the Cards. He also fanned two batters and tallied six groundouts.
12:23pm: It is Stephen Strasburg Day again in south Florida, as the young right-handed starter is scheduled to make his second appearance of the spring this afternoon against the Cardinals.
Strasburg turned in two scoreless frames in his Grapefruit League debut last week versus the Tigers, hitting 98 MPH with his fastball and displaying a gorgeously sharp slider. According to CBSSports.com’s Danny Knobler, tickets for Sunday’s spring game are fairly tough to come by, and the Nationals are certainly hoping that excitement will carry over to the nation’s capital once the regular season begins.
Washington manager Jim Riggleman has yet to make a decision on where Strasburg will open the 2010 season and continues to tell reporters that the club is employing a “wait and see” approach. In other words, the 2009 No. 1 overall pick is in control of his own destiny. If he continues to rattle off scoreless innings we’ll see him in a big league uniform in early April.
Welp, it was probably worth the gamble given that the Angels were paying most of his salary. But the Rangers’ gamble on Josh Hamilton failed and now Josh Hamilton is a free agent. The club has given him unconditional release waivers.
Hamilton underwent surgery to repair lateral and meniscus cartilage in his left knee back in June. During surgery it was discovered that he had an ACL injury as well, which required reconstruction. This whole season was lost and, while Hamilton has one year remaining on his contract, the Rangers are clearly able to compete without him and could use the roster spot over the small chance that he could be an everyday player again.
Hamilton will earn $30 million next season, $26.41 million of which is being paid for by the Angels. Last year in 182 plate appearances with the Rangers, Hamilton hit .253/.291/.441 with eight home runs and 25 RBI. At age 35, it’s not hard to imagine that his major league career is effectively over.
With the continuing caveat that it is really weird and likely as uncomfortable as hell for all of those involved for this to be playing out so publicly, here is the latest news on the Doc Gooden/Daryl Strawberry/possible cocaine relapse story. From the Daily News:
Dwight (Doc) Gooden is insisting publicly that he doesn’t have a drug problem, yet more and more people want to help him — none more significant than the Yankees, who have reached out to say they’ll pay for any treatment he would consider getting.
That’s admirable of the Yankees, as is their refusal to comment on it further (the Daily News got this info from Strawberry). The Yankees, of course, gave both Strawberry and Gooden second chances in the 1990s when their addiction problems threatened their careers.