And That Happened: Monday's Scores and Highlights

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Ubaldo Jiminez windup.jpgRockies
5, Padres 2
: Ubaldo Jimenez? Yeah, Ubaldo Jimenez: 7 IP, 4 H, 1 ER,
13K. Your move, Messers Lincecum and Halladay.

Blue
Jays 5, Indians 1
: Brett Cecil took a perfect game into the seventh
and ended up giving up only one hit while striking out ten. In other
news, whenever I read the name “Brett Cecil” my brain processes it as
“Brett Ashley” and I begin to wonder whether the Blue Jays’ starter’s
life is aimless and unsatisfying. Whether he too will even find
happiness as he searches in vain for the shattered values he held before
the war.

Rangers 4, Athletics 2: There’s the Rich Harden we were looking for (7 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 9K). Ron Washington gets ejected for the second time since Friday in a game his team wins. Maybe he’s on to something!

Red Sox 17, Angels 8: Mike Lowell went 4 for 4 with four RBIs and three doubles, J. D. Drew had four
hits and drove in three runs and Kevin Youkilis, Bill Hall, Adrian Beltre and Dustin Pedroia all went long. In light of how given to hyperbole the Boston media is, I’m sure we can look forward to many a story this morning about how the Sox will break the single season runs record and and accompanying features in the travel section promoting World Series getaway packages.

Cardinals 6, Phillies 3:  A three-run double for David Freese as last week’s player of the week keeps up his torrid pace. Jaime Garcia gave up three hits and struck out six. If it wasn’t for a fellow named Heyward, Freese and Garcia would be having quite the teammate’s battle over NL Rookie of the year, huh? Joe Blanton returned for Philly and he was a bit better than his line indicated — 6.2 IP, 10 H, 4 ER — but it just wasn’t enough. But, hey, this was fun.

Yankees 4, Orioles 1:  See Boston? That’s how you beat Baltimore. All you need is a three-run homer from Randy Winn and eight strong innings from CC Sabathia. You might want to hold the Jorge Posada calf injury, though. That’s purely optional.

Twins 10, Tigers 4: Of course the Twins had to do this on the same day I provocatively put them below the Tigers in the Power Rankings. Wilson Ramos follows up his four-hit major league debut with a 3 for 4 night. I hereby predict that he will play in 2128 more games before being rested and that Joe Mauer will be relegated to historical footnote.  OK, not really. I’m just still coming down from my ballgame buzz.

White Sox 5, Royals 1: The White Sox breathe a sigh of relief as Jake Peavy throws seven shutout innings while striking out nine. With this tuneup out of the way, I’m sure they’ll feel much more confident about him facing major leaguers the next time out.

Reds 3, Mets 2: An 11th inning pinch-hit walkoff job for Lance Nix overshadows a decent-for-him performance from Oliver Perez. Too many baserunners — Perez allowed six hits and walked four — but he did only give up two runs and that’s some kind of progress. Or luck, but let’s not dwell on the negative, shall we?

Diamondbacks 9, Astros 1: That’s seven straight losses for the Astros, as they continue to travel around the league, making teams who have been struggling feel good about themselves. Indeed, in just the past week they’ve lifted the spirits of the Reds, the Braves and now the Dbacks. Good for you, Houston. You’re doing God’s work.

Yadier Molina gets cast removed from surgically-repaired thumb

Screenshot 2016-02-14 at 12.27.52 PM
Norm Hall/Getty Images North America
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Yadier Molina underwent surgery to repair a ligament tear in his right thumb shortly after the Cardinals were eliminated from the NLDS by the Cubs, and then he needed a followup procedure two months later.

It’s been an offseason of rest and rehab for the seven-time All-Star and eight-time Gold Glover, though he’s about ready to ramp up the intensity of workouts with the beginning of spring training approaching …

Brayan Pena was signed to a two-year, $5 million free agent contract this winter to provide more reliable depth behind the plate. He’ll be the Cardinals’ starter at catcher come Opening Day if Yadi isn’t quite ready.

Molina started a whopping 131 games behind the plate in 2015.

Jose Fernandez wants $30 million a year, Marlins don’t plan on paying

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Rob Foldy/Getty Images North America
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You’ve heard the stories by now. Jose Fernandez does not get along with Marlins management and is doubtful to sign a long-term contract with the team.

There’s still time for those relationships to be repaired — Fernandez can’t become a free agent until after the 2018 season — but we also have a monetary issue at play.

Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald writes Sunday that the Marlins are “under the impression” Fernandez and his representatives want $30 million per year on a long-term deal, a figure the Marlins “have no plans to meet.”

If the Marlins won’t pay, Fernandez and his reps will seek that number when the ace right-hander reaches free agency. That could be the same offseason Bryce Harper tries for $500 million.

A friend of Fernandez told Jackson that the 23-year-old native of Cuba was upset about some of the trades the Marlins made last summer and the removal of pitching coach Chuck Hernandez. You probably heard talk of Miami shopping Fernandez this winter, but the asking price was predictably sky-high.

Fernandez has been limited to 19 starts over the last two years because of Tommy John surgery and a biceps injury, but he boasts a stellar 2.40 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, and 10.5 K/9 in 289 career major league frames. He will make $2.8 million in 2016 and carries two more years of arbitration eligibility.

If he can put together a run of 30-start, 200-inning seasons, Fernandez will get that $30 million per year and probably much more.

Michael Brantley’s timetable off shoulder surgery is “hazy”

Michael+Brantley+Cleveland+Indians+v+Cincinnati+QyGTT9ddbl2l
Kirk Irwin/Getty Images North America
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Paul Hoynes at the Cleveland Plain Dealer has an in-depth look at how the Indians will manage their outfield during the early part of the 2016 season, in the absence of star Michael Brantley.

Brantley underwent labrum surgery on his right shoulder this past November and has not picked up a bat all winter. “In the off-season people know I love to hit,” Brantley acknowledged to Hoynes late last week. ”I hit a lot. It’s just been a change in my timetable.”

Hoynes says the projected date for Brantley’s 2016 debut is “hazy,” guessing that it might happen around late April or early May if everything continues to go smoothly. Shoulders can be tricky, for hitters and pitchers.

Rajai Davis, Abraham Almonte, and Lonnie Chisenhall figure to make up Cleveland’s primary starting outfield while Brantley is finishing his rehabilitation. Collin Cowgill and Joey Butler could also be in the mix. It’s a lacking group, tasked with replacing one of the most productive players in baseball.

Brantley, 28, has slashed .319/.382/.494 over the last two seasons, tallying 35 home runs, 90 doubles, 181 RBI, and 38 stolen bases in 293 games.

Could the talented Tribe be in for another slow start?

Shouldn’t this club be spending more money?

Jose Bautista had a courtside view of Saturday night’s epic NBA Slam Dunk Contest

Screenshot 2016-02-14 at 8.13.23 AM
Elsa/Getty Images North America
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Zach LaVine of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Aaron Gordon of the Orlando Magic put on a tremendous show in Saturday night’s NBA Slam Dunk Contest up in Toronto, Canada. The stars were out to see it at the Air Canada Centre, and Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista had one of the very best views in the house. Check out this video he posted to Instagram of LaVine’s final dunk, a between-the-legs jam from just inside the free throw line …

Its a wrap!!! #BackToBack #SlamDunk #Champion @zachlavine8 🙌🏽🙌🏽🙌🏽🙌🏽

A video posted by Jose Bautista (@joeybats19) on

That is Toronto’s very own Drake going wild in the pink jacket. Gordon probably had the best individual dunk of the night, though, if we’re being really real …

Back to your regularly scheduled baseball programming. Pitchers and catchers report Friday.