Brewers, Nats are “out in front” on Carl Pavano

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I spent this morning at the doctor’s office getting my annual checkup.  First one since, like, 2003, so I should probably look up the term “annual.”  In any event it went well.  When my doctor asked me if I’m still practicing law I told him no, that I was a baseball blogger.  I got the same response I normally get when I say that: “really?”  That’s combined with a face that basically says “that’s a job?”  Alas.  He was nice, though: as soon as he said that he asked me if I’ve ever seen “that PBS documentary about baseball.  The one with all of the old footage in it. Kind of goes over the whole history?”  I’m beginning to suspect that my doctor isn’t the biggest baseball fan.

Anyway: back to the grind:

Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe tells us that the Brewers and Nationals are “out in front” in the “Carl Pavano sweepstakes.” Just like I can tell what my doctor’s facial expressions mean, I can detect tone from certain tweets, and I think Mr. Cafardo is being sarcastic in calling this a “sweepstakes.”

Not that Pavano wouldn’t be a prize. Especially for the Brewers, whose starting pitching was a freakin’ train wreck last season.  Pavano would be a nice addition. Between that and the Brewers deciding that they’re going to keep Prince Fielder, one gets the sense that they’re really going to try and go for it next year.

Video: Andrew Toles hammers grand slam in Cactus League win

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Dodgers’ left fielder Andrew Toles crushed his first spring training home run on Saturday afternoon. With the bases loaded and a two-run deficit hanging over their heads in the fourth inning, Toles stepped up to the plate against Oakland right-hander Jesse Hahn and unloaded a grand slam on the second pitch he saw.

Third baseman Justin Turner was quick to follow up with a solo jack of his own, bringing the score to a comfortable 7-4 lead by the end of the fourth. Another three-run outburst in the fifth and an eighth-inning RBI single by Austin Barnes raised the final score to 11-6… which, coincidentally, was the same score the Reds used to defeat the Athletics’ second split-squad lineup on Saturday (albeit with a few more RBI walks than grand slams).

Toles, 24, is approaching his sophomore season with the Dodgers in 2017. He slashed .314/.365/.505 with three home runs and an .870 OPS in his first major league season in 2016 and is expected to platoon with the right-handed Franklin Gutierrez in left field this year.

David Price’s season debut could be pushed back to May

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David Price showed “strength improvements” in his elbow on Saturday, but Red Sox’ manager John Farrell still doesn’t think the left-hander will be ready to throw by the start of the season — or for a few weeks afterward. According to ESPN’s Scott Lauber, the 31-year-old might not be ready to debut until May at the earliest.

Price hasn’t thrown off of a mound this spring after experiencing soreness in his left elbow on March 1. Surgery doesn’t appear to be necessary, but the Red Sox are playing it extra safe with their No. 3 starter in hopes that rest and rehabilitation will return him to full health sometime during the 2017 season. For now, Price has been restricted to short games of catch until he’s cleared to resume a more rigorous throwing program. Via MLB.com’s Ian Browne:

[There were] strength improvements to the point of putting the ball back in his hand a little more consistently,” said manager John Farrell. “Today’s the first step for that. A short game of catch. That’s what he’s going through. Not off a mound but just to get the arm moving with a ball in flight, and he will continue in this phase for a period of time. There’s no set distance and volume yet to the throws.

The lefty is coming off of a lackluster 2016 season, during which he delivered a 3.99 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 8.9 SO/9 over 230 innings for the Red Sox.