Day: March 3, 2011

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Dodgers sign Randy Keisler to minor league contract

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Hey, Randy Keisler is back on the baseball scene. Kind of.

According to his representation’s official Twitter feed, the 35-year-old left-hander agreed to a minor league contract Thursday with the Dodgers.

Keisler hasn’t pitched in a major league game since back in 2007, when he registered a 5.19 ERA and allowed 21 hits over 17.1 innings in a short-lived stint with the Cardinals. He posted a 3.98 ERA in seven starts last year for Vaqueros Laguna of the Mexican League, but his control wasn’t great and he seems likely to spend all of 2011 in the Dodgers’ farm system.

We’ll call him camp depth. Or a cheesy screenplay in the making.

Manny Parra out a few days with lower back tightness

Manny Parra, Miguel Tejada
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According to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Brewers left-hander Manny Parra was lifted from his Thursday Cactus League appearance against the A’s after just one batter due to tightness in his lower back.

Parra revealed after the game that he has been dealing with back issues for much of spring training. The Brewers are likely to give him several days of rest while the discomfort calms.

Parra, 28, registered a lousy 5.02 ERA across 122 innings last season while serving as both a starter and reliever. He fanned 129 batters for an impressive 9.52 K/9, but he walked 68 batters and was generally far too inconsistent.

The Brewers made a couple of major upgrades to their starting rotation this winter via the trading block (see: Zack Greinke, Shaun Marcum) and are expected to use Parra solely in relief in 2011.

Tulowitzki suffers bruised heel in spring game, day-to-day

Colorado Rockies v Arizona Diamondbacks

The Rockies got a little scare from shortstop Troy Tulowitzki on Thursday in camp.

The 26-year-old was lifted prematurely from the Rockies’ Grapefruit League game against the Giants after nailing his right heel with the tip of his bat on a hard third-strike swing. A trainer met him just outside the batter’s box and he headed to the clubhouse for further examination.

That further examination didn’t take long.

Tulowitzki was diagnosed quickly with only a bruised heel, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post, and is expected to be just fine after a couple days of rest. He was already scheduled to skip Friday’s road game against the Indians along with a handful of other Rockies regulars. Look for him to return at some point this weekend or, at the latest, early next week.

Cervelli’s test results sent to New York for further review

New York Yankees catcher Cervelli smiles as he steps out of the batting cage at the team's spring training camp in Tampa

The Yankees still aren’t sure how serious Francisco Cervelli’s left foot injury might be.

The 24-year-old catcher exited Wednesday’s Grapefruit League game against the Astros after fouling a ball off his foot. Trainers took him immediately for an MRI and CT scan, but the results on both tests were inconclusive.

Now those MRI and CT scan readings are going to be shipped back to New York for further review by team physicians. Yankees manager Joe Girardi spoke about the matter Thursday with a group of reporters, including’s Bryan Hoch:

“He did feel a little bit better today, but there’s still some concern,” said Girardi. “We’ll just wait to see what [the doctors] say.”

Girardi acknowledged that an extended absence could hurt Cervelli’s chances of making the club’s Opening Day roster. He was hoping to serve as Russell Martin’s backup to begin the 2011 season.

Scenes from Spring Training: “Ozzie Guillen! Look at me!”


So I slid down close to the White Sox dugout when I saw Ozzie Guillen sitting there like that. Figured I’d take his picture.  I took this one and a couple other ones of him hanging out there.  Then a guy a couple seats down said “want me to get his attention for you?”  I said “no, that’s cool,” figuring that it’s probably not kosher to bug the manager in the middle of the game.  The guy next to me had made up his mind already, however:

Guy: “Ozzie! Yo! Look up here!”

Guillen: [not taking his eyes off the field] “Nah.”

Oh well.  Other stuff from today’s game:

Forgot to mention this earlier, but when I was in the White Sox clubhouse there was a table set up where two women from a company called Elevee Custom Clothing were handing out cards and catalogs to players. The deal: busy players get measured by them once and then they buy their clothes over the phone or the Internet all year. Convenient, I suppose.  I snagged a catalog because I thought it might be cool to dress like a ballplayer. There was nothing in there for me, but tell me: am I nuts, or is that Dan Haren modeling?

Hey, good for him. Handsome man. Glad he has a second gig lined up.

I think it’s pretty lame to hear reporters complain about the lunch spread the ballpark puts out for them, but today was kinda nuts: creole chicken and beef barley soup. I’m sure it was tasty, but it was pushing 80 degrees today and that stuff sounded all hot and complicated. I went to the concourse for a Chicago dog with crazy dayglo green relish and a Deschutes pale ale. I chose … wisely.

I teased it with the pic of Adam Dunn playing first earlier, but it was a very special day defensively speaking. Not only did the Donkey have first base, but Jack Cust was playing left for the the Mariners.  Sadly neither one of them embarrassed themselves out there. I had my hopes up.

I made a point to get here early this morning because with the Mariners coming to Camelback that means Ichiro, and that means a Japanese press contingent that, I’m told anyway, is even bigger than Matsui’s. A press corps that big means space in the box would be at a premium.  Sadly, no Ichiro and no Japanese press corps. I like those guys. I kinda missed ’em today.

Tony Pena came in to pitch for the Sox. I was all excited because I had never seen a converted middle infielder pitch in person before. I enjoyed it for a whole inning until I realized that it was the other Tony Pena. I should probably start paying more attention to random relief pitchers.

It occurred to me that I’ve seen Adam Dunn play in person six times and that each time I’ve seen him — mostly when he was with the Reds, but once when he was with the Nats — he hit a home run. No homer for Dunn today, however. The streak, she died.

And tell me, this ain’t bad for a little pocket camera, is it?

Teahen took that one for ball two low, then flew out to center the next pitch.

That pic made me happy. What makes me sad: this was my last game and thus the baseball portion of my trip is over. If I didn’t have a wife and kids back home who I miss very much, I’d stay until the teams broke camp. Then I’d follow them around until NBC decided that the hotel bills were getting out of hand.  But I do have a wife and kids back home and NBC would probably suspend my expense account by April 10th, so I fly home tomorrow.

I’ll have a big honkin’ Scenes from Spring Training retrospective up before I catch my flight tomorrow morning.  But for now I reluctantly bid the ballparks adieu.  Thanks for travelling with me, everybody.