Bartolo Colon declines to discuss stem cell procedure

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Bartolo Colon’s elbow procedure in the Dominican Republic was naturally the topic du jour as he took on the Red Sox last night.

The rejuvenated right-hander topped out at 95.6 mph on his fastball during the outing, which brought out Tweets like this one from Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe.

Colon hitting 96? Those must be some good stem cells.

Colon gave up three runs — two earned — on five hits over six-plus innings while striking out four and walking three in a losing effort.

According to Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com, Colon was asked about his elbow procedure after the game, but referred all questions to the players’ union.

“They know the right and wrong of the situation,” Colon said through an interpreter. “They know more so you can get anything that you may need from them.”

I’m a moron when it comes to this sort of thing, but everything I’ve read suggests this procedure wasn’t far off from platelet rich plasma injections, which have become commonplace in recent years. Why didn’t Takashi Saito have to answer these same questions back in 2008? It could be that Colon’s doctor has been connected to HGH in the past, but I also think that “stem cells” remains one of those buzz phrases that gets people all worked up for nothing.

Nationals Acquire Ryan Raburn From White Sox

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The Washington Nationals have acquired outfielder Ryan Raburn from the Chicago White Sox. Raburn had been playing at Triple-A Charlotte. He’ll be assigned to Triple-A Syracuse in the Nats organization. The Nationals will send cash or a player to be named later to the White Sox to complete the deal.

Raburn has yet to play in the majors this season. Last year he hit .220/.309/.404 with nine homers in 113 games for the Colorado Rockies. The year before that he hit an excellent .301/.393/.543 in part time play for the Indians. Over the course of his 11 year career the 36-year-old has hit .253/.317/.436, which breaks down to an OPS+ of exactly 100, which is league average. Primarily an outfielder, Raburn has played every position except shortstop and catcher in his career. He’s even pitched twice.

The Nats plans for him aren’t entirely clear, but depth it depth.

If the Tigers are sub-.500 at the end of June it’ll be fire sale time

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Jon Morosi reports that that the Detroit Tigers will make all veterans available via trade if they’re still under .500 by the end of June.

This was the position they entered the offseason with — everyone is available! — but they ended up gearing up for one more push with the core of veterans they currently employ. It was not a bad move, I don’t think. With the exception of the Indians, the AL Central is mostly down, or at least appeared to be over the winter, with the Royals in decline and the Twins and White Sox seemingly a few years away from contention. The Twins, however, have been fantastic and the Tigers have mostly underachieved.

So we’re back to this. Which veterans the Tigers can reasonably unload, however, is an open question. J.D. Martinez is in his walk year, so while tradable, he may not bring back a big return. Guys like Justin Upton, Justin Verlander and Miguel Cabrera either have very large contracts or no-trade protection.

The end of June is still a while from now, of course, and while the Tigers are under .500, they’re only 4.5 games behind the Twins. But they had better turn it around or else it sounds like the front office is going to turn the page.