Scott Cousins issues statement on collision, Sabean’s comments

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Scott Cousins continues to take the high road after getting bashed by Giants GM Brian Sabean on the radio.

“I hope and believe that Mr. Sabean’s comments were made in the heat of the moment and are based more on his fondness for Buster Posey than on any animosity towards me,” hes said in the statement. “This situation is still an open wound for many, including myself. As I have stated previously, nobody outside of Buster feels worse about his injury than I do.”

Cousins has tried to contact Posey since initiating the collision that ended the catcher’s season, but he’s been unsuccessful.

Although he’s a San Francisco native, Cousins has received death threats since the play.  Still, it doesn’t sound like he’d do anything differently.

“I do believe, however, that the play was clean and totally within the rules of the game,” he said. “Explaining over and over that I would never intentionally hurt another player for any reason won’t change the minds of those who doubt my sincerity or intent. I have a responsibility to myself, my teammates, and my organization to play the game hard. This is what has gotten me to the big leagues, and hopefully this is what will keep me here.”

Yeah… about that.  Cousins is hitting just .159/.245/.250 with 17 strikeouts in 44 at-bats this season.  The Marlins could choose to demote him and give Bryan Petersen a try at some point.

Video: Angels use eight pitchers in spring training no-hitter

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Who says no-hitters can’t be just as fun when they happen during spring training?

Angels’ right-hander Bud Norris delivered two perfect innings on Friday night, paving the way for an eight-pitcher no-hitter against the Mariners at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Jose Alvarez, Cam Bedrosian, Andrew Bailey, Austin Adams, Drew Gagnon and Justin Anderson each filed a hitless inning of their own, leaving right-hander Abel De Los Santos to close out the ninth inning with just three pitches — and three game-saving plays by the defense.

Of course, it didn’t hurt that the Angels were facing a bevy of Mariners’ backups, rather than their starting lineup. In fact, Seattle’s lineup featured just two starting players — outfielder Leonys Martin and shortstop Jean Segura — while the majority of their everyday position players took on the Royals in a 4-3 win elsewhere in the Cactus League. The Mariners managed to reach base twice, first on catcher interference in the fourth inning, then on a four-pitch walk in the sixth, spoiling the Angels’ chances of turning their combined no-hitter into a combined perfect game.

Still, whether it’s executed in spring training or the regular season, against an All-Star lineup or one comprised of minor leaguers, a no-hitter is a no-hitter. The team’s eight-pitcher effort marked the first spring training no-no the Angels had completed since 1996, when they took on the Giants in a 15-0 showdown. Unfortunately for the 1996 squad, their regular season ended with a 70-91 record, good for last place in the AL West. Perhaps this no-hitter will prove a better omen for the coming season.

Tanner Scheppers leaves Cactus League game with lower core injury

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Rangers’ bullpen candidate Tanner Scheppers left Friday’s Cactus League game with pain in his “lower half,” according to reports by Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. The specifics of the right-hander’s injury have yet to be determined, but he was accompanied by the athletic trainer when he exited the game and is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Saturday.

Scheppers, 30, has a long history of elbow and knee injuries. He missed all but 8 2/3 innings of the 2016 season after undergoing a procedure to repair torn articular cartilage in his left knee. While he appeared healthy enough through his first seven appearances this spring, he failed to impress with three runs, five walks and six strikeouts over 7 2/3 innings with the club.

Should Scheppers find himself on the disabled list for another lengthy stay, MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan speculates that his absence could clear some room in the bullpen for Rule 5 draft pick and fellow righty Mike Hauschild. Hauschild, 27, has dealt seven runs, five walks and 15 strikeouts through 17 1/3 innings in camp.