The Marlins’ decision to release Mike Cameron with 2 1/2 weeks left in the season seemed awfully odd, particularly with Mike Stanton and Logan Morrison banged up. But they obviously had their reasons. Juan C. Rodriguez of The Sun Sentinel reports that the center fielder was let go for conduct detrimental to the team.
No word on what said conduct was. It certainly comes as a big surprise, as the 38-year-old Cameron has never been viewed as a problem player. Quite the opposite, in fact.
Cameron played in 45 games for the Marlins after being released by the Red Sox and hit .238/.331/.420 with six homers and 18 RBI in 143 at-bats. It’s not a great line, but the .751 OPS is actually slightly better than what NL center fielders (.747) and left fielders (.748) are putting up as a whole this season.
With Cameron gone and Morrison and Stanton both sidelined, the Marlins are using an outfield of Greg Dobbs, Bryan Petersen and Emilio Bonifacio tonight. It’s the fifth outfield start for Dobbs, who spent much of the first few months battling Bonifacio for playing time at third base.
Angels first baseman Luis Valbuena will miss the next four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times reports.
Valbuena, 31, signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Angels in January and was on track to get the lion’s share of the playing time at first base. While he’s out, however, C.J. Cron will handle first base on a regular basis. When Valbeuna returns, the two will likely form a platoon.
Last year with the Astros, Valbuena hit a solid .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances.
Reds reliever Raisel Iglesias hasn’t appeared in a Grapefruit League game since March 14 and now we know why. He injured his right elbow and both hips falling in the shower three weeks ago, Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. He has had anti-inflammatory shots applied in both areas and he’ll be be shut down from pitching for a few more days.
Iglesias might not be ready for Opening Day, according to manager Bryan Price. Iglesias, however, thinks otherwise. He said, “I’m going to be OK. I’m probably going to throw one bullpen, and after that, mentally and physically, I’ll be ready to join the season and compete.”
Price said throughout the offseason that he intended to pick his closer according to the matchups rather than naming one official closer. As a result, this injury likely doesn’t change much except that Michael Lorenzen, Drew Storen, and Tony Cingrani may get a few more early season save chances if Iglesias doesn’t start the season on time.
Iglesias, 27, finished last season with a 2.53 ERA and an 83/26 K/BB ratio in 78 1/3 innings across five starts and 32 relief appearances.