It was a given that Roy Halladay would start on Opening Day and be followed by Cliff Lee in the Phillies rotation. Baseball’s best No. 3 starter won’t go in game three, however.
The Phillies announced today that Cole Hamels would be held back to start their fourth game, which is also their home opener. Vance Worley will slot in between Lee and Hamels in the rotation.
“Cole has had more experience,” pitching coach Rich Dubee said. “Hell, he’s pitched in the World Series. The big flag is out there. Not that Vance can’t handle it, but it’s a little bit of a hectic day. Any of our guys deserve to pitch the home opener or the opener of the season. This way it lines up where Cole gets it. It splits our lefties. It doesn’t put Vance in that situation. Cole is more accustomed to pitching with a lot of hoopla around.”
Joe Blanton will serve as the Phillies’ fifth starter, but he’s not expected to get a turn the first time through due to off days.
Bobby Abreu is sort of a man without a position in Anaheim. Mike Scioscia, however, has promised him 400 plate appearances. Abreu, speaking to Lider en Deportes, translated by Nick Collias of MLB Trade Rumors, isn’t buying it:
“I’ve learned not to have much confidence in these people, but I hope they live up to what they told me,” Abreu told Billy Russo at Lider en Deportes. “How long am I going to have to continue proving to people what I am, and what I’m able to do? At times it’s like the work one does doesn’t get appreciated, but here I am, and we’ll continue the fight.”
Eh. Abreu hit .253/.353/.365 last year. That doesn’t warrant 400 plate appearances in most places, let alone a team with as many DH/corner options as the Angels do. If he wants 400 plate appearances, he’s gonna have to produce. It’s not a matter of promises.
Chris Carpenter left Cardinals camp earlier this week with what was described as a neck injury, but after several days of testing by specialists he’s been diagnosed with nerve irritation in his shoulder.
Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that Carpenter is “out indefinitely” with an injury similar to one he had in 2008 and “is going to have to recover then re-strengthen his shoulder” before rejoining the rotation.
In other words, it’s going to be a while.
Carpenter had already been scratched from his Opening Day assignment, with Kyle Lohse taking his place, and Lance Lynn will step into his rotation spot for however long is needed.
As part of a two-year contract signed in September the 36-year-old Carpenter is owed $21 million and for the second straight year the Cardinals must now replace their No. 1 starter before the season begins, although at least Adam Wainwright looks healthy again after missing all of 2011.
Ian Kinsler’s agent, Jay Franklin, met with the Rangers today about a contract extension at their request, but told T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com that he’s “not very optimistic” about the two sides getting something done before Opening Day.
Franklin did say that the Rangers are making “a sincere effort” in negotiations and normally there wouldn’t be a huge rush with Kinsler under contract for $7 million this season and a $10 million option for 2013, but the All-Star second baseman apparently won’t negotiate during the season.
So if the Rangers can’t get something worked out in the next week or so they’ll have to try again next winter with Kinsler just 162 games away from hitting the open market at age 31.
I think we need to stop with the Joba on the trampoline jokes. This stuff was serious, people. And if you’re squeamish, you may not want to even ready this:
Joba Chamberlain lost so much blood Thursday when he hurt his ankle while playing with his son that there initially was concern for his life, a Yankees’ source said … When Chamberlain was hurt, bone was sticking out of his ankle and he was bleeding profusely, a team source said. Paramedics were called and Chamberlain was taken by ambulance to the hospital.
This is just awful. And the compound nature of the injury means that he is at risk for infection and, by virtue of facing the possibility of multiple surgeries, the odds of complications increase.