Baseball announces the Roberto Clemente Award nominees

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The Roberto Clemente Award goes to the Major Leaguer who “best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship, community involvement and the individual’s contribution to his team.” David Ortiz won it last year.  The 2012 nominees — one per team — were just announced and are listed below.

One complaint first. It’s the same complaint I lodge every year. Baseball has set up a fan voting aspect to this. Which makes no sense because (a) I can see no way which your average fan can gauge a player’s community involvement, either quantitatively or qualitatively; and (b) if they can’t, it’s just a fan popularity vote, which shouldn’t be a part of an award that is about something like community involvement.

All we can hope is that baseball makes the fan voting component a tiny, tiny part of it. Anyway:

Arizona Diamondbacks – Willie Bloomquist
Atlanta Braves – Tim Hudson
Baltimore Orioles – Jim Johnson
Boston Red Sox – Jon Lester
Chicago Cubs – David DeJesus
Chicago White Sox – Jake Peavy
Cincinnati Reds – Todd Frazier
Cleveland Indians – Jason Kipnis
Colorado Rockies – Michael Cuddyer
Detroit Tigers – Miguel Cabrera
Houston Astros – Wesley Wright
Kansas City Royals – Alex Gordon
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim – C.J. Wilson
Los Angeles Dodgers – Clayton Kershaw
Miami Marlins – Logan Morrison
Milwaukee Brewers – Rickie Weeks
Minnesota Twins – Justin Morneau
New York Mets – Johan Santana
New York Yankees – Mark Teixeira
Oakland Athletics – Brandon McCarthy
Philadelphia Phillies – Jimmy Rollins
Pittsburgh Pirates – Chris Resop
St. Louis Cardinals – Matt Holliday
San Diego Padres – Luke Gregerson
San Francisco Giants – Matt Cain
Seattle Mariners – Felix Hernandez
Tampa Bay Rays – David Price
Texas Rangers – Michael Young
Toronto Blue Jays – Ricky Romero
Washington Nationals – Ryan Zimmerman

Video: Andrew Toles hammers grand slam in Cactus League win

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Dodgers’ left fielder Andrew Toles crushed his first spring training home run on Saturday afternoon. With the bases loaded and a two-run deficit hanging over their heads in the fourth inning, Toles stepped up to the plate against Oakland right-hander Jesse Hahn and unloaded a grand slam on the second pitch he saw.

Third baseman Justin Turner was quick to follow up with a solo jack of his own, bringing the score to a comfortable 7-4 lead by the end of the fourth. Another three-run outburst in the fifth and an eighth-inning RBI single by Austin Barnes raised the final score to 11-6… which, coincidentally, was the same score the Reds used to defeat the Athletics’ second split-squad lineup on Saturday (albeit with a few more RBI walks than grand slams).

Toles, 24, is approaching his sophomore season with the Dodgers in 2017. He slashed .314/.365/.505 with three home runs and an .870 OPS in his first major league season in 2016 and is expected to platoon with the right-handed Franklin Gutierrez in left field this year.

David Price’s season debut could be pushed back to May

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David Price showed “strength improvements” in his elbow on Saturday, but Red Sox’ manager John Farrell still doesn’t think the left-hander will be ready to throw by the start of the season — or for a few weeks afterward. According to ESPN’s Scott Lauber, the 31-year-old might not be ready to debut until May at the earliest.

Price hasn’t thrown off of a mound this spring after experiencing soreness in his left elbow on March 1. Surgery doesn’t appear to be necessary, but the Red Sox are playing it extra safe with their No. 3 starter in hopes that rest and rehabilitation will return him to full health sometime during the 2017 season. For now, Price has been restricted to short games of catch until he’s cleared to resume a more rigorous throwing program. Via MLB.com’s Ian Browne:

[There were] strength improvements to the point of putting the ball back in his hand a little more consistently,” said manager John Farrell. “Today’s the first step for that. A short game of catch. That’s what he’s going through. Not off a mound but just to get the arm moving with a ball in flight, and he will continue in this phase for a period of time. There’s no set distance and volume yet to the throws.

The lefty is coming off of a lackluster 2016 season, during which he delivered a 3.99 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 8.9 SO/9 over 230 innings for the Red Sox.