The Rockies are “aggressively pursuing” Carl Pavano and Derek Lowe

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The Rockies are cornering the market on lousy pitchers. After the weekend’s signings of Miguel Batista and Chris Volstad, Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports that they aren’t through yet:

Even with Volstad in the fold, the Rockies are aggressively pursuing free agents Carl Pavano, a right-hander they have tried to acquire numerous times over the last few seasons, and Derek Lowe, a sinkerballer who has pitched well at Coors Field. The Rockies would like to finalize a deal with another veteran this week.

A lot of people have had aggressive feelings with respect to Pavano and Lowe over the past couple of seasons, but it’s mostly been the “God, I want to kill that guy” kind of aggression, and it has been on part of the fan base of the teams for which they’ve played. This whole thing in which a general manager wants them badly for his team is rather new.

Anyway, this news comes, Renck notes, after the Rockies failed to sign Kevin Correia, Kyle McClellan and Aaron Cook.  I guess if you throw enough mediocre-at-best arms against the wall, some of it is gonna stick.

Sandy Leon homered twice in one inning, including a grand slam

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Red Sox catcher Sandy Leon achieved a rare feat during Monday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition against the Orioles: he homered twice in one inning. One of those homers happened to be a grand slam.

Leon led off the top of the fifth inning with a solo home run off of Logan Verrett. Verrett continued to get knocked around, giving up three singles and a walk before being relieved by Brian Moran. Moran gave up a walk to load the bases, then a single to knock in a run and keep the bases loaded. Leon stepped back to the plate and swatted a grand slam to left field, making it an eight-run fifth for the Red Sox. The Sox would tack on one more before the inning was mercifully ended.

How often do players homer twice in one inning during the regular season? Not that often. Since 2010, the feat has been accomplished four times in the American League and twice in the National League. The Orioles’ Mark Trumbo was the only one to do it last year.

As for Leon, he’s on track to open the season as the starting catcher in Boston, Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald reported last week.

Phillies release veteran catchers Ryan Hanigan and Bryan Holaday

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The Phillies announced on Monday that the club released veteran catchers Ryan Hanigan and Bryan Holaday. Both were competing for the back-up catcher spot on the team’s 25-man roster. With both out of the picture, that means Andrew Knapp has won that honor.

Knapp, 25, hit a combined .266/.330/.390 with eight home runs and 46 RBI in 443 plate appearances last year at Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He did not have a great spring but has hit well as of late, which likely pushed him ahead of Hanigan and Holaday. Knapp will serve as the understudy to starting catcher Cameron Rupp.