Giancarlo Stanton ready to “push forward” with Marlins following tumultuous offseason

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Giancarlo Stanton was understandably peeved after the Marlins unloaded Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle and Emilio Bonifacio in a trade with the Blue Jays in December. However, Joe Frisaro of MLB.com notes that Stanton took the high road at Marlins’ camp today in his first public comments of the spring.

“You’re not going to linger on something and cry about it all day,” Stanton said. “You let it be known how you feel, and push forward.”

There’s no reason to be mad,” Stanton said. “I’m here healthy and ready to play and be a part of the team. The other nonsense, let it be what it is. We’re here to be out on the field.

“People who know me, and not just assume things, they know how I am. There’s not going to be any pouting or any of that stuff. We’re good.”

While many feel bad for Stanton’s predicament, including his former teammate Reyes, the 23-year-old slugger isn’t looking for any sympathy.

“I’m not one to [say], ‘Hey, everyone, feel sorry for me.’ What is there to feel sorry for me about?” Stanton said. “I’m in the big leagues. I play a game for a living.”

There has been plenty of speculation about Stanton’s future, but he wouldn’t really go there today, simply saying that he hasn’t been offered a contract extension. Stanton is set to qualify for arbitration for the first time next offseason, so the odds of a trade will only increase as he gets more expensive and approaches free agency.

Stanton batted .290/.361/.608 with 37 home runs, 86 RBI and a .969 OPS in 123 games last season. He has 93 home runs over his first 373 games in the big leagues. Only eight players have more over the first three years of their career, including Chuck Klein, Frank Robinson, Ryan Braun, Joe DiMaggio, Mark Teixeira, Eddie Matthews, Ralph Kiner and Albert Pujols. Pretty good company.

Bud Norris exits outing with right knee soreness

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Angels’ right-handed reliever Bud Norris made his 23rd appearance of the season on Friday, and after just three pitches, he was done for the night. He worked a 2-1 count to Marlins’ Dee Gordon in the eighth inning, then promptly exited the field after experiencing some tightness in his right knee. Neither Norris nor manager Mike Scioscia believe the injury is cause for major concern, and the 32-year-old right-hander admitted that it may have had something to do with his lack of stretching before he took the mound. For now, he’s day-to-day with right knee soreness, with the hope that the issue doesn’t escalate over the next few days.

While the Angels are lucky to have avoided serious injury, they’ll need Norris to pitch at 100% if they want to stay competitive within the AL West. They currently sit a full nine games behind the league-leading Astros, and haven’t been helping their cause after taking five losses in their last eight games. Friday’s 8-5 finale marked their third consecutive loss of the week.

 

When healthy, Norris has been one of the better arms in the Angels’ bullpen. Through 23 2/3 innings, he’s pitched to a 2.66 ERA, 3.4 BB/9 and an outstanding 11.8 SO/9 in 23 outings. The righty hasn’t allowed a single run in four straight appearances, recording three saves and helping the club clinch four wins in that span. This is his second setback of the year after sustaining a partial fingernail tear on his pitching hand during spring training.

Video: Max Scherzer sets record with 13-strikeout outing

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Max Scherzer is a force to be reckoned with. The Nationals’ right-hander delivered a season-high 13 strikeouts against the Padres on Friday, locking down his fifth win and his fourth double-digit strikeout performance of the year.

More remarkably, it was also the 53rd double-digit strikeout performance of Scherzer’s career, tying Clayton Kershaw for the most 10+ strikeout appearances by an active major league pitcher. Chris Sale is a distant third, with 43 to his name, though he’s been making considerable strides to catch up so far this spring.

Scherzer took the Padres to task on Friday night, whiffing 13 of 31 batters during his 108-pitch outing. He started strong, catching Allen Cordoba swinging on a 1-2 count to start the game and keeping the game scoreless until Ryan Schimpf unleashed a home run in the fourth inning. That was the first and final run the Padres managed off of Scherzer, who retired 14 consecutive batters following the blast and came one out shy of a complete game in the ninth inning. (Fittingly, Koda Glover polished off the win with a final strikeout, bringing the total to 14 on the night.)

It’ll take more than one stellar start to advance Scherzer and Kershaw on the all-time list, however. Their 53-game record ranks 13th, about 159 games behind second-place Hall of Fame hurler Randy Johnson and a full 162 games shy of the inimitable Nolan Ryan.