Day: February 17, 2013

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Joakim Soria aiming to join Rangers’ bullpen in May


Via Richard Durrett of

Texas Rangers reliever Joakim Soria was smiling on Sunday, pleased that after throwing three bullpen sessions his arm has felt good. He still feels that some time in May is a realistic target for his return.

“I won’t know for sure until I face hitters,” Soria said. “Threw the first few bullpens, everything has gone smooth. That is nice.”

Soria had Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery a little more than 10 months ago. He signed a two-year, $8 million free agent contract with the Rangers this winter and will operate as a setup man in front of closer Joe Nathan once he’s back to full strength.

Soria, 28, owns a 2.40 career ERA, a 1.04 career WHIP and a 9.7 career K/9 through five MLB seasons.

Matt Garza can’t complete first live batting practice session

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Matt Garza missed the final 11 weeks of the 2012 season because of a stress reaction in his pitching elbow. And he might still be dealing with that injury.

According to Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune, the right-hander left his first live batting practice session Sunday in camp. Garza was holding his left side, though that might not be indicative of anything.

The Cubs should send out an update shortly.

Garza is supposed to function as trade bait this summer for the rebuilding Northsiders. He posted a cool 3.91 ERA and 8.3 K/9 in 18 starts last season and an even-better 3.32 ERA and 9.0 K/9 across 31 starts in 2011. The 29-year-old is currently scheduled to hit the free agent market following the 2013 campaign. He has a 3.84 career ERA.


UPDATE, 8:36 PM: Sullivan reports that the Cubs have diagnosed Garza with a mild lat strain.

Brennan Boesch day-to-day after tweaking right oblique

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Noah Trister of the Associated Press reports that Tigers outfielder Brennan Boesch tweaked a right oblique muscle on Saturday while swinging a bat.

He was held out of workouts on Sunday and might not be ready for action again until later this week.

Boesch agreed to a one-year, $2.3 million contract with the Tigers back in mid-January, avoiding salary arbitration, but he is not locked into a starting job for the 2013 season and can’t do much to change that.

The 27-year-old batted just .240/.286/.372 in 503 plate appearances last summer for Detroit and will serve as a reserve this year behind starting left fielder Andy Dirks, starting center fielder Austin Jackson and starting right fielder Torii Hunter.

The oblique injury should be a non-issue by the opening of the Grapefruit League schedule.

Johan Santana throws first bullpen session of spring

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Adam Rubin of ESPN New York provides the visual evidence:

Santana made it through the workout without any sort of complications and will now perform regular bullpen sessions in Mets camp until he is cleared to appear in a Grapefruit League game. The Mets are hoping that the 33-year-old left-hander will feel well enough to start on Opening Day (April 1) against the Padres.

Santana posted a 4.85 ERA, 1.33 WHIP and 111/39 K/BB ratio across 117 innings last season.

Mat Gamel (knee) could return to workouts on Monday

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The Brewers are holding young first baseman Mat Gamel out of drills this afternoon — just 24 hours after he aggravated his surgically-repaired right knee while taking batting practice. But there is some optimism about the situation around camp.

Brewers manager Ron Roenicke told’s Adam McCalvy that Gamel could return to his normal spring routine on Monday. Which means that the team has already ruled out anything serious.

“[Saturday’s setback was] unexpected just because he’s gone through this period of time where he really hasn’t has any issues with it,” Roenicke said. “But probably not unexpected because it is different once you get on the field and now you’re doing different exercises. You’re doing different things on the knee that you’re not doing in a controlled environment.”

Gamel, 27, will open the 2013 season as the Brewers’ starting first baseman if he is healthy.