Astros' Lee says he may retire after 2012 season

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carlos lee swinging.jpgAstros outfielder Carlos Lee told Brian McTaggart of MLB.com Thursday that he might retire after the 2012 season, when his current contract runs out.

“I don’t know if I’m going to play after this contract is up. I’m
ready to go home,” said Lee.  “We spend so much time away from our family.  I can’t spend
any other time with my kids. I get home at 10 o’clock, 11 o’clock and
they’re sleeping and they get up at 6:30 in the morning to go to school
and I see them 10, 15 minutes. I want to be able to spend time with my
kid where they’re still young and healthy. I want to enjoy them.”

Lee is owed $18.5 million this season and the same sum in both 2011 and 2012.  The 33-year-old has a disappointing .204 batting average and a .248 on-base percentage through 103 at-bats this season, so he may have been venting because of his poor start.  But the family issues are certainly understandable.  Lee makes his offseason home in Panama, where he was born.  He has two sons
and two daughters.

Cardinals tab Miles Mikolas for Opening Day start

Miles Mikolas
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The Cardinals have selected right-hander Miles Mikolas as their Opening Day starter, the club revealed Saturday. It’ll mark the first career Opening Day start for Mikolas, who is scheduled to go up against the Brewers when the team hits the road on March 28.

The 29-year-old righty was a strong contender for the 2018 NL Cy Young Award, earning All-Star distinctions and pitching to a career-best 18-4 record with a 2.83 ERA, 1.3 BB/9, 6.5 SO/9, and 4.3 fWAR over 200 2/3 innings. He’s positioned to lead the Cardinals rotation in 2019 as well, with former Opening Day starters Carlos Martínez and Adam Wainwright and some combination of right-handers Jack Flaherty, Michael Wacha, Alex Reyes, and John Gant behind him.

Manager Mike Shildt told reporters that Flaherty, Wacha, Wainwright, and Martínez had all been considered for the honor, but admitted that Opening Day honors were ultimately handed to Mikolas “in recognition of [his performance] last year.” The Cardinals are scheduled to play a four-game set against the Brewers to start the season and will stop over in Pittsburgh for another two games before returning to St. Louis for their opening homestand against the Padres on April 4. Additional pitching assignments have yet to be announced.