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Tag:AL Central
Posted on: March 1, 2011 11:02 pm
Edited on: March 2, 2011 7:09 am
 

Stars, scrubs of March 1 games

MarkakisBy Evan Brunell

Did you realize that the regular season officially starts this month? OK, OK, so it starts on the 31st and we're only on the first day of March, but still.

Until then, however, we will have to content ourselves with spring training games, and this early into the schedule these games are peppered with scrubs and players trying to get their timing in place for the regular season. And some are a bit further along.

Let's look at some stars and scrubs of the day's games ...

STARS

1. Ryan Raburn, DET: Raburn held off teammate Victor Martinez in a split-squad game (3 for 4, 2 R)

2. Nick Markakis (pictured), BAL: 3 AB, 2 R, 3 H, 4 RBI, 2 HR. Could Markakis reclaim his long-lost power? After bopping 23 in 2007 and progressively declining to just 12 in 2010, Markakis ripped two home runs off Andy Sonnanstine and finished with three hits and four RBI in three at-bats. A return to the top of the best right fielders in the game is possible.

3. Gio Gonzalez, OAK: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K. What a great showing from Gonzalez, who is slated to be the No. 3 starter for the A's Gonzalez has improved each season in the majors, but last year really benefited from limiting his home runs and playing in a pitcher's park. It's early, but if Gonzalez can limit his walks like he did Tuesday, he could be in line for a real step forward into the elite, and has unquestioned strikeout ability.

SCRUBS

1. Brett Anderson, OAK: 2 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 0 BB, 2 K. Unfortunately for Gonzalez, his quest for a win was erased by Anderson's clunker. Anderson followed Gonzalez in the game despite being one spot ahead in the rotation. The lefty coughed up four earned runs and six hits in two innings, walking and whiffing two apiece. Better days are ahead for the talented youngster.

2. Andy Sonnanstine, TB: 2 IP, 6 H, 6 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 5 HR: Poor Sonny. The starter-turned-reliever got a shot at the starting gig again even as he figures to remain in the bullpen. He did himself no favors by coughing up six runs in his two innings of work, striking out just one and giving up an eye-popping five home runs -- two to Markakis and one apiece for Vladimir Guerrero, Adam Jones and Jake Fox.

3. Ricky Romero, TOR: 2 1/3 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 2 K: After a breakout season, the Jays are counting on Romero to anchor the top of the rotation for Toronto. He certainly didn't get off to a strong start but he didn't give up any extra-base hits, although he was on the hook for Miguel Cabrera's three-run double off Zach Stewart that plated runners Romero put on base.

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Posted on: March 1, 2011 5:00 pm
 

Cuddyer has wart removed, out one to two weeks

Posted by Matt Snyder

After two unsuccessful freezing attempts, Michael Cuddyer was forced to fly back to Minnesota and have a plantar wart surgically removed from his left foot. He had been trying to play through the pain after it wouldn't freeze, but was favoring his left side. The Twins thought it best to get the growth removed now rather than have Cuddyer hampered by the time the regular season rolled around.

He'll miss the next one to two weeks, according to the Star Tribune .

Contained in the same report was a mention that Justin Morneau is currently in Pittsburgh, meeting with a specialist as expected. To read our previous coverage of that situation, click here .

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Posted on: March 1, 2011 2:49 pm
Edited on: March 1, 2011 2:51 pm
 

Nathan returns to hill, throws well

Posted by Matt Snyder

Joe Nathan took the mound Tuesday in his spring debut. Thus, it was obviously his first game action since undergoing season-ending Tommy John surgery last spring.

While it wasn't exactly an Earth-shattering outing, it was enough for encouragement. Nathan threw 20 pitches, allowing only a walk. He induced two flyouts and a groundout, according to Kelly Thesier of MLB.com via Twitter. There was much discussion on Twitter of the radar gun being unreliabe in the stadium, but it's worth noting Nathan was right around 90 mph, which is where he usually is this time of the spring. He has recently told reporters he feels "normal" for this time of the year, so that mark shouldn't be surprising.

Though he still has a bit to go, all signs point to Nathan being on track to resume his role as Twins closer this season. Even if he doesn't start in the role right out of the gate, it's hard to see him not regaining the role within the first month of the season.

The Twins do have Matt Capps as insurance. He saved 16 games and sported a nice 2.00 ERA for the Twins after coming over in a deadline deal.

But Nathan is one of the league's elite closers when healthy. As a Twin, he's racked up 246 saves in six seasons (an average of 41 per year) with a 1.87 ERA, 0.93 WHIP and 11.1 K/9.

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Category: MLB
Posted on: February 28, 2011 9:08 pm
 

Carmona tabbed to start opening day

Posted by C. Trent Rosecrans

Fausto CarmonaThe Indians tabbed Fausto Carmona as their opening-day starter on Monday, before he went out to work two scoreless innings against the Reds at the team's shared home in Goodyear, Ariz.

Carmona will start opposite Mark Buehrle of the White Sox on April 1 at Progressive Park in Cleveland.

Not that it's much of a surprise -- it was Carmona or… Carlos Carrasco? But anyway, it was official until Monday when manager Manny Acta was asked if it was a "safe assumption" Carmona would start on opening day.

"That's a good assumption," Acta told reporters, including MLB.com. "Yeah, he's our opening day starter. He deserves that."

And while there are plenty we can assume -- we won't. Here's the official list so far:

Cubs -- Ryan Dempster
Dodgers -- Clayton Kershaw
Indians -- Fausto Carmona
Mets -- Mike Pelfrey
Rangers -- C.J. Wilson
Reds -- Edinson Volquez
Twins -- Carl Pavano
White Sox -- Mark Buehrle

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com