Monday, February 28, 2011

Carlos Beltran moving to right field

Last year, Angel Pagan moved from center field when Carlos Beltran was ready to return from knee surgery.

This year, it's Beltran that will give up center field (to Pagan) in the hopes of prolonging his career.

"I want to play right," Beltran said, per Andy McCullough of the Newark Star-Ledger. "I think it’s best for the team. It’s going to be best for me also, best for my knee."

This weekend, Beltran will begin playing Grapefruit League games as a designated hitter.

Today Newsday's David Lennon tweeted that Beltran was "absolutely crushing the ball" during batting practice.

According to Mock Draft Central, Beltran is the 51st outfielder and 223rd player off the board, on average, in fantasy baseball drafts. Meanwhile, Pagan is the 58th outfielder and 241st player drafted on average.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Chase Utley "day-to-day" with patellar tendinitis

An MRI revealed that Philadelphia Phillies second baseman Chase Utley has patellar tendinitis in his right knee, per David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News.

As one would expect, Utley is being held out of today's game against the Yankees and labels himself as "day-to-day."

The injury is not new for Utley, but he says the discomfort is lasting longer than usual.

"It comes and goes," Utley said. "Right now it's not going as fast as I wish that it would. But I think at this point it is better to be safe than sorry. I'd rather miss some games down here than miss some games during the season."

General manager Ruben Amaro echoes Utley's sentiment.

"I think he knows and understands this is about the long haul," Amaro said. "He's an intense guy and he wants to be out there playing and all that business, but I think he understands that this is all part of the process for him to be fine later on rather than have to deal with it long term."

Based on average draft position from Mock Draft Central, Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano is the only second baseman off the board before Utley in fantasy baseball drafts.

Utley, who missed 47 games last year, hit .275 with 16 home runs and 63 runs batted in. Before 2010, however, Utley hit 31 home runs and stole 23 bases in 2009 and had a 100-RBI streak of four years from 2005 through 2008.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Blue Jays, Bautista agree to five-year extension

The Toronto Blue Jays and outfielder Jose Bautista have agreed to a five-year contract extension worth $64 million.

Bautista, who would have become a free agent after the 2011 season, is signed through 2015, but the Jays have a club option at $14 million for 2016.

It came down to how far above [Braves second baseman Dan] Uggla we’d be,” [Blue Jays general manager Alex] Anthopoulos said, per The Toronto Star. “We felt Dan Uggla was a focal point, but it took time to work things out. The consistency of Uggla speaks for itself. The upside of Jose’s season is that Uggla never had a season like that.”

Last year, Bautista led the majors with 54 home runs and finished third in the American League in runs batted in with 124. Before 2010, Bautista never hit more than 16 home runs in a season (2006).

Miguel Cabrera busted for DUI

If you were about to be arrested for DUI, would you take a drink from your bottle of scotch in front of an officer?

Well, if you were Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera, the answer to that question (allegedly) would be yes.

Late Wednesday night, Cabrera was arrested in Ft. Pierce (FL) and charged with DUI and two counts of resisting arrest without violence, per the Detroit Free-Press.

And not only did Cabrera take a swig of scotch in front of the officer, but he then proceeded to use the ever-so-popular line: “Do you know who I am?"

So, Cabrera, who had issues with alcohol in the past, apparently has issues with alcohol in the present as well.

Cabrera, who finished second in AL MVP voting, hit .328 and a career-high 38 home runs while driving in 126 runs last season.

According to Mock Draft Central, Cabrera is the third player, on average, off fantasy baseball draft boards behind Albert Pujols and Hanley Ramirez. There's a good chance that will soon change, especially with first base being such a deep position.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

David Aardsma likely to miss first two weeks of season

Seattle Mariners closer David Aardsma will likely miss at least the first two weeks of the 2011 season, per Kirby Arnold of the Everett Herald.

Aardsma, who had hip surgery in January, had 31 saves and five blown saves in 2010 with an ERA of 3.44.

However, he converted 15-of-16 save opportunities after the All-Star Break with an ERA of 0.84 during that span.

Next week I’ll start the process of walking, and once I can put my full weight on my leg I can start throwing,” Aardsma said. “By that, I mean really throwing, not sitting on a chair. Then a couple of weeks after that, I can start letting it go. The big thing is putting all my weight on my leg.”

In addition, Aardsma says he's in good overall shape.

“I think I’m in better shape and stronger than I ever have been,” he said. “I can do the bike every day without resistance and I do pool work every day. Conditioning-wise, I’ve lost 10 pounds and I’m in great shape. I can do leg strengthening things but I can’t do push-off stuff. I can do hamstring curls, quad stuff, interior and exterior stuff, and I’m doing full upper-body workouts.”

With Aardsma (likely) out for the first two weeks (and maybe more) of the season, Brandon League will get closing duties and be a source of temporary saves in fantasy leagues.