Friday, April 29, 2011

Francisco Liriano may only have one more chance (start) to keep spot in rotation

Things haven't gone well for Twins starter Francisco Liriano (and his fantasy owners) this year.

And depending on how his next scheduled start on Tuesday goes, it could get worse, much worse.

"There's times when he looks totally dominant and he'll go an inning or two like that, but then he just kind of starts misfiring, and I think once we get ahead he just kind of backs away a little bit. So, if it's a confidence thing, then we've got to really work hard to get it there, but if not, we're going to have to make a decision and see where we go from there," manager Ron Gardenhire said, per Tom Pelissero of

"That's kind of why we're working on [Kevin] Slowey, getting him stretched out, in case we decide after this next start whether we're going to do something or not."

Slowey, who eligible to return from the disabled list, will make one more rehab start to help get him ready to take over Liriano's spot in the rotation, if necessary.

In his five starts, Liriano is 1-4 with an ERA of 9.13 and 18 walks in 23 2/3 innings pitched.

Derek Lowe arrested Thursday night for DUI

At roughly 10 p.m. last night, Braves starting pitcher Derek Lowe was arrested for driving under the influence.

In addition to the DUI charge, Lowe was charged with reckless driving and making an improper lane change.

"Obviously we are concerned and disappointed about the events involving Derek Lowe overnight," the Braves said in a statement (via's Mark Bowman). "We are currently gathering information and plan to address this matter later today."

Lowe, who is scheduled to start on Sunday, has a 2-3 record with an ERA of 3.21 and 32 strikeouts in 33 2/3 innings pitched. With the exception of his April 20th start, Lowe has allowed two or fewer runs in all of his games so far this season.

Seven straight multi-hit games for Lance Berkman

Of course, Lance Berkman does not have a realistic shot at the triple crown.

But heading into the last two days of April, Berkman is second in the National League in all three triple-crown categories: batting average (.410), home runs (eight) and runs batted in (22).

Berkman trails teammate Matt Holliday in batting average (.433) and Brewers Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder in home runs (nine) and runs batted in (23), respectively.

In last night's game, Berkman had four hits, two of which were home runs, and five runs batted in. That extended his streak of multi-hit games to seven consecutive games.

During that seven-game span, Berkman is hitting .607 (17 for 28).

Monday, April 25, 2011

Pujols leaves game with tight hamstring

Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols left last night's game against the Reds with tightness in his hamstring after trying to run out a grounder in the seventh inning.

The Cardinals have Monday off as they travel to Houston to begin a three-game series with the Astros on Tuesday.

Will he be able to play?

"I think it all depends on how I wake up tomorrow," Pujols said, per Tom Timmermann of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "The tests were pretty good. They don't think it's too bad. When I wake up tomorrow, I can sense a little more about how I feel. Hopefully it's not as bad as I feel right now. I'll be glad we have a day off tomorrow.

"I'll show up here early tomorrow, get treatment and we'll go from there. Right now, if I told you I was going to be playing Tuesday, I don't want to say yes and not be there. ... Hopefully, in my prayers, I feel good, have a good day off tomorrow, travel, and on Tuesday I'll be ready to go."

Pujols got off to a slow start and was hitting only .150 through April 11th's win over Arizona. In his past 12 games, however, Pujols has 16 hits in 48 at-bats (.333 average) with six home runs and 13 runs batted in.

Jose Contreras to DL, Ryan Madson to close

Phillies closer Brad Lidge started the season on the disabled list and isn't expected back until June, at the earliest. In addition, J.C. Romero is on the DL with a strained calf and isn't eligible to return until May 4th.

Add another Phillies relief pitcher to the disabled list: Jose Contreras.

Per the Philadelphia Daily News, Contreras has been placed on the 15-day DL with flexor pronator strain. From Sunday to Thursday, Contreras made four appearances in five days and felt some tenderness in his elbow.

"He had been pitching quite a bit," general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said. "A little tender. He did a little better yesterday, and then today he felt some more soreness ... I think it was just the work that he's done. He didn't indicate it was one pitch, just over time, especially after his outing on Thursday."

To take Contreras' roster spot, the Phillies called up Michael Stutes from Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

That means that Ryan Madson will assume closing responsibilities. Madson is 2-0 with two saves, ten strikeouts and a 1.00 ERA in nine appearances this season.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

James Shields hurls four-hit shutout, second straight complete game

Facing the Toronto Blue Jays today, Tampa Bay starter James Shields hurled a four-hit shutout while striking out seven batters.

Shields has now thrown back-to-back complete games after allowing only one run and four hits versus the White Sox on April 19th.

With the exception of his second start of the season, Shields has pitched seven-plus innings and allowed two or fewer runs in his other four starts.

On the season, Shields has improved his record to 2-1 and has lowered his ERA and WHIP to 2.35 and 0.97, respectively.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Neftali Feliz to 15-day DL, Rangers to use closer-by-committee approach

It seems that there have been a greater number of injuries to key players this April than there has been in the first month in recent memory.

Players such as Tampa's Evan Longoria, Washington's Ryan Zimmerman and Minnesota's Joe Mauer are just a few of the elite players that have landed on the disabled list (DL). Two players (Matt Holliday and Adam Dunn) even had emergency appendectomies.

And after already losing outfielder Josh Hamilton for six-to-eight weeks, the Rangers have placed their closer, Neftali Feliz, on the 15-day DL with shoulder inflammation.

The move is retroactive to Thursday, which means Feliz will be eligible to return on May 6th when the Rangers begin a three-game series at home against the Yankees.

"If this was somebody older, who had dealt with this before, we might just give him a few days off," [general manager Jon] Daniels said, per Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. "But we want to be extra cautious."

Right-hander Cody Eppley from Triple-A Round Rock will take his spot on the active roster.

Last season, Feliz set the rookie record for saves (40) in a season and won the A.L. Rookie of the Year award. This year, Feliz has converted all five of his save opportunities and has a 1.08 ERA.

As far as the interim closer while Feliz is out, it's going to be a closer-by-committee approach. Per Anthony Andro of Fort Worth Star-Telegram, manager Ron Washington said, "We've got no bona fide closer right now."

Friday, April 22, 2011

X-rays on Kevin Youkilis came back negative

After fouling a ball of off his shin, Red Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis left yesterday's game in the second inning.

Per the Boston Herald, the X-rays came back negative, which rules out a fracture. However, manager Terry Francona describes Youkilis as being "pretty sore."

Youkilis, who is off to a slow start this season, is hitting only .214 with three home runs and eight runs batted in through 18 games.

That said, he's had two multi-hit games in his past four games played and 14 at-bats.

The Red Sox, who won only two of their first 12 games, have won five of their past six games.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Tigers place Victor Martinez on the disabled list

The Detroit Tigers have placed catcher/designated hitter on the 15-day disabled list (DL), per John Lowe of the Detroit Free Press.

Martinez, who strained his right groin in Saturday's game, aggravated the injury in Monday's win over the Mariners.

The Tigers called up catcher Omir Santos from Triple-A to take V-Mart's roster spot.

In his past three games, Martinez has five hits in ten at-bats. On the season, Martinez is hitting .250 with two home runs and nine runs batted in.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Mike Leake arrested for stealing $60 worth of t-shirts

Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Mike Leake was arrested for allegedly stealing six t-shirts from Macy's earlier this afternoon.

The misdemeanor charge carries a maximum jail sentence of 180 days.

As expected, both the organization and Leake issued statements that they won't comment on the charges directly.

Per a report in the Cincinnati Enquirer, police documents indicate that security cameras show that Leake removed the security tags and walked out of the store without paying for them.

If security cameras show that Leake removed the security tags, however, it doesn't appear that he can (plausibly) claim that he didn't know he had the merchandise on him when leaving the store.

Leake, the team's first-round pick in 2009, was the 21st player since the start of the draft to appear in a major league game without appearing in a single minor league game. He finished with an 8-4 record last year and 2-0 in three starts this season.

Ryan Franklin blows another save, is a change coming?

It hasn't been a good start to the season for (current) Cardinals closer Ryan Franklin.

As Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch sums up in his column, here's what Franklin has done so far this year:
"Four blown saves in five opportunities. An 11.57 ERA. Eight hits, two walks and three homers in 4 2/3 innings. And hitters have a .364 batting average against Franklin. It's ugly."
Ugly is right.

With Franklin's four blown saves, the Cardinals could easily be 12-4 instead of 8-8 this season as Miklasz points out.

Like many, Miklasz suggests that Mitchell Boggs should replace Franklin as the team's closer.

Boggs, who's owned in only seven percent of Yahoo! leagues, has allowed only two earned runs while striking out 12 batters in nine innings this season.

Will manager Tony La Russa make the choice that seems to be the only choice to make? Or will he remain loyal to Franklin, to a fault?

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Matt Capps in, Joe Nathan out, as Twins closer, for now

The Minnesota Twins and Tampa Bay Rays are currently in the sixth inning and the Twins have a two-run lead, 4-2.

If there's a save opportunity in the ninth inning, it will be Matt Capps -- not Joe Nathan -- on the mound to close out the game for the Twins, per Kelsie Smith of the Pioneer Press.

With last night's blown save, Nathan has done so in back-t0-back save opportunities and his ERA has increased to 8.44. In those two games, he has allowed four earned runs, three hits and three walks with no strikeouts in 1 1/3 innings.

Nathan said last night, "Coming back from Tommy John isn't easy. It's a tough process and to do it now while I'm closing games out, I think that's a tough gig when you're healthy."

Capps hasn't been much better recently.

In his past two appearances (1 1/3 innings), Capps has allowed three earned runs. And on April 14th, both Capps and Nathan blew save opportunities.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Alex Rodriguez left game in 6th inning, status for Sunday unclear

In today's win over the Rangers, Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez left the game in the sixth inning due to lower back and oblique stiffness.

And it's unclear whether he'll be able to play Sunday or not.

We’ll see how I wake up,” Rodriguez said, per Zach Berman of the Newark Star-Ledger. “I don’t have a crystal ball, but hopefully I wake up much better and the weather helps.”

“I’ll listen to him, I’ll listen to our doctors and our trainers about him and if he’s stiff tomorrow, he probably won’t play,” manager Joe Girardi said. “But if he comes in tomorrow and says he’s ready to go, I’ll talk to the trainers and the doctors and see what they think.”

With the Yankees being off on Monday, it may make sense to rest him Sunday and play it safe.

Off to a great start, Rodriguez has hit safely in all 12 games and is currently hitting .385 with four home runs and nine runs batted in.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Yankees place Phil Hughes on DL, Bartolo Colon to take spot in rotation

The New York Yankees have placed pitcher Phil Hughes on the 15-day disabled list with a "dead" arm, per Marc Craig of the Newark Star-Ledger.

Through three starts, Hughes is averaging only 89.3 miles per hour on his fastball (via He averaged 93.8 and 92.6 mph in 2009 and 2010, respectively.

"It's difficult to go through," Hughes said (via Craig). "I didn't really anticipate this happening."

In his three starts, Hughes has pitched a total of 10.1 innings and the deepest he's gone was 4 1/3 innings. He's allowed five-plus earned runs in all of his starts and has only struck out three batters this season.

The Yankees have called up pitcher Lance Pendleton from Triple-A and Bartolo Colon will move into the rotation.

Adrian Gonzalez, Red Sox finalize seven-year contract extension

It's official.

The Red Sox and first baseman Adrian Gonzalez have completed a seven-year contract extension worth $154 million, per Ian Browne of

The extension, which is the second-largest in team history, keeps Gonzalez, who was due to enter free agency after the 2011 season, in Boston through the 2018 season.

As Browne points out, there were two main reasons for waiting to announce the deal. First, it allowed the Red Sox to make sure there were no lingering effects from his off-season shoulder surgery. Second, the Red Sox saved $6.2 million in luxury tax by announcing the deal after the season started.

Gonzalez is off to a slow start -- .268 with one homer and seven runs batted in over 11 games.

With playing half of his games a park much more hitter-friendly than his previous home (Petco Park), however, Gonzalez should be in store for huge numbers year in and year out.

Here are his career splits:
  • Home: .263, 199 runs, 61 homers (140 extra-base hits), 216 RBIs in 431 games
  • Away: .303, 294 runs, 108 homers (226 extra-base hits), 316 RBIs in 438 games
Over the five-year period (2006-2010) he spent in San Diego, Gonzalez ranks sixth in baseball in home runs (161), eighth in runs batted in (501) and fifth in total bases (1,529).

Twins place Joe Mauer on 15-day disabled list

The Minnesota Twins have placed catcher Joe Mauer on the 15-day disabled list (DL) due to "bilateral leg weakness," per La Velle Neal of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

Obviously, it's bad news that Mauer has landed on the DL, but the moderately good news is that his knee, on which he had surgery in December, appears to be fine.

"He is definitely very, very sore over the last few days -- his shoulder, his elbow -- and we think it's his legs just not strong enough underneath him and he says he feels terrible," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "His knee is actually feeling OK but he's compensating for the weakness in his upper leg ... that's causing a lot of other problems."

Mauer, who came down with a bout of the flu last night, is scheduled to go to Baltimore today to visit with the same specialist that treated his sacroiliac joint in 2009.

To take Mauer's roster spot, the Twins have recalled catcher Steve Holm from Triple-A Rochester.

From a fantasy perspective, a couple of waiver-wire possibilities include Toronto's J.P. Arencibia (owned in 49.5 percent of ESPN leagues), Philadelphia's Carlos Ruiz (27.9 percent), San Diego's Nick Hundley (22.0 percent) and Detroit's Alex Avila (7.4 percent).

Monday, April 11, 2011

Ryan Zimmerman to go on the 15-day disabled list

The Washington Nationals will place third baseman Ryan Zimmerman on the 15-day disabled list (DL), per Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post.

Zimmerman, who strained his oblique on Saturday, sat out of Sunday's game and would be eligible to return as early as April 24th.

However, Kilgore notes that the Nationals "hope" that Zimmerman will be able to return in three weeks.

With Zimmerman out, Alex Cora, who started Saturday, and Jerry Hairston will split time at third base. Meanwhile, Jayson Werth is expected to move into Zimmerman's third spot within the batting order.

In the three seasons from 2008 to 2010, Zimmerman missed a combined total of 81 games.

With two of the top three fantasy third basemen (Zimmerman and Tampa Bay's Evan Longoria) on the DL, one player to consider adding is Detroit's Jhonny Peralta, who's eligible at third base and shortstop.

Through nine games, Peralta is hitting .379, but he's a career .264 hitter that hit above .276 only once.

That said, Peralta, who is owned in only 30 percent of Yahoo! leagues and 46 percent of ESPN leagues, has driven in 80-plus runs in each of the past three seasons.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Clay Buchholz, Red Sox agree to four-year extension

The Boston Red Sox and starting pitcher Clay Buchholz have agreed on a four-year extension worth roughly $30 million.

Buchholz will earn $550,000 this year, the extension covers 2012 through 2015 and the Red Sox have club options for two additional years (2016 and 2017).

That was just something that was important to the club,” Sox general manager Theo Epstein said, per Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald. “Obviously, we think very highly of Clay or we wouldn’t be doing this deal. With Clay being just 26 years old, the contract guarantees the salaries through the age of 30, and having two club option years helps us. We expect Clay to be pitching very well at that point and can still be here in his age 31, age 32 seasons. Just gives the club a little more flexibility in exchange for the security that we’re providing through the deal. It seems to make sense.”

Before the deal, Buchholz would have been eligible for free agency after the 2014 season.

Despite his rough start (0-2, 7.20 ERA) this year, Buchholz finished with a 17-7 record and the American League's second-best ERA (2.33) in 2010.

Jered Weaver strikes out 15, now 3-0 on season

Last year, Angels ace Jered Weaver finished with an ERA of 3.01 and led the American League in strikeouts (233) while making his first-ever All-Star appearance.

Through three starts in the young season, however, Weaver has been even more dominant than he was last year.

In today's win over the Blue Jays, Weaver allowed just one run while striking out 15 batters in 7 2/3 innings.

Over his three starts, Weaver has three wins, lowered his ERA to 0.87 and has struck out 27 batters in 20 2/3 innings pitched (11.76 K/9).

Ryan Zimmerman to miss a few games with abdominal strain

Washington Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, who has an abdominal strain, is not in today's lineup and will likely miss a few additional days, per's William Ladson.

With three consecutive games with two hits per game, Zimmerman has raised his average on the season to a team-leading .357.

Alex Cora is starting today's game at third base and hitting eighth in the lineup, per Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post.

The Nationals play the Mets today, have tomorrow off and then begin a three-game series against the Marlins on Tuesday.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Hanley Ramirez is day-to-day

Considering Marlins shortstop Hanley Ramirez needed assistance to get off the field in yesterday's game, it certainly could have been worse.

Bill Hall's attempt to break up a double play resulted in a left leg bruise for Ramirez, who is considered day-to-day, per Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald.

Through seven games, Ramirez is hitting only .207 with no home runs and one stolen base.

There's no official word yet on his status for tonight's game against the Astros.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Adam Dunn unlikely to play (or pinch hit) this weekend

Disappointed that he didn't play Thursday, White Sox designated hitter Adam Dunn hoped to play against the Rays on Friday.

Instead it's highly likely that Dunn, who had an emergency appendectomy on Wednesday, won't play on Saturday or Sunday, either, and maybe beyond.

And if manager Ozzie Guillen needs a pinch-hitter, it's probably not going to be Dunn.

"Hopefully we don't have to. I'd rather lose a game than lose a guy for another month," Guillen said, per Dave Van Dyke of the Chicago Tribune. "If I have to pinch-hit Adam Dunn with the game on the line, I'd rather lose the game than have him hurt himself and lose him for we don't know how long."

Mark Teahan, who's batting eighth, started at designated hitter for the White Sox.

Manny Ramirez retires due to drug 'issue'

After failing a second drug test, Rays designated hitter Manny Ramirez has decided to retire rather than appeal or face a 100-game suspension as a repeat offender.

Ramirez would have been the first player suspended 100 games.

Instead of notifying the Rays directly, Ramirez, who wasn't with the team today, notified the league, who issued the following statement (via's Alden Gonzalez):

"Major League Baseball recently notified Manny Ramirez of an issue under Major League Baseball's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment program. Rather than continue with the process under the program, Ramirez has informed MLB that he is retiring as an active player. If Ramirez seeks reinstatement in the future, the process under the drug program will be completed. MLB will not have any further comment on this matter."

To take the roster spot vacated by Ramirez, the Rays have called up first baseman Casey Kotchman.

On the season, Ramirez was off to a rough start (like most of the Rays, who scored a league-worse eight runs in their first six games): one hit in 17 at-bats.

But as ESPN's Stats & Info blog points out via Twitter, Ramirez is one of only five players in Major League history to have hit .300-plus and 550-plus home runs for his career. The other four are Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, Willie Mays and Alex Rodriguez.

Is Manny a Hall of Famer? Let the debate start now ...

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Adam Dunn hopes to play Friday

Despite having an emergency appendectomy Wednesday morning and expectations that he'd miss five games, Adam Dunn was hopeful that he'd be able to play in the home opener for the White Sox.

"I'm really disappointed that I'm not playing in this game today," Dunn said, per Scott Merkin of "I know it probably doesn't mean a lot, just another game to a lot of people, but home openers are really special -- especially when it's your first one. I definitely wanted to be out there and it's not going to work."

Dunn also said, "... I feel like when I swing, my belly button is going to go shooting at the pitcher. That's a bad visual. Seriously. That's what it feels like."

With a 13-strikeout performance from Edwin Jackson today, the White Sox beat the Rays, who are now 0-6 on the season. Although they didn't need Dunn tonight, he is hopeful that he'll be able to play on Friday.

Since 2004, Dunn has hit 38-plus home runs every year and has driven in 100-plus runs every year except 2006 (92 runs batted in).

Through four games this season, Dunn has one home run and five runs batted in.

Edwin Jackson: 2-0 and 20 K's in two starts this year

With today's victory over the Rays, White Sox starter Edwin Jackson allowed only one run while striking out 13 batters as he improved to 2-0 on the season.

The Rays have lost all six of their games and scored a league-low eight runs to start the season.

Jackson, who is owned in 58 percent of Yahoo! leagues, has struck out 20 batters in only 14 innings and has an ERA of 1.93 in his two starts.

In his 13 starts since being traded from Arizona to Chicago, Jackson has struck out 97 batters in 89 innings.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Ubaldo Jimenez to go on DL

Rockies ace Ubaldo Jimenez got off to an incredible start in 2010. The same cannot be said about his start to the 2011 season.

The Rockies will place Jimenez on the 15-day disabled list (DL) due to a thumb injury, retroactive to April 2nd, which means he'll be eligible to come off the DL on April 17th.

"It's never good to go on the DL," Jimenez said, per Troy Renck of the Denver Post. "But I need to be able to help the team. It's getting better, but I still feel pain when I grip the ball."

Right-handed pitcher Greg Reynolds, who has been recalled from Triple-A, will take his roster spot.

In his one start this season, Jimenez allowed five earned runs and only struck out one batter in six innings.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Jose Bautista out until Friday due to family matter

Tonight the Toronto Blue Jays were without right fielder Jose Bautista, who was excused due to a family matter.

"He has been excused from the club to attend to a family matter," [manager John] Farrell said, per Gregor Chisolm of "We do expect him back to rejoin the club when we open up in L.A. If for some unforeseen reason that were to change, hopefully he gets back to us sooner, but he is dealing with a family matter at this point."

With Bautista out tonight, Jayson Nix started at third base with Edwin Encarnacion moving to designated hitter. Juan Rivera was in right field.

Encarnacion, who has already made three errors this season, is expected to be "back at third base," according to Farrell.

Jordan Walden takes over as Angels' closer

Many people refuse to use high draft picks on closers in their fantasy baseball drafts.

Their primary belief is that many of the closers on opening day won't be the same guys closing for their teams by the end of the season, regardless of whether the loss of the role is due to injury, trade or poor performance. In other words , saves can be easily acquired by an astute owner that keeps a close eye on the league's waiver wire.

Less than one week into the 2011 season, we have Exhibit A in support of their argument: Fernando Rodney, now the Angels' former closer.

Rodney has been replaced by Jordan Walden as the team's closer and the move may or may not be temporary, according to manager Mike Scioscia.

"If it lasts all season and Jordan takes off and runs with it, fine," Scioscia said, per's Lyle Spencer. "If it's Fernando, that's fine, too. We don't have to answer that today."

Appearing in three games so far this year, Walden, who is owned in roughly 30 percent (and rising) of Yahoo! leagues, has allowed no runs and struck out five in 2 1/3 innings.

Nelson Cruz hits home run in fourth straight game

Heading into tonight's game against the Mariners, Ranger teammates Ian Kinsler and Nelson Cruz each had a three-game homer streak to start the season.

Although Kinsler did not hit a home run tonight, Cruz did.

That means that Cruz joins Willie Mays and Mark McGwire as the only players in baseball history to begin a season with a home run in each of the first four games.

Last year, Cruz started hot as well as he hit a home run in four of his first five games to start the season.

Of course, the end of the season is more important than the start of the season for Cruz, who has missed a combined 88 games in the past two seasons.

Over the past two seasons, however, Cruz still managed to belt 55 home runs and steal 37 bases, which would be a 162-game pace of 37-25 as I noted in my fantasy outfielder rankings.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Matt Holliday hopes to stay off the DL

Cardinals left fielder Matt Holliday, who had an emergency appendectomy this past Friday, hopes to stay off the disabled list (DL), but a decision will be made by Tuesday, per Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

"I told them I would like to not go on the DL," Holliday said Monday afternoon. "I can play in 15 days, if they can do without me for a few games."

Despite playing with stomach discomfort, Holliday had three hits including a home run when the Cardinals opened their season on Thursday.

But he decided to get his stomach checked for "piece of mind" on Friday, an off day and had the appendectomy the same day.

"I've been having some pain in my stomach for awhile," Holliday said. "I think this is a fairly in-line procedure. It was a little more than a regular stomach ache. Sometimes you never know. ... We had an off day and for peace of mind I wanted to get the tests."

The team begins a ten-game (in ten days) road trip on Friday against the Giants, Diamondbacks and Dodgers.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Evan Longoria lands on 15-day DL

Earlier today, we noted that Rays third baseman Evan Longoria did not expect to miss more than a week due to his strained oblique.

He was wrong.

The Rays have placed Longoria on the 15-day disabled list and infielder Felipe Lopez will join the Rays from Triple-A Durham, per Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times.

"It's just unfortunate," [manager Joe] Maddon said. "We're having a hard time scoring runs out of the chute. He's probably our best run producer and now we don't have him. We're just going to have to make some adjustments and keep playing.''

In today's game against the Orioles, Ben Zobrist is hitting in Longoria's No. 3 spot and Sean Rodriguez is playing third base, as expected.

Carl Crawford dropped from 3rd to 7th in lineup today

Two games (and losses) into the season, the Boston Red Sox are making a notable adjustment to their lineup.

Left fielder Carl Crawford, who's 0-for-7 through two games, is moving from third to seventh in today's lineup for their game against the Rangers.

"Looking at him, he's obviously trying too hard," [Red Sox manager Terry] Francona said, per "As soon as he gets on base and creates havoc, he'll loosen up and the real Carl comes out."

Meanwhile, first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, who's 5-for-9 so far, and third baseman Kevin Youkilis will move up to the third and fourth spots in the batting order, respectively.

Of course, this is a temporary move. But too soon?

Evan Longoria to miss a week (or more?)

If you were fortunate enough to land the consensus top third baseman in fantasy baseball, that was the good news.

The bad news is he's expected to miss a week and there's a chance he'll land on the disabled list (DL).

Rays third baseman Evan Longoria left Saturday night's game with a sore left oblique and he will be evaluated further on Sunday.

That said, Longoria doesn't expect to miss more than a week.

"It doesn't feel like something that's going to keep me off the field for a long time," Longoria said, per Tony Fabrizio of The Tampa Tribune. "I've never had an oblique (injury), so I don't know what a real serious one is supposed to (feel like)."

Manager Joe Maddon has not ruled out Longoria landing on the disabled list by saying "we have to get him evaluated and then make a determination."

With Longoria out, Sean Rodriguez will start at third base.