Baseball's back! As we get closer to the regular season, stop by The Stew periodically for a helping of spring storylines.
HEY, DIDN'T IAN KINSLER USED TO PLAY SECOND BASE THERE? Jurickson Profar of the Texas Rangers will miss up to three months because of a torn shoulder muscle, the teres major, which he might have injured trying to turn a double play in Cactus League play Saturday. Profar won't need surgery, just rest, but he's not expected to be ready until the second half of the season. The leading candidate to replace him at second base for the Texas Rangers is Josh Wilson, who was on the verge of making the roster as a utility player. Minor league prospect Roughned Odor also is being considered, but he's just 20 years old and probably not ready to hit major league pitching. A post on MLB.com lists 8-10 other candidates, some within the organization and some without, such as Kevin Frandsen, Ramon Santiago and Pete Kozma.
TIGERS GET SHORTSTOP: The Detroit Tigers also have a void in the middle of the infield and they've made a trade, possibly, to cover it. Reporter Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun says Detroit got Alex Gonzalez, who was a non-roster invitee to Baltimore Orioles camp, for utility man Steve Lombardozzi, who came over in the Doug Fister deal during the offseason. Gonzalez is 37 years old and hasn't played shortstop every day in the majors since 2011. He did help the Marlins to a World Series title in 2003, though.
MATT MOORE OK AFTER TAKING ONE ON THE CHIN — LITERALLY:
SPEAKING OF LINE DRIVES OFF THE FACE: Left-hander Aroldis Chapman came to Cincinnati Reds camp Sunday. He was bruised and stapled, but otherwise grateful his injury wasn't worse. Chapman took a line drive off his face, just above his left eye, last week. He told reporters:
"I wasn't thinking about nothing there. It was so quick," Chapman said. "It was something you don't have a chance to think about. At the time it was happening, I was conscious the whole time. I never lost consciousness. I knew what was going on. I was worried about what would happen. My face started to get bigger and I was thinking 'What happened? What's going to be the consequence of this?' I was able to recognize and know what was going on with my surroundings."
RED SOX EXTEND PAPI:
It seems like every other spring, slugger David Ortiz grouses about not liking the one-year deal he has with the Boston Red Sox. Well, both sides made it so there will be no grousing for a while by agreeing to a contract extension through 2015 that includes two vesting club options. So if he keeps playing on a regular basis, Papi will be in Boston until he's at least 41 years old, come 2017. He's guaranteed $16 million in 2015.
Ortiz is 2 for 35 with 12 strikeouts this spring, but neither he or the Red Sox appear concerned.
"Spring Training doesn't mean [anything] to me," Ortiz said. "Just intensity [is different], you know. Motivation. I don't know. I just go through Spring Training and whatever. I know what I need to do to be ready for the season. Spring Training is nothing that worries me about anything.
TIGERS MAKE STATEMENT ABOUT MAX SCHERZER: In a blatant public-relations move, the Detroit Tigers issues a statement Sunday that they tried their best but weren't able to agree with right-hander Max Scherzer on a contract extension. Yahoo Sports' columnist Jeff Passan explains why Scherzer and agent Scott Boras are doing the right thing by not taking $144 million over six years right now:
It's stupid money. Insane money. Untoward money. It's not the market, though, not when $9 billion course through the game and the players seek their rightful share of it.
Hamels got $144 million over six years in July 2012 with 20,069 pitches thrown. Los Angeles gave Greinke $147 million over six, plus an opt-out, in December 2012 as he approached his 24,000th pitch. And Tanaka, whose pitch count is horrifying to even consider, scored seven years, $155 million and an opt-out. The ceiling is now Kershaw. Boras doesn't traffic in floors.
More at Yahoo Sports:
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