Baseball's back! As we get closer to the regular season, stop by The Stew Periodically for a helping of spring storylines.
JOSH HAMILTON SAYS HE IS CONFIDENT that playing two weeks of spring training games will be enough for him to be ready for opening day. Hamilton is set to appear Monday after missing all of the Cactus League season until nowbecause of a strained left calf muscle, Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com reports.
The Angels’ outfielder has hit in live batting practice for thee straight days and said he “felt totally different” on Saturday, with his timing and at-bats being a lot better.
Asked Sunday morning about the possibility of starting the season on the disabled list in order to get more at-bats, Hamilton said: “That’s not even on the table right now.” Hamilton previously said that he typically likes to get somewhere between 45 and 55 at-bats to get ready for the regular season, but he can also double up in Minor League games to do so.
It also sounds like Hamilton will be taking a calculated risk by cramming extra preparation into a smaller amount of time.
THE CLEVELAND INDIANS ARE CALLING IT A MILD STRAIN of the left hamstring for outfielder Michael Bourn, who was removed in the second inning Sunday. It's the same hamstring Bourn had surgery on after the 2013 season. After signing a four-year, $48 million contract, Bourn stole 23 bases and posted a .316 on-base percentage. Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer says an update will come later Monday.
CHONE FIGGINS HAS MADE THE OPENING-DAY (AUSTRALIA) ROSTER of the Los Angeles Dodgers. True Blue L.A. reports that the club designated right-hander Javy Guerra for assignment Sunday to make space for Figgins, who hasn't played in the majors since batting .181/.262/.271 for the Mariners in 2012 and taking an $8 million severance. Figgins has gone 6 for 36 this spring with a double, but he's also walked nine times and played six different positions this spring. The Dodgers will have to make five additional cuts by April 1 so it's not a certainty he'll be with the team beyond the Australia series March 22-23, but it's unlikely the Dodgers would cut Guerra unless they were encouraged by his progress.
BOSTON GLOBE REPORTER PETE ABRAHAM GUESSES THAT GRADY SIZEMORE won't make the opening-day roster for the Boston Red Sox, but instead will start at Class AAA to further prepare for the grind of a comeback season. With Jackie Bradley Jr. likely the starter in center field, Sizemore would benefit by frequent, but not constant, playing time. That can be accomplished in the minors, rather than relying on Sizemore to play every day in the majors in cold weather, Abraham posits. Sizemore is is trying to return after missing the past two seasons because of chronic injuries.
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