MLB inside pitch

2013-03-04T00:00:00Z MLB inside pitchThe Associated Press The Associated Press
March 04, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Cactus League

• Matt Garza will start the season on the disabled list because of an injured muscle in his side that is preventing the right-hander from throwing, and Jeff Samardzija will be the opening-day starter for the Chicago Cubs. Garza's batting-practice session was cut short on Feb. 17 because of the injured latissimus dorsi muscle. He rested 10 days and was in the second day of a throwing program on flat ground when he felt more tightness Saturday. He won't throw for the next week.

• Joe Blanton allowed a first-inning solo homer to Brian Bogusevic in his first game in a Los Angeles Angels' uniform, a 4-2 loss to a Chicago Cubs' split squad Sunday. Blanton, who agreed to a $15 million, two-year deal with the Angels during the offseason, allowed just the one hit in two innings, struck out two and walked none. Blanton was 10-13 with a 4.71 ERA for Philadelphia and the Los Angeles Dodgers last year.

• Los Angeles Angels slugger Mike Trout figures if he keeps producing like he did during his historic rookie season, he'll be in line for a handsome raise soon enough. The Angels renewed the contract of the AL Rookie of the Year for $510,000, just $20,000 above the major league minimum, prompting an angry response from his agent. Trout took the high road before a workout at the Angels' spring training complex Sunday, repeatedly insisting that "I'm just happy to be in the lineup." "I mean, my time will come," Trout said before a team meeting.

• Rangers pitching prospect Martin Perez was hit on the left forearm by a line drive Sunday, and Texas gave up homers to Kendrys Morales and Jesus Montero in a 7-6 loss to the Mariners. The 21-year-old left-hander Perez was struck by a liner off Brad Miller's bat. Perez dropped to the ground as the ball deflected off his arm, just above his wrist for an infield single. Perez was taken to a hospital for X-rays.

Grapefruit League

• Yankees outfielder Ichiro Suzuki said he had no soreness Sunday, one day after being involved in a traffic accident. Suzuki was on his way home after Saturday's spring training game against Detroit when the accident occurred a few miles from Steinbrenner Field in Tampa. Suzuki said his SUV was totaled in the accident.

• St. Louis manager Mike Matheny has a ruptured disk in his back. Matheny, a major league catcher from 1994-06, is scheduled to have an epidural injection today to reduce inflammation and get a particle off a nerve. If the injection doesn't help alleviate pain, he said surgery would "have to be something we would consider." Starting his second season as the Cardinals' manager, Matheny has had back issues for several years.

• Rafael Furcal had hoped to make his spring training debut Sunday for St. Louis. Instead, the 35-year-old shortstop was told to stop baseball activities. Trying to come back from a torn ligament in his right elbow, the three-time All-Star has been told he must have additional medical tests. With Furcal out indefinitely, Pete Kozma and Ronny Cedeno are the likely candidates to take over at shortstop.

• Opening day at Yankee Stadium figures to be a lot different than the first meeting of the season between New York and the Boston Red Sox. With Brett Gardner the only regular in the Yankees' starting lineup, New York beat Boston 5-2 Sunday in the first of their two spring training matchups. Red Sox starter Ryan Dempster threw 25 of 28 pitches for strikes, allowing his only hit in three scoreless innings when Gardner reached on a single to shortstop starting the game.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.



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