Saying hello to old news
I would have started writing this blog sooner if I hadn’t waited 20 minutes for Mike Hampton, only to have the Astros announce that their clubhouse was closed.
Hey when you spent three years waiting for a guy to pitch, I guess you can wait 20 minutes for him to greet you with, “What do you want from me? I’m old news.”
Speaking of old news, today the Braves released right-handed pitcher Anthony Lerew, who last week had accepted an assignment to Triple-A Gwinnett. They also re-assigned Emiliano Fruto, Juan Perez and Rafael Cruz to Minor League camp.
Today’s news actually centers around Rafael Soriano, who is scheduled to make his Grapefruit League season debut against the Astros. The right-handed reliever reported to camp with an upper respiratory infection and fell behind schedule. But all indications are that his right elbow is sound and in about an hour we’ll get a chance to make our own evaluations.
Soriano missed most of last year with elbow soreness that was relieved in August during a surgical procedure that transposed the ulnar nerve of his elbow. I’ve never transposed and I’m certainly not sure if I even have an ulnar nerve in my elbows.
So I’ll take Soriano’s word that he was dealing with tremendous pain while spending most of the 2008 season on the disabled list. As he prepares to make $6.1 million in the final year of his contract this year, I’ll also guarantee that we’ll be seeing a lot more of the stone-faced reliever this year.
Derek Lowe will make his third appearance of the GL season today. Soriano, Blaine Boyer, Boone Logan and Eric O’Flaherty are scheduled to work in relief.
Anderson update: While the Braves aren’t too concerned about Chipper Jones’ oblique, they are currently a little bit worried about Garret Anderson’s strained right calf. Bobby Cox said this morning that Anderson might miss anywhere from two weeks to a month. But at the same time, he indicated that remains hopeful that the veteran outfielder will be in the Opening Day lineup.
Josh Anderson CF
Matt Diaz LF
Kelly Johnson 2B
Casey Kotchman 1B
Jeff Francoeur RF
Omar Infante SS
Martin Prado 2B
David Ross C
Derek Lowe P