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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Pickoff Moves

Cleaning up a few bits of missed detritus —

Hiroki Kuroda Picked As Opening Day Starter

A surprise in a sense, but did they realistically have anyone better?

Rangers Likely To Cut Andruw Jones

It's looking increasingly likely that the Rangers will cut Andruw Jones:
Jones can opt out of his minor league deal Friday if he isn't on the 40-man roster. Even though there is flexibility with the opt-out date, it looks more and more likely that the Rangers won't add Jones. He hasn't played in the last three Cactus League games.

"We'll see what happens Friday. We'll probably make our decision," Jones said. "They probably will make their decision soon. The main thing is to go out there and get at-bats and get the work in that you need."

The quest for at-bats took him to the back fields at the Surprise Recreation Campus, where he went 2-for-5 in six plate appearances in a Triple-A game.

Jones could stay with the Rangers, either in the big leagues or at Triple-A Oklahoma City, or find a spot in another organization. Hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo is what makes the Rangers attractive.

"These guys have the system," Jones said. "The hitting coach they've got, they work on the things they want to. We'll see what happens."

Jones is hitting .258/.324/.419 in 31 at-bats with the Rangers this spring, including a home run.

Joe Beimel Signs With Nats For 1 Year/$2M

Jon called Joe Beimel's 1 year/$2M deal with the Nationals "settling" (not quite a literal quote, really), but I was still surprised to see him go so very late and for so little.

Dodgers Bullpen Coach Ken Howell To Have Toe Amputated

Due to the effects of Type II diabetes; it's the second toe he's needed to have amputated. Seriously, if you have any family history of this at all, get your blood sugar tested.

Bill Valentine Retires

Long-time Travs (former) general manager Bill Valentine has retired:
"I've been in baseball for almost 60 years," said Valentine. "Over the past couple of years, I think the daily grind has gotten to me a bit. Most nights I have been the last person to leave the ballpark, and I'm usually here seven days a week. I've just gotten tired."
Valentine has been associated with the Travs for 40 years.

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I thought that Billingsley was the acknowledged "ace" for the Dodgers. Per the article (and LATimes as well), Wolf, Billingsley, Kershaw and "mystery" will follow Kuroda.

Now that I've stopped laughing, Randy Wolf as a #2? Manny might be enough to help the Dodgers win the weak NL West (though Arizona may have something to say about that), but they're going to need a hell of a lot more than that just to get through the season. Do they really expect 200+ IP from both Wolf and Kershaw?

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