Former All-Stars fight for roster spots
Podsednik, Giles hope to be backups for Rockies
Outfielder Scott Podsednik and infielder Marcus Giles, both former All-Stars, are among this year's veterans who find themselves competing for Major League roster spots.
"Yeah, it hurts your ego, but this game owes you nothing, and you know that going in," reliever Matt Herges, a non-roster invitee to Spring Training last year, told The Denver Post. "Sure, you might have had a good year or a good month somewhere, but this game is performance-based and it is a business. It owes us nothing."
Podsednik is competing with Cory Sullivan for the backup spot in center field, and Giles is among several players competing for the starting job at second base.
"Yes, I'm battling for a spot, but my focus has to be on the baseball field," Podsednik said Wednesday. "I think a player can spend too much time and energy worrying about how many at-bats he's going to get, or when he's going to play, or where he's going to play. I can't worry about all of that. I just have to go play and let the decisions take care of themselves."
Giles also signed a Minor League contract with the Rockies and is a non-roster invitee to camp. He said the competition at second base should only help him.
"If I have to try out to make the team, that's great -- it's motivation," he said. "Just because I was a non-roster invitee, I don't think the Rockies doubt me. I just have to prove myself, and that's fine."
Eyre plans to look ahead, not back: Scott Eyre isn't going to dwell on the past this season.
"Mentally, I'm way ahead," Eyre told The Chicago Tribune. "Last year I kind of took it easy and it carried over into April, May and June. This year I want to be ready. I went home [after Tuesday's game] and I was upset and I thought, 'What's the point of being upset anymore?' I have played too long to be upset. Yes, I want to be better, but I can't change [what happened]."
Shoppach ready when needed: Kelly Shoppach knows that, with Victor Martinez ahead of him, playing time will be scarce. His job is to make sure he's ready when the time comes.
"You have to know a lot of things to be a catcher. You have to know everyone's responsibilities besides your own," Shoppach told The Cleveland Plain Dealer. "I'm the only guy looking at everybody on the field, and everybody is looking at me. I always felt if everybody is looking at me, I better know what to do."
Ex-Padres prospect Davis lands in O's camp: In 1995 the Padres selected can't-miss prospect Ben Davis second overall in the draft, and by 2001 Davis had worked his way up and was the Padres' starting catcher. Now, seven years later, Davis is living in a different world.
After missing a couple of years following elbow ligament replacement surgery and spending time in an independent league, Davis is in the Orioles' camp hoping to land a job as the backup to Ramon Hernandez.
"It's been a long haul for me the last couple of years and I've busted my tail to get back to where I think I should be," Davis told The Washington Post. "I'm just trying to get back there. If I did make it, I'd be the happiest man on the team, I guarantee you."
Guardado sidelined with knee soreness: Eddie Guardado faced only four batters Wednesday before limping off the mound due to soreness in the ligaments on the outside of his left knee.
The Texas reliever joins a list of pitchers nursing injuries. While the Rangers say Guardado's injury is minor, he likely will not pitch this weekend in an effort to reduce the inflammation.
"As I was walking up the tunnel, I'm thinking, 'We are dropping like flies,'" Guardado told The Dallas Morning News. "I've never seen anything like it. I'm wondering, 'What's going on here?'"
Paulino expected to miss a month: Felipe Paulino, who had been competing for the fifth starter's spot in Houston's rotation, is expected to miss more than a month with a pinched nerve in his upper arm.
An MRI on Paulino revealed no structural damage in his throwing arm, according to the club. The rookie, who pitched for the Astros last September, will take anti-inflammatory medication and will not throw for a minimum of one month.
"I think maybe we're just being a little more cautious than we would normally do it," Houston manager Cecil Cooper told The Houston Chronicle. "That's OK with me. I don't have a problem with that. This guy is going to have a bright future. You don't want to hurt him."
Janssen out for the season with torn labrum: Casey Janssen will be out for the season due to a torn labrum in his right shoulder.
Janssen was competing for a spot in the starting rotation but also could have pitched out of the bullpen for the Blue Jays. Now he is scheduled to have surgery next week with the possibility of being ready to pitch again next spring.
"It's tough to handle, just from working so hard to get ready to fight for a job," Janssen told The Toronto Star. "It's also tough because our team is going to be really good and I'd wanted to be part of it."
Cardinals like Wellemeyer: Todd Wellemeyer might open the season as the Cardinals' third starter.
"Last year I was actually fighting for a [rotation] spot with the Royals, but I got one chance and they put me in the bullpen pretty quickly," Wellemeyer told The St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "I'm glad these coaches like me."
Condition puts Baldelli on DL: Rocco Baldelli will be sidelined indefinitely due to an illness that is sapping the 26-year-old's strength.
Baldelli said he has "metabolic and/or mitochondrial abnormalities," which are not allowing his body to produce energy in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which keeps his muscles from recovering following exercise.
Baldelli has visited numerous doctors, but they still can't pinpoint the problem and design an appropriate treatment. With his future unclear, Baldelli will start the season on the disabled list.
Nobody is more frustrated by the condition than Baldelli, who finds himself constantly trying to explain something that's difficult to understand.
"Whether it be coming from the media or every day from people on the street or my own family," he told The Tampa Tribune, "only I know how my body feels, and it's difficult sometimes for me to convey that to other people, whether because I literally can't explain it in words or because I don't want to explain it. Dealing with that every day has been probably the most difficult thing for me because I want people to understand what I'm going through for both my sake and their sake."
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.