Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston expressed concern about closer B.J. Ryan after he pitched a shaky eighth inning in a 3-1 loss to the Yankees yesterday in Dunedin, Fla.
Ryan gave up one run and two hits, including Angel Berroa's RBI double to left-center. The lefthander, who skipped the World Baseball Classic to work on his mechanics, has a 9.00 ERA this spring.
Gaston said he might consider making Scott Downs the closer and putting Ryan "somewhere else for a while and go from there."
The Angels are encouraged by the latest MRI on John Lackey's
right elbow and expect him to be able to pitch by the end of April or early May, general manager Tony Reagins
told ESPN The Magazine . . . Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee
that Cole Hamels
is officially out of the running for an Opening Day start Sunday night, and instead will pitch in an exhibition Saturday in Philadelphia. Hamels threw 65 pitches in a minor league game yesterday and allowed 10 hits and three runs in four innings. He walked one and struck out five . . . The Phillies released Marcus Giles
, who had hoped to resurrect his career with them after being out of the game last season but hit just .167 in the spring.
Rangers manager Ron Washington
said the competition between outfielders Andruw Jones
and Frank Catalanotto
for Texas's lone position opening may not be settled by the time the team breaks camp Thursday. Jones is hitting .288 with two homers and five RBIs this spring. Catalanotto is hitting .333 with one homer and six RBIs. Jones homered yesterday in the Rangers' 7-5 10-inning win over the Giants in Scottsdale, Ariz., in which Kris Benson
pitched six strong innings to bolster his case for the final spot in the rotation. Benson has not pitched in the majors since 2006 after rotator cuff surgery . . . Brewers closer Trevor Hoffman
was put on the 15-day disabled list, ruling the all-time saves leader out for the start of the season. The move is retroactive to March 27; the 41-year-old Hoffman strained his right oblique after pitching an inning March 13.
Guitar-strumming Reds pitcher Bronson Arroyo
said he's having a flare-up of the carpal tunnel syndrome in his right hand that has bothered him at times the last few years . . . The Reds got down to 33 players, sending outfielders Jacque Jones
and Norris Hopper
to the minors . . . Reds minor league pitching coach Tom Browning
was arrested Friday and charged with nonpayment of child support.
Braves deal CF
The Braves traded Josh Anderson
to the Tigers, increasing the chances that rookie Jordan Schafer
will open the season as Atlanta's center fielder. The Braves received minor league pitcher Rudy Darrow
. . . The Rays released former All-Star Morgan Ensberg
. The infielder agreed to a minor league deal with the team in February. He hit .227 with four RBIs this spring . . . The Indians placed David Dellucci
on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left calf. It is the 35-year-old outfielder's sixth trip to the DL since reaching the majors in 1997 with the Orioles . . . Outfielder Matt Murton
was one of three players the Rockies optioned to Triple A Colorado Springs.
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