Max Scherzer of the Detroit Tigers reacts during the game against New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on April 29, 2012. Yankees defeated the Tigers 6-2. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
The latest from around MLB...
- The Detroit Tigers have some issues. Injured starter Doug Fister is getting ready to go on a rehab assignment, but that's where the good news ends. The team is just 11-11 after a 9-3 start, the ancillary bats aren't producing, young pitchers Max Scherzer and Rick Porcello have been awful, the bullpen is struggling, and Delmon Young was just put on the restricted list after he was arrested for allegedly attacking someone outside a team hotel in New York. This was a team that looked like a juggernaut at the close of Spring Training, and now it's one that has been outscored on the year by 10 runs. That all said, we're talking about just 22 games - there are 140 to go. Plenty of time - and larger sample sizes - for these guys to get things straightened out.
- It's a bit dated by today, but it happened this weekend: the Nationals called up 19-year-old uberprospect Bryce Harper, and the Angels called up 20-year-old uberprospect Mike Trout. Take your pick from among them, and I'm not sure you could go wrong. Trout got a cup of coffee last year, while Harper is making is big league debut. The Angels released Bobby Abreu to make room for Trout, and Abreu will hope to catch on with another team, preferably an AL one who needs a part-time DH.
- Beyond the Boxscore takes a look at some of the surprising team starts on the year, and analyzes - graphically! - why teams like the Orioles, White Sox, and Nationals have had good starts. In short: quality pitching, and a little luck.
- A couple guys are working on homer streaks - Edwin Encarnacion is at three straight games with a homer, and Jay Bruce is at four.
- Ryan Howard has fiiiiinally been cleared to resume baseball activities after an infection following an achilles repair job extended his stay on the shelf. He'll head to Florida where he'll go through a Spring Training-like experience. The Phillies are hoping Chase Utley is close behind Howard, though neither will be back any time soon.
- Vlad Guerrero isn't ready to hang 'em up - he'll soon work out for the Diamondbacks, which is a bit of an odd fit, given that he's played just 20 games in the field since 2009.