The latest from around MLB...
- Jacoby Ellsbury will probably not need surgery to repair his damaged shoulder, according to medical expert, Dr. Lewis Yocum (whose name you might remember from countless articles about Mark Prior's shoulder). "He had some hand manipulation for range of motion," Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said. "They're trying to take it slowly to get it better. I don't know that there is anything on the horizon other than the normal treatment and see how he does day by day." The time table on an Ellsbury return remains a vague four to eight weeks, but dreams of unloading - say, for example - Marlon Byrd on a desperate Boston club is probably not in the cards. (Then again, Ken Rosenthal says the Red Sox are scouting Scott Podsednik, who's currently at AAA for the Phillies.) Fellow injured outfielder Carl Crawford just started playing in extended Spring Training games, and will probably be back soon.
- Is it crazy to ask whether Matt Kemp can be the first player in MLB history with 50 homers and 50 steals in a season? I say kinda, but others aren't so sure. Rob Neyer comes down on the "yeah, it's probably a little crazy" side of the fence. The 50 homers is *possible* (Kemp set a career high with 39 last year, and leads the league with 6 already this year), and the 50 steals part is *possible* (he stole 40 last year). So far, he's stolen just one base, and been caught stealing twice. But doing both in the same season? That's asking a marked improvement in both categories after a year in which he was already supremely awesome in both. Fun discussion, and Kemp is incredible, but it's just not going to happen.
- FanGraphs takes a look at some early player trends in the National League, including the dominance of Chase Headley, Jason Heyward, and Chris Young. Embedded within the Headley discussion is the Padres' "problem" of having a top third base prospect nearing the bigs (Jedd Gyorko), and a farm system so stocked that a trade of Headley for prospects might not help them that much. To have such "problems," eh?
- If you were watching last nights Cubs/Marlins game, you couldn't help but notice a striking number of empty seats - so many, in fact, that, at times, it was reminiscent of games played in the Marlins' old ballpark. Marlins Team President David Samson, acutely aware of how the new ballpark and the big-money free agents were supposed to bring out the crowds, says he's not worried. And, he's right - it's April, and it's the middle of the week. Kids are still in school, and folks generally go out less in April than they do in June. But part of his justification for the empty seats is kind of humorous: "What everyone has to start getting used to in this ballpark is there will never be a moment when every seat is filled because there are thousands of people walking around.''
- When asked if the Dodgers' new ownership group was going to be a bit tapped for cash after spending $2 billion on the team, incoming president Stan Kasten was firm: "Do you think these people spent their last $2 billion? Give me a friggin' break.'' Well, all right then. Agents, start your engines.
- The 2012 Draft order has been officially released, although we've known it for some time now.
- Jamie Moyer: oldest man to win a game in the Majors.