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 Posted: Tue May 1st, 2012 12:49 pm
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lobo316



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NEW YORK -- Yankees outfielder Nick Swisher is expected to miss a week because of a strained left hamstring.

New York manager Joe Girardi gave the update on Swisher before Monday night's game against Baltimore. Girardi said the team hoped Swisher would be ready to play a week from Tuesday at home against Tampa Bay, and did not need to put him on the disabled list.

Swisher says he felt a "little pinch" in his hamstring when he took his first swing Sunday against Detroit. He was pulled in the third inning for a pinch runner.

Swisher says an MRI exam did not show any extensive damage. He says he had a similar injury in 2007 that sidelined him for nine or 10 days. He is hitting .284 with six home runs and 23 RBIs.

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 Posted: Tue May 1st, 2012 03:49 pm
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The Minnesota Twins not only lost Monday's game to the Los Angeles Angels, but they also lost first baseman Justin Morneau to a wrist injury for at least a few games.

Morneau left Monday's game after just two at-bats with a sore left wrist. Sean Burroughs replaced him in the seventh inning as the Twins' designated hitter.

It's the same wrist that gave Morneau problems during the 2011 season. He had surgery on the wrist in late September to stabilize a tendon in the back of the wrist. Morneau had to be in a cast for six weeks following that surgery. Morneau said Monday that the tendon in his wrist didn't feel loose, but did feel sore and painful.

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire didn't provide many details to reporters about Morneau's wrist after the game, but said that Morneau will fly back to Minneapolis on Tuesday to see Dr. Thomas Varecka, a hand and wrist specialist in the Twin Cities whom Morneau has seen before.

After the game, Morneau was hoping it wasn't a major issue and said he wasn't sure if he'll get an MRI exam when he sees Dr. Varecka. Morneau added that his wrist has been bothering him since the Twins played in Tampa Bay a week and a half ago.

"It's just sort of one of those things I was able to deal with and then it kind of got worse over the weekend," Morneau told reporters. "There's not really much I can do. Hopefully it's just scar tissue breaking up."

Prior to exiting Monday's game, Morneau was 0 for 2. He grounded out to first base to lead off the second inning and struck out swinging against Angels starter C.J. Wilson in the fourth inning. Burroughs entered the on-deck circle for Morneau in the sixth inning but was left on deck after Josh Willingham popped out for the final out. Burroughs, batting for Morneau, led off the seventh inning with a groundout to first.

Morneau said his wrist hurt more Monday when he swung and missed as opposed to making contact. Morneau swung and missed twice during his second at-bat in the fourth inning, including strike three on a 93 mph fastball.

"It didn't feel very good, that's for sure," Morneau said. "Hopefully we get some answers (Tuesday)."

After appearing in just 69 games during the 2011 seasons with numerous injuries — including his wrist — Morneau had played in all but two of the Twins' games this season, although just four of those games came at first base. Minnesota's lineup Monday was also without catcher Joe Mauer, who had a day off for the first time all season. Mauer took a foul ball off his left knee in Sunday's series finale against Kansas City and did not play Monday in Anaheim.

Through Monday's game, Morneau is batting .230 with nine RBI and four home runs in 74 at-bats. After bouncing back from a concussion that he's dealt with the past two years, Morneau's recent injury is certainly a disappointing setback.

"I'm not going to play worst-case scenario yet. I've got to stay positive and hope for the best," Morneau said. "Hopefully it's just part of the process or something that will just be a couple days. . . . I'll stay optimistic for now until I hear anything different."

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 Posted: Tue May 1st, 2012 08:27 pm
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lobo316



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Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria could miss six to eight weeks because of a hamstring injury he suffered in Monday’s win over the Seattle Mariners, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

Longoria was injured when he was thrown out trying to steal second base in the third inning. He slid awkwardly, was slow to get to his feet and left the game. Following the game, the team referred to the injury as soreness behind his left knee.


Despite the report of an extended layoff for Longoria, Rays executive vice president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said nothing is official yet.

"We're going to see how he's doing today. It's one of those situations where if there's improvement day after day, we probably will not D.L. him. If there's not improvement and we feel confident that it will take 11 or 12 or more days then we probably will,” Friedman told MLB.com.

"But he's a guy that if he's going to be out a week, we'll just play short for that period of time. But it's really premature to say anything right now until we get a feel for how he feels today when he shows up. We're not anticipating making a move today pregame."

In 23 games this season, Longoria is hitting .329 with four homers, 19 RBIs and a .433 on-base percentage.

The injury is a big blow to the Rays, who are 15-8 and have a one-game lead in the AL East.

Longoria, the 2008 AL rookie of the year, is a three-time All-Star and finished 10th in the AL MVP voting last season. His extra-inning walkoff blast against the New York Yankees in the final game of the 2011 regular season clinched the wild-card berth for the Rays.



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 Posted: Tue May 1st, 2012 08:32 pm
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lobo316 wrote: The Minnesota Twins not only lost Monday's game to the Los Angeles Angels, but they also lost first baseman Justin Morneau to a wrist injury for at least a few games.

The M&M Boys just can't stay on the field and the Twins can't recover from those two mega contracts that they handed out to them.  They're in for a rough few years.



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 Posted: Tue May 1st, 2012 09:03 pm
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LOS ANGELES -- The Minnesota Twins are recalling catcher Drew Butera from the minors to add some depth behind banged-up Joe Mauer.

The Twins announced plans to recall Butera on Tuesday, a few hours before they were set to play the Los Angeles Angels. The Twins did not immediately announce a corresponding move.

Mauer was injured while catching Sunday when he took a foul ball off his left knee. He did not play in the opener against the Angels on Monday night and is considered day to day. The Twins also had to send Justin Morneau home to get his left wrist examined.

Butera was an offensive liability last season. But he is hitting .279 with one home run and 18 RBIs in 15 games for Triple-A Rochester this season.

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 Posted: Tue May 1st, 2012 09:04 pm
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ST. LOUIS -- The St. Louis Cardinals have activated utilityman Allen Craig, one of the stars from their World Series run last fall, from the 15-day disabled list.

The 27-year-old Craig hit three home runs in the Series and four overall in the postseason. He has been rehabbing from right knee surgery with Triple-A Memphis and was activated Tuesday for the start of a three-game series against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Outfielder Erik Komatsu was designated for assignment. The 24-year-old Komatsu was a Rule 5 selection last December.

Craig homered twice Monday night for Memphis while playing first base and completed his rehab assignment with a .353 average (6 for 17) with seven RBIs in four games.

Craig batted .315 with 11 homers and 40 RBIs in 75 games last season.

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 Posted: Wed May 2nd, 2012 12:59 pm
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SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants reliever Jeremy Affeldt has landed on the disabled list for a non-baseball injury for the second time in less than eight months.

The left-hander sprained his right knee Saturday night when he reached out to catch his 4-year-old son, Walker, as the 60-pound boy jumped off the couch to hug his arriving father.

Affeldt said he heard a pop but didn't think there was anything seriously wrong. Then he woke up at 4 a.m. Sunday with throbbing pain and headed to the ballpark a few hours later after icing the knee with a package of frozen vegetables. An MRI exam revealed the sprain for Affeldt, who last Sept. 8 sliced his non-throwing hand nearly to the artery while separating frozen hamburgers.

"There was some light swelling but there wasn't a lot, so I knew it probably wasn't a huge deal or a major tear," Affeldt said Tuesday. "But it was enough pain that I didn't think I could get off the mound if I had to."

He was placed on the DL again Tuesday before San Francisco opened a three-game series with the Marlins. The Giants filled his roster spot Tuesday with lefty Travis Blackley, whose contract was purchased from Triple-A Fresno. The Giants also designated outfielder Tyler Graham for assignment.

Manager Bruce Bochy said Affeldt's recovery is typically seven to 10 days, but he could need a short rehab assignment.

"I was actually separating frozen hamburgers and I slipped on the floor," Affeldt joked. "I came home and my sons are usually pretty happy to see me and he jumped off the couch, ran over and I squatted down to give him a hug and when he jumped, I kind of caught him weird and my knee kind of shifted in a bit. I felt some pressure on the knee. It wasn't that sore, it was just a little stiff. I've pitched with a stiff knee before, it happens."

Last year, when the paring knife he was using pushed through a hamburger patty and deep into his hand, Affeldt came within a millimeter of an artery and underwent surgery about eight hours after the injury to repair nerve damage in his pinkie.

Affeldt -- 0-1 with a 4.09 ERA in 10 outings this year -- said his 4½ -foot son is exceptionally large for his age, already measuring around the 50th percentile for an 8-year-old on growth charts.

"I don't tell him that it was him," Affeldt said. "He just asked me what I did, I said, 'Picking something up,' he said, 'What?' I said, 'Something.' It's not something I really want my son to know. It just happened."

The pitcher wore a brace Tuesday that he likely will use when he returns to the mound to give him some added support for his lead or plant leg. If he had to go back on the DL, Affeldt is glad it's still early in the season.

"I feel better now than I did two days ago, quite a bit better," he said. "I'll get over it. You go back and I've got a career of fluke injuries. I have all kinds of weird stuff going on. But thankfully it's not any arm injuries. If I can injure everything but my arm I'll be alright."

Those other injuries include tearing his left oblique muscle -- tough to do for a left-hander -- tearing his groin tendon off the bone and a fingernail blister that sidelined him for six weeks and included the removal of half his fingernail for it to go away.

"I've had all kinds of interesting deals," he said. "I think they actually considered that DL a broken fingernail, which I wasn't real happy about. It just seems weird."

The well traveled Blackley was 3-0 with a Pacific Coast League-low 0.39 ERA with 19 strikeouts to only three walks in four appearances and three starts for Fresno. This marks the 29-year-old Blackley's third major league stint after the Australian was with Seattle in 2004 and the Giants in '07.

"I'm not the same guy I was back then," Blackley said. "I have a lot more confidence in myself now. One thing about growing up Australian was to check your ego at the door."

Blackley spent last year pitching in Korea, then back home with the Melbourne Aces earlier this year.

"I haven't been walking people, which obviously has been a factor," Blackley said of his success thus far. "Pitching in front of 45,000 a night in Seoul to 3,000 in Fresno, I'm a lot more calm. Pitching in a big situation isn't as daunting."

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 Posted: Wed May 2nd, 2012 03:34 pm
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Texas Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre and outfielder Josh Hamilton are not in Wednesday's lineup as Texas prepares to take on the Toronto Blue Jays Wednesday afternoon.

It's the third straight game that Hamilton has missed as he nurses a stiff back and it's the second consecutive game the club will play without Beltre, who has dealt with hamstring issues this season.




Manager Ron Washington said on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM's "Ben & Skin Show" that the turf at Rogers Centre in Toronto is part of the reason for holding both players out.

"Beltre can pinch hit, but I'm trying to keep him off this turf," Washington said. "Hopefully, his body can settle down by the time we get to Cleveland and he can play Friday. But this turf just beat him up so bad that he's so sore. But I do have him to pinch hit for me."

Washington has also made it a habit of resting some regulars on day games before off days to give them additional time off their feet. He said his club isn't used to playing on turf, which is why he takes a cautious approach with players on the turf if they are dealing with some injuries.

"When you play on turf, it's a little different if you're playing on it every day and coming up in here for a series and you haven't been used to it. It shocks your body," he said. "Everybody's dealing with soreness the past three days, but we're not using that as an excuse to not win a ballgame."

Washington also said that catcher Mike Napoli's eye is fine and that he's ready to play. Napoli is in the lineup at first base Wednesday.

Napoli tweeted Wednesday that he had an ocular migraine during Tuesday's game. Washington said the medical staff told him about Napoli's vision issue in the eighth inning and they decided not to play him in the ninth inning.

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 Posted: Wed May 2nd, 2012 08:37 pm
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ATLANTA — The Philadelphia Phillies have placed first baseman Jim Thome on the 15-day disabled list and recalled catcher Erik Kratz from Triple-A Lehigh Valley for Wednesday night’s game against Atlanta.

Thome has not played since leaving Saturday night’s game with tightness on the left side of his lower back. The move was made retroactive to Sunday.

The 41-year-old Thome is hitting .111 with no homers or RBIs and 10 strikeouts in 18 at-bats.

Kratz, who hit .294 with three homers and nine RBIs at Lehigh Valley, will fill Thome’s primary role as a pinch-hitter. The 31-year-old Kratz hit a combined .150 in brief appearances with Pittsburgh in 2010 and the Phillies last season.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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 Posted: Wed May 2nd, 2012 09:05 pm
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lobo316 wrote: The 41-year-old Thome is hitting .111 with no homers or RBIs and 10 strikeouts in 18 at-bats.


I didn't know he was even still playing. Looks like just another guy trying to hang on a bit past his better days.



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 Posted: Thu May 3rd, 2012 04:22 am
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Jones' HR in 11th lifts Braves past Phils 15-13
By CHARLES ODUM | The Associated Press – 10 minutes ago

ATLANTA (AP) Chipper Jones' bad left knee has limited his playing time at the start of his final season, so he says it's important to make the most of his chances.

''When I am in there, I want to make a splash,'' Jones said. ''I did it tonight.''

Jones hit a two-run homer in the 11th inning and the Atlanta Braves overcame Carlos Ruiz's seven RBIs to outlast the Philadelphia Phillies 15-13 on Wednesday night.

The seesaw game saw the Braves rally from a 6-0 deficit against Roy Halladay, then come back from four runs down in the eighth.

''It was just a weird game all the way around,'' said Brian McCann, who hit a grand slam off Halladay. ''Stuff you've never seen happen.''

Befitting the crazy game, McCann was poked in the eye with an errant high-five from teammate Michael Bourn after the homer.

Dan Uggla led off the Atlanta 11th with a single. Jones just missed a homer on a ball that landed barely foul to right, then connected against Brian Sanches (0-1). He began his path around the bases with a slow journey to first base as he and his teammates savored the dramatic moment and Braves fans stood and cheered.

''What a cool moment that was, not only for Chipper, but for the rest of us out there to enjoy that, to watch that,'' McCann said. ''To see him walk down the first base line like that, that's a treat for all of us.''

Jones' homer ended the Braves' eight-game losing streak to the Phillies, dating back to last season. He said the homer will hold a special place on his career highlights.

''That's right up there just because the team that we're kind of shooting for in the division obviously is the Phillies,'' said Jones, who turned 40 on April 24. ''Until somebody knocks them off, they're the team to beat.''

Jones is third all-time among switch-hitters with 458 homers, trailing only Mickey Mantle and Eddie Murray. Including his time in the minor leagues, Jones said it was his 500th homer as a professional.

''I'm not going to get there at the major league level, but to hit 500 homers as a professional is pretty cool,'' he said.

It was the highest-scoring extra-inning game in the majors since Cleveland beat Kansas City 15-13 in 10 innings in 2006, according to STATS LLC.

Ruiz had three hits, including a three-run homer in the seventh and a three-run double in the eighth. He was the first Phillies hitter to drive in seven runs since Ryan Howard against the Yankees on June 20, 2006.

''He's been awesome for us,'' said Halladay of Ruiz. ''I think that's what hurts most. When you have games like this, your teammates are out there grinding and getting it done and I didn't. And that was the difference, really.

''That's the toughest one, letting those guys down who really got it done today.''

Halladay had his worst start in five years. He gave up 12 hits - one below his career high - and eight runs in 5 1-3 innings.

''Honestly, I felt good,'' Halladay said after seeing his ERA climb from 1.95 to 3.40. ''There were some that I didn't execute. It wasn't anything else.''

Laynce Nix also hit a three-run double for the Phillies.

Braves closer Craig Kimbrel couldn't hold a 13-12 lead in the ninth. Shane Victorino's two-out infield hit drove in Juan Pierre, who walked and stole second and took third on a grounder.

Halladay was tagged by McCann's fifth career slam in the fifth. The former Cy Young winner had not allowed as many earned runs since May 5, 2007, when he gave up nine runs in 5 1-3 innings at Texas.

Martin Prado had three hits and drove in three runs, including a two-run single in the Atlanta eighth.

Braves reliever Eric O'Flaherty blew an 8-6 lead before recording an out in the seventh. Ty Wigginton walked, pinch-hitter John Mayberry Jr. singled and Ruiz followed with his fourth homer to left for a 9-8 edge.

Atlanta's Tommy Hanson gave up eight hits and four runs in 3 2-3 innings. It was his shortest start since he pitched 3 1-3 innings against the Mets on Aug. 6, 2011, in his last outing before he was placed on the disabled list for the remainder of the season with right shoulder tendinitis.

NOTES: Phillies LHP Cliff Lee, on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left oblique muscle, threw in the bullpen before the game. If he has no discomfort, he plans another bullpen session on Saturday. If all goes well on Saturday, Lee is expected to come off the disabled list. ... Atlanta's Jason Heyward missed his third straight start with soreness around his right oblique muscle before entering the game as a pinch-hitter and remaining in right field. ... The Phillies placed 1B Jim Thome on the 15-day disabled list with tightness in his lower back and recalled C Erik Kratz from Triple-A Lehigh Valley. The move was made retroactive to Sunday. ... The three-game series ends on Thursday when Braves RHP Randall Delgado (2-2) starts against RHP Joe Blanton (2-3).



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 Posted: Thu May 3rd, 2012 01:30 pm
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BOSTON -- The Red Sox have placed third baseman Kevin Youkilis on the 15-day disabled list because of what manager Bobby Valentine called a lower-back strain, and promoted Will Middlebrooks from Pawtucket to take his place.



Valetine also announced that Josh Beckett will miss his next scheduled start, Saturday against Baltimore, because of stiffness in his right lat muscle and that PawSox pitcher Aaron Cook will take the mound instead. Cook, whose contract called for him to have the chance to leave the organization as a free agent if Boston didn't promote him from Pawtucket by May 1, has remained with the team and will be added to the major league roster on Saturday, according to Valentine. A corresponding move will have to be made to make room for him on the roster.

Valentine said Beckett will be able to start again when his turn in the rotation comes up the next time through. He also mentioned another possibility for Boston's rotation.

"I'm not opposed to a having more than five starters during long stretches depending on how the pitchers are pitching," he said. "There's no need to project anything further (regarding Cook's status) than Saturday."

Middlebrooks, a hot prospect who was hitting .333 with a team-leading nine homers and 27 RBIs for the PawSox, was in Wednesday night's lineup against Oakland, batting eighth and playing third base.

"He's been hot in Triple-A and played very well in spring training," Valentine said. "I told him to have fun, enjoy it, get into the moment. He's good at that from what I saw in spring training."



Middlebrooks, 23, a fifth-round draft pick in 2007, was excited to get the call.

"It's unbelievable, something you work toward your whole life," he said. "I worked to be here. I'm ready to go. I'm feeling really comfortable at the plate and the same way on defense."

Youkilis, meanwhile, had kind words for his temporary replacement.

"It's a great opportunity for him to come up and play at this level. It's an exciting time for him. He'll remember this night for the rest of his life. I hope he does well. It's another level, but he can play at this level. He's a great guy and a great player. I'm hoping he can help the team win," Youkilis said.

Youkilis played last Saturday in Chicago, but was unable to get loose during batting practice on Sunday, so he had missed three straight games before being disabled. He said Wednesday the source of his troubles has been identified, and that he felt much better Wednesday than he had on Tuesday.



Youkilis, 33, has been bothered by various nagging injuries this year, beginning in spring training. He had played in 18 of Boston's 23 games this season, and was batting only .219 with two homers and nine RBI. Injuries limited him to only 102 games in 2010 and to 120 last year.

"It definitely stinks. It's frustrating. I don't want to be injured. I want to play. There's nothing I can do but get healthy and help the team win," said Youkilis, an eight-year veteran in the final year of his contract.



In another Red Sox move, right-handed pitcher Clayton Mortensen was promoted from Pawtucket to give Valentine another arm in the bullpen. He replaced first baseman/outfielder Lars Anderson, who was sent back to Pawtucket after Tuesday night's game.



Mortensen, who was obtained from Colorado in exchange for Marco Scutaro over the winter, will provide depth out of the bullpen. He was 2-2 with a 0.90 ERA in 10 innings over six games.

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 Posted: Thu May 3rd, 2012 01:31 pm
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SAN DIEGO -- Milwaukee media outlets are reporting that Brewers first baseman Mat Gamel needs surgery for a torn ligament in his right knee and is expected to miss a significant amount of the season.

Gamel was hurt chasing a foul popup in Tuesday's loss to the Padres and underwent an MRI exam after the game.

According to the reports, general manager Doug Melvin stopped short of declaring Gamel out for the season.

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 Posted: Thu May 3rd, 2012 01:32 pm
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The Los Angeles Dodgers are in talks with veteran Bobby Abreu regarding a role as pinch hitter and part-time outfielder, sources confirmed to ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney.




The Angels released Abreu on Friday after the 38-year-old journeyman got off to a painfully slow start in limited at-bats.

Because the Angels cut him, the Dodgers would only have to pay Abreu a prorated version of the veteran's minimum.

Abreu had gotten just 24 at-bats in the first three weeks and was batting .208. The Angels thought they had come close to trading Abreu twice, first to the New York Yankees and then to the Cleveland Indians. Abreu grumbled publicly a couple of times about his limited role.

Abreu signed with the Angels before the 2009 season. He appeared in 456 games for them and batted .267 with 43 home runs and 246 RBIs. The two-time All-Star is one of four players all-time with at least 500 doubles, 250 home runs and 350 stolen bases.

The Dodgers have gotten off to a surprising 17-8 start that has them in first place in the NL West. The team's new owners, led by Magic Johnson, officially took hold of the organization Wednesday.

Last edited on Thu May 3rd, 2012 01:33 pm by lobo316

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 Posted: Thu May 3rd, 2012 01:34 pm
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BOSTON -- The Red Sox have signed former star pitcher Mark Prior to a minor league deal.






Prior was the second overall pick in the 2001 draft by the Chicago Cubs, for whom he had some shining moments, but arm injuries curtailed his career. He hasn't pitched in the big leagues since 2006, and has thrown only two innings as high as Triple-A since then.
He has tried to come back with the Texas Rangers, San Diego Padres and New York Yankees without success. Prior, 31, will report to the Red Sox's extended spring program.

"He looked good, the velocity's been good," Boston GM Ben Cherington told reporters Wednesday."We're going to leave him down there for a while just to build strength before we send him out to a minor league club. He signed a minor league deal and will keep pitching in extended for a while."

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