MLB In Full Bloom 2/20/13

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40– Number of days until Opening Day

 MLB News & Notes

  • Five more players were named in the Biogenesis scandal on Tuesday. Meanwhile, Washington Nationals left-hander Gio Gonzalez, one of the high-profile stars previously linked to Anthony Bosch's clinic did not receive banned substances. I've become numb about the steroid era. Nothing surprises me and the bottom line is that players are getting caught and it may get worse before it gets better, but the game is getting cleaned up.
  • Roy Halladay is unlikely to be the Philadelphia Phillies Opening Day starter this year. It appears that Cliff Lee or Cole Hamels will get that honor. The Phillies want to slip up Lee or Hamels with a right-hanger which suggests that one of them will start Opening Day and Halladay will pitch the second game in Atlanta.
  • Clay Buchholz is scheduled to throw a simulated game on Saturday. Buchholz strained his hamstring on Feb. 12, but is back to full strength at this point. He threw a bullpen session Monday without any issues.
  • The Arizona Diamondbacks placed Daniel Hudson on the 60-day disabled list. Hudson continues to recover from July 2012 Tommy John surgery.
  • The Pittsburgh Pirates and manager Clint Hurdle agreed to a contact extension through the 2014 season with a club option in 2015. Hurdle has steadily improved the Pirates win total since he took over as their manager in 2011.
  • Phil Hughes will be sidelined by a bad back. Hughes will miss the next couple days, but it doesn't sound like this back issue is going to be a big deal for him.
  • Grant Balfour is back throwing one week after knee surgery. He played catch on Tuesday and it appears to have a very good shot to be ready to pitch right around Opening Day
  • Aroldis Chapman threw his first bullpen session on Tuesday as he prepares to be a starter for the first time in the majors. Chapman was a starter in Cuba and in the minors, but its been a couple years since he was stretched out.
  • Los Angeles Angels manager Mike Scioscia said that he will not change the policy on alcohol in the clubhouse. He will continue to allow players to drink beer after games. This is notable because Josh Hamilton is an alcoholic, but the team has hired an accountability partner, Shayne Kelly, for Hamilton. Kelly will work with Hamilton and try to help him avoid a relapse.
  • Arizona Diamondbacks broadcaster Joe Garagiola is retiring today after 57 years of broadcasting.
  • THIS DAY IN BASEBALL HISTORY: 1953- August A. Bush bought the Cardinals for $3.75 million and promised to not move the team from St. Louis.