MLB In Full Bloom 2/14/2014

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45 – Number of days until Opening Day

Every camp is now open with pitchers and catchers reporting either yesterday or today. With the majority of the country dealing with winter storms and below freezing temperatures, it is difficult to imagine players playing long toss or taking batting practice. But, we're only 45 days until Opening Day. Let's put a wrap on the week that was in the MLB Hot Stove!

MLB NEWS & NOTES

  • Jhonny Peralta has reported to Cardinals camp four days early. Peralta is eager for the fresh start with a new team and wants to put his 50-game suspension last year for PED use in the rear view mirror. Peralta became a free agent after the 2013 season and signed a four-year contract with the Cardinals worth $53 million, a deal that didn't sit well with many around baseball. Peralta should provide the Cardinals with more offense than Daniel Descalso and Pete Kozma did last year.
  • Yasiel Puig (shoulder) is currently on a limited throwing program due to right shoulder inflammation. This has been an issue Puig has dealt with off and on last season and it flared up when he overthrew during the first day of camp.The Dodgers don't think it is a serious injury, but manager Don Mattingly wants to get to the bottom of why Puig continues to deal with the shoulder issue
  • Kole Calhoun "still looks like the leading candidate" to hit leadoff for the Angels. Erick Aybar is the other candidate, and it's possible he'll hit leadoff against lefties and Calhoun will hit there against righties. With Mike Trout, Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton following him, Calhoun makes for a big-time fantasy sleeper if he settles into the top spot in the order. He hit .282 with eight homers and 32 RBI in 195 at-bats for the Angels.
  • Albert Pujols has already reported to Angels spring training camp in Arizona and is looking healthy. Pujols dropped seven pounds over the offseason and told reporters Thursday in Angels camp that his knee and foot are 100 percent healthy. He went on to say that he may even steal five or six stolen bases. Pujols has batted just .275 through his first two seasons with the Angels. He was a .328 hitter in 11 seasons with the Cardinals. Anaheim still owes him $222 million in guaranteed money.
  • Jake Arrieta (shoulder) is not expected to be healthy at the start of the 2014 regular season. Cubs manager Rick Renteria acknowledged that on Thursday after it was revealed that Arrieta battled shoulder tightness over the winter. The Cubs have several rotation candidates in camp, but they were hoping for a smooth spring from Arrieta, who posted a 3.66 ERA last year.
  • Erik Bedard and the Rays agreed to a minor league contract which includes an invitation to spring training. The Rays needed to enhance their pitching depth following Jeremy Hellickson's injury, and they've now done so with the addition of Nate Karns and Bedard over the last two days. Bedard posted a 4.59 ERA last season for the Astros, but he did strike out 138 in 151 innings.
  • Derek Jeter will address the media next Wednesday to discuss his retirement. Jeter stated on Thursday that he is waiting for position players to arrive before holding the press conference.
  • Jim Fregosi, 71, who spent 53 seasons in professional baseball, died early Friday morning from complications after suffering multiple strokes. Fregosi managed 15 years in the majors with the Angels, White Sox, Phillies, and the Blue Jays. He was a six-time All-Star shortstop played 18 seasons for the Angels, Mets, Rangers, and the Pirates.