Toronto Blue Jays reliever Frank Francisco made the dreaded visit to Dr. James Andrews in Alabama, and the news was actually good, er, well, goodish. The pain that the team’s closer was feeling was confirmed to be due to bicep tendonitis and tightness in his pectoral muscles. It sounds bad, but it means that there’s no structural damage, and Francisco will be able to start a throwing program this weekend.
According to Blue Jays manager John Farrell:
Similar to what we’ve diagnosed all along, it’s been tightness in the right pec, a small amount of inflammation in the right biceps. He’ll start with a throwing program on Sunday. It looks like right now he’s not going to be ready to go at the start of the season. We’ll have a better read on that once he gets back into a throwing program. We look at this as a short-term thing even though the short term doesn’t have him active with us.
While that’s ultimately good news for Toronto, in all likelihood it also means that Francisco will be unavailable to start the season. So, look for the also newly acquired Jon Rauch to get the first save opportunities of the Spring for the Blue Jays.
Fortunately for the Jays, the other guy — Jon Rauch — is in robust health. He is also flying under the radar, if that is possible for the tallest player in baseball history: In six one-inning appearances, the 6-foot-11, 290-pound right-hander has allowed two hits and no runs.
Some Bonds Some Of The Time
If live updates of courtroom proceedings on the other side of the continent is your thing, there are a couple of Twitter feeds you can follow for the latest updates from the Barry Bonds trial: Gwen Knapp of the San Francisco Chronicle and SB Nation Bay Area have both been doing an excellent job with their coverage.
Highlights from the day after jury selection included Bonds’ trainer Gregg Anderson once again refusing to testify and once again being sent back to prison, as well as testimony from controversial figure and garbage digger Jeff Novitzky.
Joe Posnanski also weighs in:
Here’s what I think most people believe: Barry Bonds used steroids to become a better baseball player. He, reportedly, does not even deny this. He does claim — and claimed before a grand jury — that he did not KNOWINGLY take steroids. To think that Barry Bonds took steroids, but not knowingly, seems ridiculous, absurd on its face, and it seems an insult to the question and the people asking it. For seven years now the U.S. government has been trying to nail him for this unconvincing bit of nonsense.
So, on the one hand you have someone who is probably lying — and obviously we should not stand for people lying to grand juries. On the other, you have what seems an extreme use of government power and money and shaky methods to nail him for this lie. Supposedly at some point during this trial we are going to get a spurned girlfriend telling the court all about Barry Bonds’ sex life and mood swings. The whole thing feels unseemly.
And The Rest
The Yankees are considering sending Jesus Montero to Triple A to start the season even though he’s the greatest baseball prospect since sliced bread.
Jon Morosi proves that baseball players are about as smart as you’d imagine them to be when he issues a very unscientific survey among them asking who is the best baseball player.
I care more about the Chicago White Sox catering than the fact that Adam Dunn has struck out 22 times in 53 Spring Training at bats. It’s cause for about as much concern as slightly stale pita bread in the team’s packed lunches.
Sticking with the uselessness of Spring Training, here’s an article about the economics of baseball’s preseason.
The New York Times has footage of Babe Ruth being Babe Ruth.
Beyond The Boxscore looks at the longest game in MLB’s history.
Kevin Slowey lost out on the Twins’ rotation and will pitch out of the bullpen, at least until Nick Blackburn loses his spot or a trade occurs for some relief help.
Baseball Reference looks at “quality start” losses from last season.
FanGraphs explains why we should be cautious with Lineup Analysis Tools.
Larry Granillo of Baseball Prospectus is Phiten the good fight.
Luis Castillo explains that he never got a fair shake in the New York Mets’ training camp this Spring, as he looks to turn things around with the Philadelphia Phillies.
Super agent Scott Boras will be the keynote speaker at the Society For American Baseball Research’s conference in July.
Placating your inner nerd: Park factors!
Mookie Wilson has his own blog.