Texas Rangers starting pitcher Martin Perez was placed on the disabled list over the weekend with a broken forearm and will miss approximately four weeks. Perez was competing for the fifth spot in the rotation and is the Rangers third best prospect according to Baseball Prospectus.
Mets outfielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis came up limping after attempting a steal over the weekend. Nieuwenhuis is competing for one of the spots in the Mets weak outfield. Nieuwenhuis impressed many with his strong start last season, but struggled down the stretch, batting a measly .105 in July before being sent down to the minors.
Cubs manager Dale Sveum named Jeff Samardzija the opening day starter, with Matt Garza on the DL until early May. Samardzija, the former Notre Dame wide receiver, had a solid first season as a permanent starter. He posted a sparkling second half ERA of 2.58 and had a 3.21 K/BB ratio.
Brewers third baseman Aramis Ramirez will miss a couple days due to a strained left knee. Ramirez, entering his second season with the Brewers, posted monster numbers last season after a couple of down years with the Cubs. Ramirez should be ready for Opening Day.
Cardinals shortstop Rafael Furcal is a longshot to be ready for Opening Day with a torn ligament in his throwing elbow. Furcal was shut down last season in late August with a torn UCL and is traveling to meet with Dr. James Andrews.
With news that Martin Perez will be out with a broken forearm, the Texas Rangers have intensified their pursuit of free agent pitcher Kyle Lohse. Lohse remains the prominent free agent starter on the market, and according to Hardball Talk, his agent Scott Boras is still hoping to find him a three-year deal.
The Milwaukee Brewers and Baltimore Orioles recently scouted Dodgers pitcher Aaron Harang during a minor league outing according to Dodgers beat writer Ken Gurnick. Harang is in the last year of a two year deal and seems to be generating some interest. The Dodgers currently have eight starting pitching candidates and are actively looking to move one.
Free agent pitcher Chien Ming Wang is drawing interest from several Major League clubs, with the Yankees being the most interested. Wang is currently pitching for Chinese-Taipei at the World Baseball Classic and threw four scoreless innings and scattering only six hits. Wang began his career with the Yankees and recently pitched for the Washington Nationals.
The World Baseball Classic got underway on Saturday with Chinese Taipei taking on Australia. Only Pool A and Pool B have begun play, with Pool C and D beginning play Thursday and Friday. Japan and Cuba are both 2-0 in Pool A, while Pool B is bunched together with Chinese Taipei leading with a record of 2-0, but Korea and the Netherlands are both 1-1. The United States begins pool play on Friday against Mexico.