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‘MLB’ Articles

MLB NOTES: Kansas City Royals

from staff and wire reports

Rick Ankiel gets a fresh start in KC (stlpd)

The Kansas City Royals have long been the whipping boys in the American League. But in 2010, the fans of Kansas City hope they’ll finally have a winner and contender.

The Royals do have some good young talent with pitchers Zack Greinke and Gil Meche  and power hitting from Alex Gordon, Billy Butler and Willie Bloomquist.

This past off-season, general manager Dayton Moore went out and signed free agent outfielders Rick Ankiel to play center field and Scott Posednick to play in left field. Former left fielder and fan favorite, David DeJesus will move from left to right. Most fans wonder, where will Jose Guillen play?

The Royals want Guillen to be the fulltime DH, but he wants to play outfield and nothing else. Guillen was limited last season to 81 games due to various injuries. He was disabled three times while hitting  .242 with 9 homers and 40 RBI’s. When he is in right field, no one in baseball has a better arm than Jose Guillen.

Rick Ankiel is also making a comeback. He was never the same in 2009 for the St. Louis Cardinals after he ran headfirst into a wall making a spectacular catch. He said that he never got over the stiffness and soreness associated with that type of injury.

Cleveland Indians Notes

compiled from staff and wire reports

Jake Westbrook Indians (mlb)

New Cleveland Indians manager Manny Acta says he and his coaching staff are putting together a plan to that will hopefully get the team off to a better start. Part of the plan is to give heavy playing time to the starting lineup in the final 10 days of spring training, hoping to build momentum as the regular season begins.

The last two April’s, Cleveland was a combined 20-29 and that led to disappointing seasons. All of that disappointment despite the fact they had two Cy Young Award winners anchoring their staff in C.C. Sabathia and Cliff Lee. Both of them were traded away.

This years’ Indians pitching staff won’t have any Cy Young Award winners, but they will have two proven winners in Jake Westbrook and Fausto Carmona.

Westbrook, has missed most of the past two seasons while recovering from Tommy John elbow surgery.

Carmona, had some injury issues of his own, but he won 19 games two years ago and could end up being the ace of the staff.

MLB NOTES: Spring Training

Dan Haren working out (MLB)

compiled from staff and wire reports

* Arizona Diamondbacks manager A.J. Hinch has announced that pitcher Dan Haren will be the team’s opening day starter. Hinch says he probably will select Edwin Jackson as the #2 starter and Brandon Webb as the number 3. Webb’s only game action during 2009 was on opening day, and he is rehabbing his way back from shoulder surgery. Webb has been the opening day starter the last fours for the D-Backs.

* The Houston Astros have extended the contract of general manager Ed Wade through 2012. Wade, who was the Philadelphia Phillies G.M. from 1998-2005, has been with the Astros since September of 2007.

* Kansas City Royals outfielder David DeJesus told the media recently that he is fine with moving from center field to left field. During this past offseason, the Royals added Scott Posednick to play left and Rick Ankiel to play center. DeJesus has started only16 games in his seven year career.

Cincinnati Reds Notebook

AP

By “Joe Big Head” Coopersmith

MSN Staff Writer

The Cincinnati Reds during the recent off-season have been shoring up there minor league coaching staffs.

Ken Griffey, Sr. will be the new hitting coach at Single-A Dayton.

After his baseball career, which included stops with Cincinnati, the Yankees, Atlanta and Seattle, Griffey coached five seasons with the Reds from 1997-2001. Since then, he has been a special assistant to Reds’ general manager and a roving batting instructor.

Griffey is someone that can give young players the inspiration and instruction they need to make to the major leagues. He is a link to the greatest Reds teams, having been one of the regulars on the World Series champions of 1975 and 1976. He also played on Western Division championship teams in 1973 and 1979 as well as the 1981 team that had the best record in baseball but failed to make the playoffs during that strike-shortened season.

during his big-league career, Griffey hit .296 with 152 home runs and 859 RBI’S,  while usually hitting second in the Big Red Machine batting order between Pete Rose and Joe Morgan. Senior, who was the MVP of the 1980 All-Star Game, is also a member of the Reds Hall of Fame.

Former MLB infielder DeLino DeShields will be the new field manager for the Billings Mustangs in 2010. DeShields, the Mustangs hitting coach in 2009, replaces manager Julio Garcia. After managing Billings the last two seasons, Garcia accepted the managerial  post with the rookie Arizona League Reds in Goodyear, Arizona.

DeShields, 40, enjoyed a 13-year major league career Montreal, Los Angeles, St. Louis, Baltimore and Chicago Cubs. He was Montreal’s first-round draft pick in 1987 and turned down a basketball scholarship to Villanova University to sign with the Expos. He made his major league debut in 1990 and finished second in the National League Rookie of the Year balloting that season.

He finished his career with Cubs in 2002 and wound up with a lifetime batting average of .268 with 80 homers and 561 RBI’S. His  463 career stolen bases rank him among the top 50 all-time base stealers.

The Double-A Carolina Mudcats barely missed the first half title in David Bell’s initial season as a manager. But that didn’t stop the Reds top management from rehiring him for the 2010 season.

Bell was 65-74 with the MudCats in his first season. The 37 -year third generation major league player spent 12 years with Philadelphia, Milwaukee, Cleveland, St. Louis, Seattle and San Francisco. He was the only member of his baseball playing family not to don a Reds uniform-unlike grandfather Gus, father Buddy or brother Mike.

Major League Baseball

Spring isn’t as far away as the nearly two feet of snow on the ground would have you believe. Baseball season is right around the corner and Mega Sports News will have coverage of the Cleveland Indians and Cincinnati Reds all season long.

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