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Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Spring Training Blog: March 31


PATTERSON OPTS OUT OF MINOR LEAGUE CONTRACT (10:53 p.m. ET)

Outfielder Corey Patterson ended his tryout with the Seattle Mariners on Wednesday, opting out of his contract for free agency.

The 29-year-old Patterson, who has played in parts of 10 big league seasons, agreed in November to a minor league contact with the Mariners and had the right to be released on seven days' notice if not put on the 25-man roster. If he had been put on the big league roster, he would have received a $650,000, one-year deal.

Patterson appeared in 19 games this spring, and batted .216 (8 for 37) with two doubles, two home runs and two RBIs.

In 1007 games, Patterson hit .252 with 104 homers and 363 RBIs with five teams. He made his major league debut with the Cubs when he was a highly regarded 20-year-old prospect.

-- The Associated Press

GUZMAN SOLID IN FIRST START AT 2B (6:47 p.m. ET)

Cristian Guzman made his first start at second base since losing the shortstop job to rookie Ian Desmond and helped turn two double plays in the Washington Nationals' 9-6 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday.

Guzman also went 3 for 4 with two doubles and two RBIs.

Guzman has played 1,272 games, all at shortstop. Manager Jim Riggleman said Guzman will be "somewhat of a utility player, but more than that."

"We really don't have too much concern that he's a problem over there, but if we did he alleviated that today," Riggleman said.

Nationals infield coach Pat Listach said the most difficult adjustment is turning the double play.

"He's got to get used to not seeing the runner," Listach said. "He's going to be fine over there. It looked like he's been there his whole life."

-- The Associated Press

INDIANS SHIP SOWERS TO COLUMBUS (2:57 p.m. ET)

The Cleveland Indians have sent left-hander Jeremy Sowers outright to Triple-A Columbus.

The team's first-round draft choice in 2004 was one of three players optioned to Triple-A, along with outfielder Trevor Crowe and catcher Wyatt Toregas.

Right-hander Hector Ambriz placed on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to Saturday.

Sowers had a sore shoulder early in spring training, which put him behind in the competition for a roster spot. The 26-year-old is out of options and could not be sent back to the minors without going on waivers.

Sowers, drafted sixth overall out of Vanderbilt, has an 18-30 record and 5.18 ERA in 72 career games.

-- The Associated Press

LARUE DAY TO DAY WITH HAND INJURY (2:57 p.m. ET)

Catcher Jason LaRue is only suffering from a "deep bone bruise" and is "day to day," Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Wednesday.

The Cardinals -- who are already without catcher Yadier Molina, who has a strained right oblique muscle -- had thought they might also lose LaRue for an extended period of time after he suffered an injury to his left hand in a tag play at the plate against the New York Mets on Tuesday. But Mozeliak said LaRue, who had an MRI on Wednesday morning, likely won't need to be placed on the disabled list.

"I had visions of a broken hand -- that was the worst case -- to what we're talking about right now," Mozeliak told the Post-Dispatch. "Emotionally, it was up and down."

Molina had his best workout since being injured Wednesday morning and said he felt no pain. Manager Tony La Russa told the Post-Dispatch that he thinks Molina could play on Opening Day; if he isn't ready Monday, he could be placed on the DL retroactive to March 26, which would make him eligible to play on April 11.

-- ESPN.com news services

THOMAS SHIFTED TO TOLEDO (2:11 p.m. ET)

The Detroit Tigers completed their Opening Day roster, sending outfielder Clete Thomas to Triple-A Toledo.

That move puts utility player Don Kelly on the team.

An MRI exam showed Thomas' right shoulder is bruised, but manager Jim Leyland says the injury won't prevent him from being a designated hitter for the Mud Hens.

-- The Associated Press

TWINS SEND RAMOS, PERKINS TO TRIPLE-A (12:21 p.m. ET)

Minnesota Twins catcher Wilson Ramos and left-hander Glen Perkins will start the season in Triple-A.

The Twins optioned both players to Rochester on Wednesday. Ramos is a promising prospect who hit .400 this spring, including a home run on Tuesday over a 35-foot high wall behind the center field fence.

But with Joe Mauer entrenched as the starter, the Twins want Ramos to play every day. Drew Butera will be the backup.

Perkins has been bothered by a sore back. He went 6-7 with a 5.89 ERA last season for the Twins.

Right-handed reliever Pat Neshek, who missed all of last season after Tommy John surgery, has made the roster.

-- The Associated Press