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Saturday, April 3, 2010
Spring Training Blog: April 3


ROYALS PUT MECHE, GORDON ON DL (7:09 p.m. ET)

The Kansas City Royals placed right-hander Gil Meche and infielders Alex Gordon and Josh Fields on the disabled list as expected Saturday, and assigned seven players to their minor league camp.

With the moves made after a 10-7 victory over Texas in their final spring training game, the Royals need to trim only one more player to get down to their opening day 25-man roster for Monday's season opener at home against Detroit.

Manager Trey Hillman said relievers John Parrish, Anthony Lerew and Dusty Hughes were in the mix for two spots. That decision will be made Sunday.

Among the players reassigned to the minor leagues was infielder Wilson Betemit, who was in camp as non-roster invitee.

Infielder Mike Aviles, the team's top rookie in 2008, made the opening day roster 10 months after having Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. He hit .471 this spring.

-- The Associated Press

RYAL BEATS OUT ROBERTS FOR DIAMONDBACKS' ROSTER SPOT (3:31 p.m. ET)

Utility infielder Rusty Ryal has beaten out Ryan Roberts for the final spot on the Arizona Diamondbacks' Opening Day roster.

Manager A.J. Hinch said on Saturday that the decision was as tough as it gets and he knows from his own big league career the pain of losing out on a final roster slot.

Ryal hit .283 this spring, while Roberts struggled to a .185 average that included the deciding two-run homer in the Diamondbacks' 5-3 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Friday night.

The Arizona roster includes four starting pitchers, eight relievers, seven infielders, four outfielders and two catchers. The Diamondbacks open their season Monday at home against San Diego.

-- The Associated Press

MOCK GETS NOD AS FIFTH STARTER FOR NATIONALS (3:23 p.m. ET)

Garrett Mock has won the job as the No. 5 starter for the Washington Nationals.

Manager Jim Riggleman said the right-handed Mock got the nod over lefty Scott Olsen, who was optioned to Triple-A Syracuse.

Mock and Olsen had similar spring training stats. Each allowed 12 earned runs in five starts.

Mock's first regular-season start will be April 9 against the New York Mets.

The rest of the rotation consists of John Lannan, Jason Marquis, Craig Stammen and Livan Hernandez.

Outfielder Roger Bernadina also was optioned to Syracuse. The Nationals reassigned infielder Eric Bruntlett and right-handed pitcher Mike MacDougal to minor league camp.

-- The Associated Press

EX-BENGALS TE UTECHT TO SING ANTHEM AT OPENER (2:59 p.m. ET)

Former Cincinnati Bengals tight end Ben Utecht will have one of his biggest audiences as a performer when he sings the national anthem before the Reds' season opener.

The Reds' owners asked Utecht to perform the anthem before their game Monday against the St. Louis Cardinals. Utecht has a side career as a recording artist. He released his first album last year, a collection of contemporary Christian songs.

Utecht told The Associated Press in a phone interview Saturday that he didn't realize Opening Day was such a big deal in Cincinnati when he agreed to become part of it.

The Bengals released Utecht last season after he suffered a major concussion. He's hoping to extend his football career with another team.

-- The Associated Press

ORIOLES PUT UEHARA ON 15-DAY DL FOR HAMSTRING (2:46 p.m. ET)

The Baltimore Orioles have put right-handed reliever Koji Uehara on the 15-day disabled list because of a strained left hamstring.

The roster move Saturday was retroactive to March 26.

Uehara pitched in six spring training games, giving up one earned run in 5 1/3 innings. He hasn't thrown off the mound since March 18.

The 34-year-old Uehara starred in Japan before coming to Baltimore last year. He strained a hamstring during spring training, went on the disabled list May 23 with another hamstring injury and did not pitch after June 24 because of tendinitis in his elbow.

The Orioles moved him to the bullpen this season, hoping that shorter outings would help him stay healthy.

-- The Associated Press

RED SOX SEND REDDICK TO TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET (2:30 p.m. ET)

The Boston Red Sox have sent outfielder Josh Reddick to Triple-A Pawtucket.

Reddick had an outstanding spring training, hitting .404 with two homers and nine RBIs in 19 games but has just 27 games of major league experience. They all came last year when he batted .169 with two homers in 59 at bats with the Red Sox.

Boston already has Jeremy Hermida as its primary backup outfielder with utility player Bill Hall also capable of filling in.

Saturday's move before the final exhibition game, against the Nationals in Washington, left the Red Sox with 31 players in camp, including four non-roster invitees. Boston opens the season at home Sunday night against the Yankees.

-- The Associated Press