Alexei Ramirez can flash the leather, and White Sox teammate Omar Vizquel, who has 11 Gold Gloves on his mantle, says that Ramirez is likely to have several in his future, too.
03/11/2011 3:14 PM ET
Vizquel impressed with Ramirez
Veteran thinks shortstop deserves to win Gold Gloves
"He has shown over the last couple of years that he is well-deserving of a Gold Glove," Vizquel told the Chicago Sun-Times. "He has made some unbelievable plays and is playing consistent baseball. He is making the routine plays and the spectacular play. What more can you ask for?"
Litsch glad to take the mound healthy: Because of the injuries he's suffered the last two seasons, Jesse Litsch isn't stressing when he isn't perfect on the mound. The Blue Jays' right-hander is just happy to be out there and feeling well. Litsch had Tommy John surgery in 2009 and then surgery to repair a labral tear near his hip.
"The last two years have been crazy," Litsch told the Toronto Star. "So, to go out there and command everything like I've been doing feels great. Arm speed's there, arm strength's there. To get in jams and be able to get out of jams, that's big for me."
Sandoval sheds 40 pounds: Pablo Sandoval lost 40 pounds in the offseason in an attempt to regain quickness, and it's paying off.
"My first step," Sandoval told the San Jose Mercury News when asked the biggest benefit of losing the weight. "Especially at third base, you have to be quick. That's why I worked so hard on it every day."
"He's moving around so much better now -- left, right, coming in on balls," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "He's feeling good about that first step. He's bouncing around out there."
Gallardo back in familiar role on Opening Day: Yovani Gallardo will be the the Brewers' Opening Day starter for the second year in a row against Cincinnati.
"I'm very excited," Gallardo told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "It gives me the opportunity of going out there and show what I'm capable of doing. I'm going to keep working hard in the spring to prepare for that."
Posada shines in rare chance at first base: Jorge Posada took the field Thursday night in the Yankees' exhibition game against the Phillies. But Posada wasn't behind the plate. Instead, he saw time at first base. Posada has played first base in 28 bigleague games but none since 2008.
"It was very different," Posada told the New York Post. "It's a process, especially with guys on base and double plays. It doesn't come instinctively to me. I have to think about it beforehand. I am like a fish out of water."
Posada fared well in the field, handling 12 chances cleanly. He even snagged a liner off the bat of Placido Polanco in the first inning and started a double play.
"Self-defense, it was right at me," Posada said.
Michael Young clicking at the plate: Michael Young appears to be more than ready for the start of the regular season. Young is hitting .476 this spring for the Rangers with four extra-base hits and six RBIs.
"I'm trying to see some pitches," Young told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "I'm trying to pick my spots as to when to be aggressive and make sure I'm locked in on the strike zone. That's the thing I really wanted to focus in on was really being aggressive in the zone.
"I don't think I've chased a pitch outside the zone all spring, and that's where I want to be."
Nolasco ready to make spring debut: After throwing a pain-free bullpen session on Thursday, Ricky Nolasco is slated to make his Spring Training debut for the Marlins on Sunday. Nolasco has been battling a thumb injury.
"Every time I have gone out there I have gotten better. That is all I really care about right now," Nolasco told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
"He was looking good. He can spin the ball. That is why we want him 100 percent. That thumb is a huge part of his ability to pitch," manager Edwin Rodriguez said after watching Nolasco's bullpen session.
Bobby Wilson drops 33 pounds: Bobby Wilson hired a nutritionist, lost 33 pounds in the offseason and saw his strength increase, and his body fat dropped to 13 percent.
"I think we all would have been happy with about 20 pounds," Angels manager Mike Scioscia told the Los Angeles Times. "He just took it and ran with it. He's watched his diet but he's exercised, so he's at a strong weight. And he's doing most things with a lot more ease than he did last year."
"You take it to heart if a guy, especially someone like Sciosch, says you have the ability to play for a long time," Wilson said. "This game is short as it is. I might as well as try to extend it for as long as I can."
Ellis sees 1,000th game with A's on the horizon: Mark Ellis should play his 1,000th game for the A's sometime in early April and will become just the 13th player in franchise history to reach that milestone with all games having been played with Oakland.
"It is special," Ellis told the Oakland Tribune. "This organization has been good to me and my family, and I feel like I've been able to give something to the organization, too. So to reach 1,000 games is nice. I don't think too many guys can say they've been with one team as long as I have."
Lohse pleased with spring status: Kyle Lohse is off to a strong start this spring. In his most recent outing for the Cardinals earlier this week, Lohse picked up three swing-and-miss strikeouts.
"It's early, but it's always good when you're getting those," Lohse told MLB.com. "The changeup was working for me. I could have thrown more. I was really happy with the fastball, moving it in and out, keeping it down for the most part. Down and away to lefties, it was running pretty good. So that's a good sign there."
Willis hopeful of roster spot: Dontrelle Willis is doing all he can to show the Reds he deserves to go north with the team, and says he's been pleased with each of his outings through Wednesday.
"I was pleased with all three of them," Willis told MLB.com. "The side sessions I've been doing with [pitching coach Bryan Price], that's when you try to work on things. In the game, I try to compete. I didn't warm up very well going into [Tuesday's] game. After a while, you just have to say, 'Hey, let's go out there and battle and try to get some quality outs with what I have.' Sometimes it works out like that, where you get a swing from somebody and zone in."
Chen not taking his role for granted: Bruce Chen has been around long enough to know that there is no such thing as a guarantee in Major League Baseball. So even as spring games are not intended to be as intense as a regular-season contest, he takes the field for the Royals as if they are.
"I'm competitive," Chen told MLB.com. "Nothing has been given to me. I don't have a spot in the rotation or anything, so I go in there trying to get people out and doing the best I can. I try to keep the ball down and work on my pitches. But this is a game, and these guys are Major League hitters who want to hit you, and hit you hard."
Scott could see time at first base: Luke Scott came into Spring Training knowing that he was likely going to spend the season in left field. But Scott is preparing himself for the possibility that he'll see time at first base for the Orioles.
"You have to be ready for whatever," Scott told the Baltimore Sun. "I don't know yet what's going to happen. What will we have in three weeks? That's still quite a bit of time. As for me, I'll prepare the best I can for whatever I have to do."
-- Red Line Editorial