UPDATES & NEWS
Alex Cobb got smoked for seven runs on 10 hits and a walk with two strikeouts over just 4.1 innings against the Mariners on Saturday.
Boy, this one was just ugly, wasn't it? Perhaps a bad omen is when Cole Gillespie hits his first home run of the year off you, but things just got way out of hand in the fourth and fifth innings. He lost his command of the strike zone, his pitches didn't seem to have much life to them and the Mariners just put on a big hit parade to chase him in the fifth inning. That's now two suspect outings in his last three starts, so suddenly next week's start in Houston isn't looking so enticing. The Astros are young and can be susceptible to the strikeout, but know that you're taking a distinct risk by starting Cobb against them while he's pitching this way. ANALYST: Howard Bender
Falcons released WR Harry Douglas.
The Falcons believe that signing Eric Weems is more of a priority and cutting Douglas saves the team $3.5 million against the cap this season. Douglas has been a reliable No. 3 for the Falcons over the years and has even posted a 1,000-plus yard season while filling the gaps caused by injuries to Julio Jones and Roddy White. He should easily find work elsewhere. Analysis: Howard Bender
Ernesto Frieri said one of the reasons he signed with Tampa Bay was for the opportunity to work with pitching coach Jim Hickey.
Frieri has seen the difference working with Hickey has made in the careers of Fernando Rodney, Kyle Farnsworth and Joaquin Benoit and he too would like a chance to return to the 37-save guy he once was when he was with the Angels. Already, Hickey has helped Frieri make adjustsment to his foot placement on the rubber and Frieri is eager to have more done. Considering the uncertainty of Jake McGee's elbow and the inexperience of Brad Boxberger, should the Rays need to call upon Frieri to help in a save sitaution, he wants to be ready for the team. Monitor this situation throughout the spring as he could become a dark horse candidate for the job. Analysis: Howard Bender
Angels outfielder Josh Hamilton will likely be suspended for at least 25 games.
You would have thought the Angels would have had themselves more protected with a relapse clause considering Hamilton's past and the fact that he had a relapse while with the Rangers as well. He's not due back until the end of May, so a 25-game suspension then puts him out for at least another month. He's not being drafted until very late right now and this could/should actually push his ADP down even further. Given the struggles with injuries and again now with substance abuse, he's not even worth the draft-and-stash. Analysis: Howard Bender