|Shairon Martis, who|
is still playing in the
World Baseball Classic
for the Netherlands,
was one of seven
Sunday to minor
Only two of the seven — pitcher Deolis Guerra and first baseman Chris Colabello — ever had even dark horse status for making the 25-man roster, so Sunday's moves simply thinned the crowd from the clubhouse. The contenders for major league duty in April were essentially unaffected.
Guerra's chances of making the roster, unlikely to begin with, vanished when he was found to have a blood clot in his pitching shoulder. For a while he was in intensive care, a sign of how serious such a clot is. On Friday he had a rib removed to free up space for the artery involved, and he should be ready to pitch again sometime this summer.
As I said when the diagnosis was announced: It's a serious, even life-threatening, condition, if unchecked, and now that it's been caught, it's not career-threatening. That seems an odd juxtaposition, but it's nevertheless true.
Colabello's reassignment does narrow the field a bit for the bench hitter job. The primary candidates for that job — assuming it exists when the Opening Day roster is set — now in camp would appear to be first baseman/catcher Jeff Clement and outfielders Brandon Boggs and Wilkin Ramirez, all non-roster guys.
I'm not sure any of them are better fits for the pinch-hitting/backup DH role than Colabello, which leads me to suspect that the front office is going to be eying the waiver wire hard for a hitter these next two weeks.
Scott Diamond is to make his first game appearance of the spring today in a minor league game, and he is apparently on track for a mid-April return to the rotation — which, by implication, means he figures to open the year on the disabled list.
Ditto Anthony Swarzak, whose marginal candidacy for a rotation job cracked with his ribs a few weeks ago. Ron Gardenhire was quoted over the weekend as saying his long man had to be stretched out to five innings, and there isn't time for Swarzak to do that before the April 1 opener.
Five innings? That's a typical start for Sam Deduno or Kevin Correia. I doubt Gardy's ever used a reliever for five innings.
DLing Diamond and Swarzak does figure to postpone a couple of roster decisions. Swarzak is among a handful of use-or-lose guys in the bullpen field (along with Tim Wood, Ryan Pressly and Josh Roenicke) who would have to clear waivers to be kept in the minors.