Ish Smith Assists

Ish Smith Assists
Matt Stroup breaks down some late-season lineup options, including Ish Smith, Chase Budinger and Jason Terry, in the latest Roundball Stew.
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Jung Ho Kang tripled and walked Friday against the Twins.

The triple got a boost from the wind, but at least it was a well-hit ball, which is something not seen much of from Kang these last two weeks. The Pirates still plan on carrying him as a reserve despite hit .133 average.
Mar 27 - 5:16 PM

Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said Friday that Roenis Elias will get another start this spring.

McClendon said it might come in a minor league game. All signs are pointing towards Taijuan Walker winning the fifth spot in the Mariners' rotation, but the skipper isn't ready to declare a winner just yet. Elias has struggled this spring with a 6.75 ERA and 8/7 K/BB ratio over 14 2/3 innings.
Mar 27 - 5:15 PM

Aaron Hicks went 0-for-3 with a strikeout Friday and misplayed a ball in center field.

Barring a very surprising reversal putting Danny Santana back in the outfield, the Twins lack a quality alternative to Hicks in center field. Still, they might opt to go to Jordan Schafer if they get frustrated enough. Hicks started off hot this spring, but he's in a 2-for-22 slump, leaving him with a .206/.300/.324 line this spring.
Mar 27 - 5:14 PM

Jacoby Ellsbury (oblique) will take batting practice on the field Saturday.

It will come after he took indoor BP on Friday. Ellsbury has been sidelined since March 15 with a right oblique strain, but he's expected to be ready for Opening Day as long as he can avoid a setback. The 31-year-old center fielder is batting .222/.222/.296 with one RBI over 27 plate appearances this spring.
Mar 27 - 5:13 PM

Michael Pineda blanked the Phillies for five innings in the Yankees' rain-shortened, 10-0 victory Friday.

Since the game was called in the top of the sixth, Pineda will get credit for a rate spring training shutout. He allowed five hits, walked none and struck out five while throwing 62 pitches. He looks like he'll be one of the AL's better pitchers if he can stay healthy.
Mar 27 - 5:07 PM

Jake Diekman was lit up for seven runs in one-third of an inning by the Yankees on Friday.

Yikes. Diekman 100-strikeout season out of the pen went mostly unnoticed last year, but it was a pretty impressive accomplishment for a lefty. He's being counted on as a big part of the Phillies pen again, but he does have options left if the Phillies want to send him down. He entered the day with a 3.86 ERA and a 7/2 K/BB ratio in seven innings this spring, so we're probably not at that point yet.
Mar 27 - 5:04 PM

Stephen Drew went 3-for-3 with a double and two RBI against the Phillies on Friday.

Drew's bat had showed signs of coming around in recent days, but this is still his first multihit game of the spring. Overall, he's hitting .231/.302/.359 in 39 at-bats.
Mar 27 - 5:01 PM

Darren Wolfson of 1500ESPN.com reports that the Twins have inquired about watching Rafael Soriano throw.

Wolfson adds that it's "possible they already watched him" throw. It's not clear how series Minnesota's interest in the free agent reliever is at this point. Soriano's market has been shockingly non-existent, as he was connected to the Blue Jays briefly but that was back in January. The reliever is working out at his agent Scott Boras' training facility in Miami.
Mar 27 - 5:00 PM
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