Eric Stults pitched five scoreless innings in relief, allowing just one hit, for a victory against the Tigers on Monday.
Stults definitely aided his bid for the fifth spot in Atlanta's rotation today, and he'd seem to be the in-house favorite for the gig. Overall, he's allowed five runs -- four earned -- in 19 innings this spring, giving him 1.89 ERA. It's still quite possible the Braves will go outside the organization for a fifth starter, which could make Stults a bullpen candidate.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter indicated Monday that J.J. Hardy (shoulder) could begin the season on the disabled list.
Blue Jays reassigned 1B Daric Barton to minor league camp.
This would seem to solidify Justin Smoak's status. Barton hit .250/.341/.389 with one home run and two doubles across 41 plate appearances this spring.
Joba Chamberlain gave up two runs and four hits in two-thirds of an inning Monday against the Braves.
This one had an October feel, what with Chamberlain being unable to get through the eighth inning. He's allowed seven runs and 17 hits in 7 2/3 innings this spring, striking out just two batters along the way. Perhaps it can be explained by his late start -- he didn't re-sign with the Tigers until Feb. 24 -- but there's no way the Tigers should use him in a key role in the early going.
Blue Jays released INF Ramon Santiago.
Santiago, a non-roster invitee this spring, suffered a broken left collarbone earlier this month and is expected to miss 10 weeks. He'll attempt to latch on with a new team once he's back to full health.
Joe Nathan tossed a scoreless ninth, allowing only an infield single, versus the Braves on Monday.
Nathan was pitching for the first time since injuring a fingernail Thursday. He didn't have his best velocity of the spring today, working at 89-91 mph, but that might have been because of the fingernail. He got the job done, but we'd sure like to see him more consistently in the 91-94 mph range.
Indians released LHP Scott Downs.
The move allows Downs to seek an opportunity with another club. The 38-year-old southpaw was in camp this spring as a non-roster invitee and posted a 2.84 ERA and 5/2 K/BB ratio in 6 1/3 innings during Cactus League action.
Alex Avila went 0-for-4 on Monday, dropping his spring average to .184.
Avila just doesn't hit singles these days, which is why it's curious that Tigers manager Brad Ausmus has penciled him into the seventh spot in between Yoenis Cespedes and Nick Castellanos. It's largely because Avila is a left-hander, but if Ausmus thinks Avila will outhit Castellanos against righties... well, that doesn't bode well for Castellanos.