updated 9:42 PM PST
The team pages are updated. It was a busy day around the league so let me know if I missed anything. With just a few days until teams break camp, there should be a lot of roster activity this week. I'm on vacation from my day job starting on Thursday so I should be able to do plenty of work on the site from then until the start of the season. Can't wait!
updated 1:30 PM PST
CHICAGO CUBS: Kevin Gregg will be the team's closer, having beaten out Carlos Marmol for the job. Marmol will pitch in the setup role, where he was very successful in 2008.
SAN DIEGO PADRES: Utilityman Chris Burke has been told he will not make the team. The Padres bench now appears to be set with Edgar Gonzalez and Everth Cabrera in the infield, Henry Blanco backing up Nick Hundley, and Cliff Floyd and Scott Hairston the backup outfielders.
While Burke appeared to be an early favorite because of his speed and versatility, Gonzalez is better offensively and the team feels that the speedy Cabrera can be the team's SS of the future.
SEATLLE MARINERS: Apparently, this decision was made over a week ago by the manager, but Brandon Morrow will be moving to the bullpen and it sounds like he plans on staying there. Reliever Tyler Walker, who was once considered a favorite for the closer's job because he was one of the few candidates with experience, was released.
In other news, catcher Jeff Clement was optioned to AAA where he'll play everyday. Rob Johnson is likely to be the backup to Kenji Johjima.
updated 8:58 AM PST
DETROIT TIGERS: Rule V pick Kyle Bloom was returned to the Pittsburgh Pirates. The left-hander allowed 5 ER in 5.1 IP this spring.
In other news, the team placed LHP Dontrelle Willis on the DL with anxiety disorder and reliever Joel Zumaya was placed on the DL with shoulder soreness.
The last three spots in the bullpen are likely down to Eddie Bonine, Ryan Perry, Clay Rapada, Juan Rincon, and Scott Williamson. If Jeremy Bonderman starts the season on the DL, Zach Miner probably moves to the rotation which would open another spot. Perry is making a strong case but he's only 22 years old with 13.2 innings of minor league experience (11.2 IP in Hi A).
updated 8:46 AM PST
ST. LOUIS CARDINALS: David Freese's 3-for-4 performance in yesterday's game and Joe Mather's .214 OBP this spring have convinced me to once again change my lineup projection for the Cardinals. Freese is back as the projected starter at 3B while Mather is projected to fill a role on the bench as a backup 3B/OF.
With two projected bench players capable of playing the OF (Mather, Joe Thurston) and Skip Schumaker shifting from 2B to the OF in the late innings, I have projected Colby Rasmus to start the season in AAA rather than serve as the 4th outfielder.
HOUSTON ASTROS: The team has reassigned IF/OF David Newhan and RHP Chad Paronto to minor league camp.
Paronto was in the projected bullpen based on his strong spring (2.70 ERA, BB, 10 K's in 10 IP) but now that spot will likely go to Jose Capellan, who is falling behind Russ Ortiz is the competition for the #5 spot in the rotation. Right-hander Alberto Arias (0 ER in 8.1 IP) and lefty Rule V Pick Gilbert De La Vara (8.38 ERA in 9.2 IP) are still in the mix, as is right-hander Chris Sampson (7 IP, 2 ER), who was questionable for opening day because of offseason elbow surgery.
updated 7:47 AM PST
I wasn't able to update the 'Around the League' feature yesterday evening so I'll start with a quick recap of anything important that happened on 3/28 after 12:00 PM PST.
SEATTLE MARINERS: We learned that Mariner's pitcher Brandon Morrow will either start the season in AAA or in the big league bullpen.
When I did my initial projections back in December-January, I had no doubt in my mind that Morrow would be the closer on this team. Of course, I hadn't been following along in the local Seattle media and failed to catch that the team had already anointed Morrow a part of the starting rotation. A few readers quickly pointed this out to me. Still, I think I had some pretty good arguments.
Argument #1 - He was dominant out of the bullpen (1.47 ERA, 10 Sv in 36.2 IP) in '08 and just so-so as a starter (5.79 ERA in 5 starts).
Argument #2 - Coming off of a 2008 season in which he threw just 95.1 innings, stretching a 24 year-old out to over 170 innings would seem a bit risky, wouldn't it?
Argument #3 - Who else on this team is capable of being a closer?
Based on arguments two and three, I have to think that the team is at least strongly considering keeping him in the bullpen. GM Jack Zduriencik is not commenting on whether Morrow is being considered for the closer's role.
ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS: Pitcher Max Scherzer will start the season on the DL. He will be activated in time to start on April 14th when the D-Backs first need their #5 starter.
FLORIDA MARLINS: It appears that Emilio Bonifacio is the frontrunner for the 3B job, according to ESPN's Buster Olney.
With projected 1B Gaby Sanchez hitting just .219 (7-for-32) with no homers or RBI's this spring, the team could start him in AAA and slide projected 3B Jorge Cantu over to 1B. It makes sense, especially because Sanchez would be making the jump from AA if he was to make the opening day roster.
CLEVELAND INDIANS: Josh Barfield has won the final bench job.