pleted the signing of Mateo Kovacic from Real Madr


first base prospect , who will begin the year in Triple-A, gave a glimpse into what the future might hold for Houston Thursday. Singleton, who is considered a top-100 prospect by Baseball America (No. 27) and .com (No. 27), homered twice off Tigers starting pitcher Anibal Sanchez in an 11-4 spring win.

“I was just going out there trying to do my best,” Singleton said to “He left a couple of pitches over the plate and I tried to put a good swing on it.”

Sinder Paul Pogba.They want to replace Pogba with either Philippe Coutinho or Ivan Rakitic, says the Mundo Deportivo.Coutinho, 27, has struggled to light up the Nou Camp like he did Anfield since his £142m move from Liverpool in January 2018.Croatia’s gleton will remaiers were properly focused for their behind-closed-doors match with LASK Linz after the warm-up.United thrashed the Austrian leaders 5-0 in their Europa League round-of-16 first leg to kill the tie, despite uncertainty over the European football calenn in Florida through the end of May as he finishes off a 50-game suspension for faken aim at the Premier League’s foreign managers.Allardyce, 65, has been out of management since 2018, when he left Everton as the Toffees turned to Marco Silva.It was a similar tale at Crystal Palace in his previous job, having kept the Eagles in thiling a second drug test. He’s played in just five major-league spring games, but Singleton is hitting .300 (3 for 10) with a triple, two homers, two walks and six RBI.

joe Kenny is excited about his move to Schalke.Ken


second baseman is having a pretty par for the course spring. He’s batting .298 (14 for 47) with a triple, two homers, three doubles and six RBI in 18 spring games. He has hit .309 with a .507 slugging percentage in the spring since 2006, so he’s doing what we expect this time of year. That’s definitely a bonus, as well as the fact Weeks has stayed healthy, which has been a problem in the past. 

Weeks’ Fantasy uitor for Bruno Fernandes from Sporting CP.The Portuguese midfielder is a hot property this summer, after scoring and assisting in double digits for Sporting in Liga NOS last sterm.The Daily Mail says Manchester United are seriously looking at Fernanvalue hasn’t changed much this year. He’s a good source of power at a weak Fantasy position. But the negatives are that he doesn’t hit for a pretty average and strikes out a lot. He’s being drafted ahead of Aaron Hill in formats and behind Hill in leagues. I’d take Hill before Weeks in both formats, but I have no problem with Weinstructed to play Callum Hudson-Odoi last season.Sarri faced backlash from supporters and critics alike over his refusal to play Hudson for the first time about his hooking during victory over AC Milan.Ronaldo admits Maurizio Sarri was right when the coach said he was playing injured.He stated, “In the last three weeks I have been limited. Everyone knows that I don’t like to be subs-Odoi, who handed in a transfer request in attempt to join Bayern Munich.He recently a new long-term contract, andeks’ current ADP.

oven their strength by dominating the European com


I think the Fantasy owners who are willing to gamble on first baseman  on Draft Day will be rewarded in 2013.

He homered for the second time in as many games Sunday, running his spring total to three in 13 games. He also has 11 RBI and is batting .282 (11 for 39). And let’s not forget what he did in his limited time with Team Canada in the World Baseball Classic. Morneau hit .636 (7 for 11) with three doubles, three RBI and four runs in three games.

Durability issues have been a problem for Morneau since 2009 and have hurt his Fantasy appeal. Though, you have to be encouraged with the way Morneau is playing this spring after his strong finish to the 2012 season. Morneau hit .296 with a .356 OBP and .800 OPS in his last 78 games. The only thing lacking was his power numbers (nine home runs and 14 doublg world-class talent, says the Football Association’s Kelly Simmons, reports BBC Sport.English top-flight sides are currently permitted to spend 40% of their turnover on wages, under FA rules.The USA’s NWSL has upped its salary cap by nearly 20% to $es in that span), which is obviously a key category for FantasBury, it has been revealed.Kenwright offered £1million of his own money to help save the doomed League One club.The out-of-the-blue offer from the 74-year-old was made over a phone call between Kenwright and English Football League boss Debbie Jevany f has denied suggestions the winter break has affected their form after a scratchy win over West Ham.With a narrow victory over rock-bottom Norwich City and defeat to Atletico Madrid having preceded last night’s result, Liverpool have struggled to reairst basemen. 

It’s tough to put Morneau up there with the elite Fantasy options because of his health concerns and the numbers of burgeoning options at first base, but I think Fantasy owners will be happy with Morneau’s production in 2013, if he can stay healthy.

Jordany Valdespin’s cup came in handy Monday


Young or sensitive readers, avert your eyes.

When facing ace on Monday, utility man squared to bunt. And then he had probably the most horrifying thing possible happen to him. He got hit with a pitch. Right, well, there. Yep, a 94 mile-per-hour heater to the junk.

, Valdespin was laughing afterward and said that he’s OK, so we can put two and two together here and realize he was wearing a protective cup. Thankfully. I don’t even wanna imagine what a Verlander fastball would do to … nevermind. I can’t even finish that sentence.

Good work on wearing the cup, Jordany. Everyone else, take note.

Additional kudos go to Valdespin for being able to laugh about it so soon. I feel like having a scare like that would scar me for life.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow on Twitter, subscribe to the aArsenal forward Alexandre Lacazette today addressed questions around a possible Champions League exit cla in selling attackers this summer.He also believes that a move for Mario Mandzukic from Juventus in January is a good option.United sold Romelu Lukaku to Inter Milan, while they also allowed Alexis Sanchez to leave on loan to the same club.Marouane Fuse in his contract.He’s totally dismissed any knowledge of such a clause.”I didn’t know about this. I did not know,” said Lacazette.”Yeah, I have a contract with the club so there is no point for me to leave, everybody is happy with me at the clubts about the quality of Thiago Almada.The teenage midfielder is a target for Manchester City, which plan to sign Almada ahead of sending him on-loan to Sporting CP.Bravo isn’t surprised by the interest and told O Jogo: “I had Thiago at every level ub.”nd . Also, individually interact with us on Twitter: , and .

at goals after his stunner against Coventry City o


Braves left-hander , who allowed four runs on six hits over three innings in his last spring appearan their time as they iron out the finer points of his elsea defender Frank Leor Laurie Dalrymple.There has been talk of a deteriorating relationship with Dalrymple and chairman Jeff Shi for months now.Dalrymple’s four-and-a-half year stay at Wolves will end up immediately.”With the strong management team we have in place at Wboeuf rates Liverpool star Virgil van Dijk ahead of ex-Manchester United captain Nemanja Vidic.Vidic won five Premier League trophies and the Champions League at United. Van Dijk has won a solo Champions League, and was on his contract.But Lampard is set to leave Derby and take up the post at his former club.Sky Sports says an announcement could be made as early as Thursday.The 41-year-old is holding final talks about thce Saturday, wasn’t quite as bad Friday at the Astros, but he wasn’t especially good either. He allowed two runs on five hits with no walks and one strikeout in three innings.

Mike Scioscia: Angels’ closer position wide open


With all but certain to begin the season on the disabled list, manarton manager Marco Silva wants Richarlison and Yerry Mina to improve their English skills.The duo are important players for Silva, and he believes their inability to speak fluent English is impeding his team.Asked about Richarlison’s progress, Silva ger Mike Scioscia said , Alden Gonzalez of .com reported Wednesday.

Scioscia mentioned four relievers who could be in play for the role: , who racked up 23 saves ins urged Wilfried Zaha to join Arsenal.Both Everton and the Gunners failed with attempts to sign the Ivory Coast international over the summer.”If a player wants to go enough and is desperate enough to leave then it’s possibly not in your best interes the role last year, as well as , and . Frieri appears the most likely option given his success last season — he blew just three saves and posted a 2.32 ERA (163 ERA+). 

Downs also earned a shot at the closer role but doesn’t fit the typical closer mold. His fastball usually lives in the high 80s and he’s a lefty. Jepsen posted a sharp 3.02 ERA and offers a blazing (average velocity 96.6 MPH) fastball, but he has limited late-inning experience (three career saves). Burnett has the worst track record of the four, with a 3.58 career ERA and mediocre 4.15 career FIP.

For more up-to-the-minute news and analyss international future to China.Browning swapped Everton for Guangzhou Evergrande in February, but intends to swap a lot more too —starting with his citizenship.The defender was born in Liverpool and represented England at Under-17, U19 and U21 levis on the latest rumors from bloggers ,  and , follow .

ly Echo says Saints aren’t interested in loaning o


Reds outfield prospect has been a standout bat early in spring training. The 20-year-old outfielder is batting .500 (3 for 6) with one homer, two doubles and five RBI in three sbate.Turkish media sources say Leicester are holding out for €3Rodgers’ first summer signing when he arrived for a fee reported to be in the region of £8m – a transfer record for Luton Town.Since Justin’s arrival, the Foxes have splashed out £30m on Newcastle’s Ayoze Perez before Youri Tielemans arrived in am for the winger, but Besiktas are keen to get him for €2m.The Malian international, who joined the Foxes for €2m in January 2018 , impressed on loan at Turkish Super Lig side Sivaspring games. He even has a stolen base. “Talent wasn’t the issue with him,” manager Dusty Baker said, per the Cincinnati Enquirer. “Talent never was an issue. It’s getting the head and attitude right.” Baker said Rodriguez went through a transformation at Class A Dayton in 2012. “It’s part of grod legend Gary Neville says Manchester City could rue not signing Harry Maguire.The England international signed for United instead, and City have now lost Aymeric Laporte to a long-term injury.The former Red Devils defender told Sky Sports: “I said awing up and being a man,” Baker said. “That’s why he’s in camp. He really didn’t deserve to be in camp. They’re hoping that camp and being around the guys would help put him back on track.”

am United manager David Moyes has revealed how he


Less than 20 hours after having surgery to rterest in AC Milan attacker Fabio Borini.The veteran striker, who has played for Liverpool and Sunderland in the Premier League, is a January target.He has not played for Milan since August 31st, due to injuries or the manager preferring other playerepair a torn meniscus, Athletics relief pitcher started rehabbing his right knee at the team’s spring training facility Friday. Balfour said he is determined to be ready to pitch following his initial timetable — four to six weeks — and be available for opening day. “It will work out fine,” Balfour told The Oakland Tribune. “It’s just that the timing is a lisse Lingard insists he accidentally posted a video from his summer holiday that angered many fans and former players. The United midfielder filmed himself shouting and swearing in his Miami hotel room in July, while also sharing a clip of o to rejoin FC Barcelona, it appears they are determined to talk with everyone else before calling Josep Maria Bartomeu. Neymar knows he is being offered around and one of those sides was Manchester United – but they turned him down.They spoke to Unitne of his ttle unfortunate. I’ve got to get ready (for the season) and the best way to do that is to dive straight into workouts.”

Indians sign pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka to minor-league deal


(US Presswire)

The have signed pitcher to a minor-league deal, according to’s Jon Heyman. Matsuzaka can make up to $4 million. If he passes his pd United attacker Billy Sharp has issued a warning to Premier League heavyweights Chelsea.As the Blades picked up another win in the league, against Bournemouth, they moved themselves into fifth place.They are only two points away from Frank Lampard’hysical and makes the team, he will earn a base salary of $1.5 million, to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. 

With the move, Matsuzaka will reunite with Terry Francona, his manager in Boston. The-32-year-old righty spent most of last season recovering from Tommy John surgery. He tossed 45 2/3 innings ws League qualification must be their target next season.Iwobi says they must do better next year if they are to play in Europe’s elite competition.He said, “Obviously we want to get back in to Champions League football.”We haven’t spoken about where ith the , with an 8.28 ERA and a City boss Pep Guardiola rejected the chance to sign Philippe Coutinho over the summer.Marca says the midfielder was told to pack his bags after Barcelona splashed £105m on Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann.And Catalan chiefs believed Guardiola was5.94 FIP. Matsuzaka still managed to strikeout hitters at an acceptable rate but gave up 11 home runs in 45 2/3 innings.

The Red Sox paid a $51.1 million posting fee to have exclusive negotiating rights with Matsuzaka in November of 2006. They eventually signed him to a six-year, $52 million deal. In those six seasons, Dice-K had a 4.52 ERA over 668 1/3 innings with the team. 

There’s a chance Matsuzaka plays a role with the Indians this season. The club’s rotation is considered a weak spot. and have been useful pitchers, but they are coming off terrible seasons.

has been a decent starter over his career but will be converting back to the role after a season in the bullpen.

, acquired during the offseason, was considered one of the best pitching prospects in baseball prior to last season and should get a shot in the rotation this year. The fifth spot will go to , or .

If Dice-K performs well during spring training, he could force his way onto the roster.

The Marlins and Padres were among the other teams that showed interest in Matsuzaka. 

For more up-to-the-minute news and analysis on the latest rumors from bloggers ,  and , follow.

With Indians owner said to be ‘unhappy,’ Acta’s job is likely in jeopardy


manager Manny Acta received a vote of confidence from Indians ECO Paul Dolan, the son of owner L should be competing for trophies.The Giallorosso haven’t won a title for 11 years.“It’s such a shame for a club like this not to have won anything in the last years,” Dzeko told the Athletic. “Hopefully this can change, because this club, first arry Dolan, a couple weeks ago. Votes of confidence are never ironclad, but the one for Acta feels especially flimsy.

Even a couple weeks ago, just after that vote of confidence, which also covered GM Chris Antonetti and club president Mark Shapiro, a source said Intified a cheaper alternative to Kalidou Koulibaly.The club have baulked at Napoli’s £150m valuation of the Senegalese defender.But they haven’t wasted any time sourcing another target, according to the Daily Star.Benfica centre-back Ruben Dias is thdians ownership was “unhappy” with the Indians’ second-half slide. Now, with the team 4-12 since the younger Dolan’s vote of confidence, Acta’s job security seems even less certain.

Antonetti has been very supportive of Acta, saying at the time of the vote of confidence from ownership that his previous positive comments stood. “I don’t feel any differently,” Antonetti said. However, he didn’t disagree that all things are reassessed at the end of the year.

Today he texted back, saying “nothing is new” on Acta’s managerial status.

However, with the Indians having lost 12 of 16 since the late-August vote of confidence to fall to 15-41 in the second half and sliding into a last-place tie with the at 59-82, it stands to reason that the end-of-year reassessment may still include Acta’s status.

Hard to believe now, but the Indians actually were over .500 at the All-Star break, causing them to hang between buyer and seller, basically preventing any major moves (turns out they certainly were right not to buy). The Indians have a built-in excuse: The team’s payroll under the stewardship of club owner Larry Dolan has stayed among the bottom few in baseball. But that still doesn’t explain how they team fell apart in the second half.

Antonetti is making no excuses, saying late last month, “Collectively, we haven’t played to our expectations in almost all facets of the game.” Antonetti, being brutally honest, went on to say that the starting pitching had gone from inconsistent to “not very good,” the pen had gone from very good to not “as good” and that the lineup had been “inconsistent all year.”

Antonetti, responding late last month to the source’s suggestion that ownership was uns for failing to land Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba this summer.Zidane wasn’t shy in talking publicly his plans to bring Pogba to Madrid, but ultimately the market shut with Pogba still at Old Trafford.And L’Equipe says the coach was left fhappy, even  back then, said, “I don’t think anyone’s happy with where we are or how we’ve played.”


Josh Beckett placed on waivers


(Getty Images) Insider Jon Heyman reports that the have placed right-hander on waivers. However, rival execs don’t expect Beckett to be traded, in large part because of his contract, which runs through to 2says the Argentine deserved his FIFA The Best award on Monday night.He stated: “It is normal that he has taken The Best because he is the best and will continue to be until he no longer wants to. “He is magical, he is a player that while we can we mu014 at a cost of $15.75 million for each of the next two seasons. 

Heyman characterizes the as “the wild card” in all of this but says that any deal for Beckett remains a long shot. 

On the season, the 32-year-old Beckett has a 5.23 ERA and 94 strikeouts in 127.1 innings pitched. In parts of 12 major-leagueNewcastle United are preparing to move for Hull City attacker Jarrod Bowen.The Telegraph says Newcastle are planning to make at least one news signing during January.Hull winger Bowen is among those being looked at by manager Steve Bruce.The 22-year-old has scored 13 goals in 20 games for the Championship club this season. seasons, he has a career ERA of 3.93. The three-time All-Star finished second in the AL Cy Young Ard admits Chelsea can’t afford to lose against Valencia on Wednesday night.Along with Ajax, the two sides are on seven points in Group B ahead of their group stage clash at the Mestalla.And Lampard says the Blues must walk away with at least a draw.”ward voting in 2007. 

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow on Twitter, subscribe to the and .

Umpire Jim Joyce makes the best call of the year — before the game


(Getty Images)

You never know when the big moments will arrive, and so it was that veteran umpire Jim Joyce made his biggest call of the season … roughly 90 minutes before the -Diamondbacks game started in onded leaving Olivier Giroud at home for their 2-2 draw at Leicester City.Chelsea finished the game without a recognised striker on the pitch as centre-half Toni Rudiger scored both their goals.”It was nothing to do with the frame of mind, no,” said th Monday night.Joyce administered CPR to a Diamondbacks’ game-day employee named Jayne Powers in a tunnel leading to the umpires’ dressing room minutes on his way into the ballpark Monday, saving her life in a moment nobody who was in the vicinity at Chase Field will soon forget.Talk about making the right call in a split-second.”It was non-normal,” Joyce told Tuesday afternoon. “I don’t know what word to put on it.”It’s obviously never happened to me before.”

“We’re thrilled that she’s doing well today,” Russ Amaral, vice-president for Chase Field operations and facilities management, said. “And we’re grateful to those who were there to help.”

Powers, a beloved, original employee dating back to the franchise’s inception, has worked in concessions for the Diamondbacks since March 1, 1998. She remains in the hospital and hopes to be released by week’s end, according to the Diamondbacks.Joyce, 56, and the other umpires in his crew — Lance Barrett, Jim Reynolds and James Hoye — had just arrived at Chase Field and were headed to their dressing room when they saw a woman down in the midst of having a seizure. Noting that, Joyce, who learned CPR when he was in high school, made sure that the woman’s head was protected. But shortly afterward, her body relaxed and Joyce knew something was wrong.”I’ve had to use CPR before,” Joyce said, though not in many years. “This is something everybody should know. Everybody should know what to do in a circumstance like that.”It’s not a hard thing. You don’t need a degree. It’s very simple, and very easy.”Paramedics arrived while Joyce was administering CPR, but even after an initial shock from a defibrillator, Powers did not come out of it. So Joyce continued administering CPR while the paramedics did another round with the defibrillator.Finally, Powers began breathing again. Someone told Joyce later Monday night that she went out again in the ambulance and that paramedics again used the defibrillator. But by later that night, when he came back into the umpires’ room following the game, Joyce’s understanding w not think that Sean Longstami was left disappointed with defeat at West Ham United.Obafemi levelled proceedings midway through the first period, cancelling out Jarrod Bowen’s opener, but Saints succumbed to two second-half strikes, meaning they left the capital empty handed.”Vff will leave for Manchester United this summer.The Red Devils have a reported interest in the young defensive midfielder.However, Newcastle want to keep Longstaff, who broke into their first team at the end of last seasonas that Powers’ condition in the hospital was stable.”I’m going to find out more, hopefully she’s doing OK,” said Joyce, who was waiting for an update Tuesday.Joyce, who was in the national spotlight in 2010 when he missed the call at first base that prevented the ‘ Armando Galarraga from completing a perfect game against the , was scheduled to work home plate Monday night.After the emotions of the moment, his colleagues suggested a swap that would move him to third base. Joyce declined.”It was very emotional, I’ll be honest with you,” he said. “But I didn’t want to go to third base because just standing there, literally, [the incident] is all I would have thought about all night. I wouldn’t have been able to think about anything else.”Going behind the plate, I would have something to do every minute. I could just do my job. But I’ll be honest with you, there were still times during the game that I was thinking about it.”The Marlins clobbered the Diamondbacks 12-3, and it was a fairly routine game for Joyce behind the plate. There were no controversies.Turns out, not only did Joyce long ago learn CPR, but his daughter currently is in EMT school and his son, a coach back home in Beaverton, Ore., is certified in CPR.”Just knowing it, I think it’s imperative,” Joyce said. “You may never, ever, have to use it.”But it’s just that one time that you do.”

Yadier Molina sets new career high for homers in a season


(Getty Images)

Sunday night against the , catcher hit his 15th home run of the 2012 season. That wouldn’t normally be such a huge deal, especially since the Reds are in first and ended up sweeping the Cardinals with a win Sunday night. But it was Molina’s 15th home run of the season, meaning he’s already established a new career high. Check out the numbers:

• From 2005-2010, Molina averaged six homers in 424 at-bats per season.

• In 2011, Molina hit 14ady to move to PSG.Coutinho has made it no secret he has been unsettled at Barca these past six months.Sport says a move to PSG could now be on after the midfielder agreed personal terms with the Parisians.PSG are yet to formally contact Barca about home runs in 475 at-bats.

• So farlly settling at Anfield.Fabinho says Mane has been crucial to his personal turnaround.”Sadio Mane is a genuinely impressive player, he’s tireless, playing in every game with such high levels of intensity and concentration,” he told the Reds’ official in 2012, Molina has 15 home runs in just 288 at-bats.

So what’s up with the power surge?

Numbers-wise, he’s simply far more powerful than he ever has been before. He’s actually hitting less fly balls than he has in the past, but those fly balls are becoming home runs at a significantly higher rate. In his entire career, 6.7 percent of his fly balls have left the yard. This year it’s happening at a rate of higher than 17 percent.

Otherwise, we’re looking at a guy who came up from the minors at a young age largely due to defensive prowess and has been progressively improving his offense through experience — such as becoming more aware of how certain pitchers like to work him — and hard work on his offensive mechanics.

Whatever he’s doing, it’s working. Molina has become a legitimate power source. Last decade, that just didn’t seem possible.

For more baseball news, rumors and happy with Vinicius Junior’s performance for victory over Espanyol.Zidane recalled the youngster for the 2-0 and was impressed.He said, “The main thing is that the player wants to score goals, work hard and you’ve got to look at what he did, he did analysis, follow on Twitter, subscribe to the and .

Players back Roger Clemens


Baseball players are a close-knit fraternity, so it’s hardly a surprise that most of the reaction to Roger Clemens’ not guilty verdict on perjury charges were congratulatory in nature.Here’s some of the reaction culled from various reports from current and former big-league players:• shortstop : “I think [the verdict] means a lot for him, first and foremost,” Jeter said (). “That’s the important thing. I think it’s great for the game that we can stop talking about it now, you know whatl adjusting to eachother’s games.Zouma is relatively new to this particular Chelsea side, which he acknowledges is a work in progress.”We are improving a lot,” the central defender told “Last year there were some players out on loan wh I mean?”This is something that’s been going on for a long time. I’m glad it’s over with. I’m pretty sure baseball fans will be happy it’s over with.”• YankeeVlatko Andonovski is set to become the new head coach of the United States women’s football team.The 43-year-old is currently in charge of National Women’s Soccer League side Reign FC in Seattle.Previous head coach Jill Ellis took charge of her final game on 6 October, having won two World Cups with the US.s manager Joe Girardi: “I think when we get all trials out of the way, I think it does [end the discussion],” Girardi said (). “Because it seems like every time soneone was brought up before a grand jury, put on trial, you’d focus on what was going on the last 10, 15 years. Now it seems like we’re beyond. We can focus on what’s going to go on the next 10 years.”• Former catcher Brad Ausmus: “I’m happy for him,” Ausmus said (). “He’s a friend of mine. You certainly want to see the best for him. He was one of the best teammates I’ve played with. You hate to see people that you care about in distressing situations. I’m certainly happy for him, Debbie and the boys.”•  first baseman Lance Berkman: “Obviously this is a great thing for Roger and his family,” Berkman said (). “And I’m glad that he can put this trial behind him and move on to bigger and better things.”• right-hander Jered Weaver: “He’s a great guy, and you know, he always talked about work ethic in this league, and I’ve kind of taken it to heart and run with it,” Weaver said (). “He worked his butt off for a long time to come upw ith those accomplishments. I’m glad to see that everything came out OK.”• Angels outfielder : “The government came aottenham boss Jose Mourinho has told Sky Sports News that Eric Dier is almost certain to play against Burnley on Saturday despite his confrontation with a fan after the Norwich game in midweek.”I don’t think there is any reason for him not to be in tfter our two biggest stars and they got nothing,” Hunter said (). “It was a witch hunt. They got nothing on this sport. So leave us alone, please.”It should also be noted that Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte, who testified in the trial, declined comment, as did admitted steroid user . Also adding a no comment was Mike Piazza. who will also be on his first Hall of Fame ballot this year.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow on Twitter, subscribe to the and .

Report: Justin Upton to see hand specialist, disabled list stint possible


Diamondbacks right fielder is not in the lineup for ‘s game against the Tuesday night due to a lingering thumb injury. And here’s the bad news: Upton is headed to a hand specialist and a stint on the disabled list is “not out of the question,” according to manager Kirk Gibson (). Obviously any time missed by Upton hurts, because he’s a star. The 24-year-old ild admits he has a ‘tough decision’ to make regarding his future at Liverpool .Wilson has thrived while on loan at Bournemouth, scoring six goals in 23 games in his debut Premier League season.His loan spell is drawing to an end though and he’d face toer has hailed the leadership of veteran striker Billy Sharp.The striker, who celebrated his 34th birthday last week, scored in victory over Bournemouth yesterday.”He hasn’t played as much as he would have liked. Off the pitch, he’s been a fantastifinished fourth in MVP voting in a crowded NL field last season. Then again, the D-Backs have gotten out to a 7-3 start with Upton hitting just .212/.350/.273. Further, Arizona can plug in Gerardo Parra, who is swinging a hot bat right now, into Upton’s spot in right field. Obviouslhe’s working on a return to management.Allegri says he wants to be in a job for next season.He explained, “In September I need to come back. If I don’t I’ll get too used to being on holiday and I’ll never work again!“I still have three more monthy losing him long-term would be a huge blow, but if the D-Backs had to tread water without Upton for a few weeks, they could likely do so.So the situation certainly bears watching, but a DL stint for Upton wouldn’t be a crippling blow at this juncture.