· Terry Francona only knows one button, and that is go. He is now entering his 17th season as an MLB manager. Francona has won the World Series twice with the Boston Red Sox, and has taken the Cleveland Indians to a Wildcard appearance in 2013 and the World Series last season. But coming into this year, he doesn’t know how much more he has left. He has a history of medical issues, and has had numerous surgeries throughout his MLB career. “It gets harder and harder physically. It takes me longer to recharge every year,” Francona said to Bill Ladson of MLB.com. He credits GM Mike Chernoff and president of baseball operations Chris Antonetti for making him a better overall person. “I love being here. I think anyone who has spent 10 minutes with me knows how much I like it here.”
News and Notes
· According to Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton is heading back to his surgeon after experiencing pain in his recently repaired left knee.
· According to Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com, Baltimore Orioles closer Zach Britton is not overly concerned with his recent oblique issue. He mentioned he may be able to play if it were the regular season.
· Greg Johns of MLB.com reports that Seattle Mariners righty Steve Cishek picked up a ball for the first time on Wednesday after getting hip surgery done last fall. He’ll throw off flat ground every other day for now.
· Mike Puma of the New York Post reports that New York Mets third baseman David Wright has begun to throw the ball. He isn’t expected to take the field until the middle of March.
· According to Andrew Baggarly of the Mercury News, San Francisco Giants lefty Will Smith has been shut down for a week after experiencing inflammation in his pitching elbow.
· Jon Heyman of FanRag reports that the Tampa Bay Rays have signed righty Tommy Hunter to a minor-league deal. If he makes the big league roster he will make $1.4MM and could make an additional $1.5MM in incentives.
· Mike Kiszla of the Denver Post reports that the Colorado Rockies and outfielder Carlos Gonzalez have not had any talks on a contract extension.
· According to Robert Murray of FanRag, Los Angeles Dodgers top prospect first baseman/outfielder Cody Bellinger is now being represented by agent Scott Boras.
· Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times reports that righty Matt Shoemaker pitched off the mound for the first time since suffering a skull fracture off the bat of Seattle Mariners infielder Kyle Seager.