Tampa, FL (Sportsbook Betting Lines) - New York Yankees outfielder Curtis Granderson will be sidelined for 10 weeks after suffering a fractured right forearm during Sunday's spring training game against the Toronto Blue Jays. Granderson was drilled by an inside pitch from Toronto left-hander J.A. Happ in the first inning. Granderson left the game in obvious pain and was initially diagnosed with a bruised forearm.
Granderson played the top half of the first in left field, as the Yankees experiment with moving Brett Gardner to center field. New York planned to have a starting outfield of Granderson, Gardner and Ichiro Suzuki in some alignment on opening day.
The Nats won a major-league best 98 games in 2012, and should be even better this year without an innings restriction for Stephen Strasburg and the additions of center fielder Denard Span, righty Dan Haren and reliever Rafael Soriano.
But, then again weren't we saying the same thing about the Miami Marlins this time last year? How'd that work out?
Unlike Miami, though, the Nats actually have last year's team to back up their enormous expectations. But, while it was a trendy pick, Washington essentially came out of nowhere a year ago. It's not always easy when the shoe is on the other foot, particularly when the team now doing the hunting is one that had won five straight division titles before last season.
In fact, besides Utley and Howard, 15 other players spent time on the DL, including Halladay, Lee, Vance Worley, Carlos Ruiz, Mike Stutes, Jim Thome and Placido Polanco.
Utley and Howard are healthy and barring something happening in the next month will be in the middle of the Phillies' lineup on Opening Day. And that pitching staff, if it's right, should again be one of the best in baseball.
But he also ranked 85th out of 88 qualifying starting pitchers last season with an average of 3.20 runs in support per nine innings.
"That's definitely not what I would expect out of myself and a little bit disappointing, but it was just one of those years," Lee said. "I happened to be the guy that didn't get that much support and things just didn't go my way. But that's stuff that's out of my control. It can be frustrating, looking back on it, but I wasn't as frustrated as you would expect me to be. But you have to focus on the things you can control and worry about that.
"To be honest, I forgot what a normal spring training schedule is," Utley said. "No, what Charlie (Manuel) and I have planned, there will be plenty of games under my belt. So far, so good. Things are progressing well ... The last couple of spring trainings, I was just trying to figure out a way to get on the field, and that didn't work. This year, the stuff I did in the offseason has worked so far. Hopefully, it will give me a chance to not only know what I need to do to get on the field, but to actually make some progressions while playing."
Work left to do: Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, Kansas State
Texas joins Texas A&M and Kansas as locks after getting league win No. 11. Texas Tech greatly helped its own hopes and crippled OK State's with the two-point win Saturday. Is K-State the last reasonable hopeful? Could be an elimination match in Stillwater on Tuesday, at least for the Cowboys.
Work left to do:
Texas Tech [18-11 (7-7), RPI: 44, SOS: 12] A critical two-point win over OK State leaves the Red Raiders with Baylor and at Iowa State left. Get both and the Red Raiders likely are good to go. Get one and there could be some interesting comparisons with a K-State team that could finish two or three games "ahead" of them in the standings but doesn't have any of the quality wins Texas Tech has. Not a lot in nonconference play (against Arkansas in Little Rock being the best win, by far) to lean on.
Oklahoma State [18-9 (5-8), RPI: 50, SOS: 35] Still without a road win, the Cowboys now need to win two on the road just to get to .500 in conference play. It's hard to recall a team (OK, other than Clemson) falling so precipitously from lock status to almost certainly out of the NCAAs at this point. There are wins to be had in the last three, including a very big home game against K-State on Tuesday, but this team is reeling. Can you tell the pressure to win is getting to them with the way the final possession played out at Texas Tech? There are some good nonconference performances to lean on, specifically beating Missouri State and Syracuse on neutral floors and Pitt in OK City, but if the Pokes don't right this very, very soon, that won't be enough.
Kansas State [20-9 (9-5), RPI: 56, SOS: 96] It pays to be in the Big 12 North. The nine league wins are Colorado (twice), Missouri (twice), Iowa State (twice), Baylor, Nebraska and (a good one against) Texas. That helps explain the middling computer profile. The win over USC is nice, but the nonconference leaves a lot to be desired. The game at OK State in Stillwater on Tuesday is huge, as it could KO the Cowboys and leave K-State with a home date against Oklahoma with which to work.