Saturday, April 19, 2008

Atlantic League offered Bonds a spring training spot

The Dugout spent some time in Lakeland, Fla. where the Atlantic League holds its spring training. Confirmed from commissioner Joe Klein that the league did offer Barry Bonds the opportunity to work out with the teams during their eight-day season prep. The offer was genuine - Klein has a prior baseball relationship with the large-domed slugger and his agent - but Bonds chose not to accept. The league, which has been home to Jose Canseco, Rickey Henderson and Ruben Sierra, has yet to sign a big name player for this season, but Klein said that usually happens nearer to the start of the season.

While there, had the most interesting conversation about Tommy John surgery ever with, you guessed it, Tommy John. He’s managing Bridgeport. He told a pretty good story about what dogs shouldn’t do at the ballpark that will appear on the site.

The week also included St. Louis pitcher Mark Mulder’s rehab start for Palm Beach (see photo). Mulder looked good, getting plenty of ground balls. His velocity is still down – didn’t touch 90 – so he’s still going to need a couple more starts. The next one could come as early as Sunday for Double-A Springfield.

Palm Beach is continuing a St. Louis organization experiment that started last year by going with an eight-man starting rotation in which two starting pitchers piggy back each other, starting every four days. On Thursday starter Brendan Dickson threw five no-hit innings, but was pulled to bring in the second starter. Look for a story on the main site in the coming days.
That’s it for this update. Need to go chat with Birdzerk. Could be another story…

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