MLB Notebook: Collins, Royals bullpen hope to heat up
BY Associated Press
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
2/20/13 at 4:16 AM
Tim Collins is listed at 5-foot-7, which might be generous. His presence in the Kansas City Royals' bullpen, however, looms quite large.
The left-hander led AL relief pitchers with 93 strikeouts in only 69 2/3innings last season.
Collins struck out 60 and walked 48 in 67 innings as a rookie in 2011. In 2012, his walks dropped to 34, while he struck out 33 more.
Collins' fastball velocity is in the 92-93 mph range, but he can touch 95-96. He joins closer Greg Holland, who has a mid-90s mph fastball, right-handed setup men Kelvin Herrera, who lights up radar guns at 100 mph, and Aaron Crow, who was a 2011 AL All-Star as a rookie.
Reds giving Frazier chance to start at 3B: With one impressive season, Todd Frazier has gone from last player cut in spring training to first in line to take over as the Cincinnati Reds' starting third baseman.
Frazier led the Reds in spring training last year with five homers and 15 RBIs, but was the last player sent to the minors at the end of camp.
When backup infielder Miguel Cairo was injured in April, Frazier was called up and had a sensational rookie season. He finished third in the NL Rookie of the Year voting after batting .273 with 19 homers and 67 RBIs.
Third baseman Scott Rolen turned down the Reds' offer to attend spring training and fill a backup role this year. Frazier is now the starter.
"Frazier is in a totally different situation than he was last year at this time," manager Dusty Baker said. "We hoped that he would be in this situation. He's paid his dues. "
Marlins open up center field competition: A last-place finish often results in several position battles the following season. Not so much for the 2013 Miami Marlins, where the main competition is only in center field.
Justin Ruggiano and Gorkys Hernandez return to compete for the job. Juan Pierre also could see time there. Highly rated prospects Christian Yelich and Jake Marisnick also will get looks.
Study shows Posey earns steepest rise in arbitration: Reserved for the better part of February for the contentious process of salary arbitration, the Ellis East Room on the second floor of the Hyatt Regency Phoenix in New York went unused. For the first time since arbitration began in 1974, none of the players who filed wound up arguing their cases.
All 133 players who filed last month settled, gaining an average increase of 119 percent, according to a study by The Associated Press. San Francisco catcher Buster Posey, the NL batting champion and MVP, led the way with a 13-fold hike to $8 million.