What I’m Reading

• The oft-injured Ian Kinsler is, well, injured again. Oh, and he’s likely to start the season on the DL. 

•.Speaking of the disabled list, Lance Berkman will be joining Mr. Kinsler in that oh-so-exclusive club to start the season. Actually, on second thought, it isn’t very exclusive. Seems they’re letting just about everyone in these days. 

• For those that were upset that Pacquiao v. Mayweather fell through a few months back, I’ve got something even better: Parra v. Narveson. Oh yeah.

• I don’t think there is a baseball fan out there that won’t be totally bummed if Kevin Millar does, indeed, retire. 

What I Think About It


Kinsler

• While he has amassed solid numbers since his debut in 2006, Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler has yet to complete a full season.

It might have been “cute” back when he was breaking in as a 24-year old, but he’ll be turning 28 during the course of this season. Time to grow up and be a man.

The Rangers are expecting him to step up and lead a club that actually has a legitimate shot at an AL West crown.

To put it simply, he can’t do that from the bench.

Well, I suppose he could lead the cheering, but at $4 million this season, that is one expensive cheerleader.

In response to Kinsler’s likely replacements Andres Blanco and Joaquin Arias, manager Ron Washington had this to say, according to MLB.com: "I'd rather have Kinsler,"

Promising words. However, he did continue his analysis.

"But I am confident we have a guy who can play defense with [shortstop Elvis Andrus] up the middle until Kinsler is ready."

Luckily, it is possible that his DL placement will be dated retroactively to early on in Spring Training, allowing him to return just a few games into the upcoming season.

But will this be his only stint on the DL this year or will he be starring in yet another unnecessary sequel to “Bring It On”?

Berkman

•Contrary to Kinsler, Berkman has been pretty stable over the course of his career. Last year, he did miss about a month from late July to late August (subsequently causing an Astros tailspin) but overall, he hasn’t spent much time on “The List”.

Well, he’ll be starting this season off on a bad foot (or more specifically, a bad knee) after receiving surgery in mid-March.

"I don't think (the knee) is going to be ready," Berkman said, according to the Houston Chronicle. "It's cranky; it's sore and it's swollen.”

He’ll likely be returning April 10, so, like Kinsler, he won’t be missing a ton of games.

But Berk is getting up there in age now. While technically only 34, (actually, in every aspect of time he’s 34) he has played a heck of a lot of games since coming into the league a decade ago.

Apart from a solid year in 2008, his numbers have been dropping steadily over the past five years and the rumblings of retirement are starting to creep in.

Houston holds a $15 million club option for 2011, which they are unlikely to pick up. He’d have to put up Bonds-like numbers this season (speaking of Bonds..) for them to even consider re-signing him, let alone pick up a monster-sized option like that.

It’s unlikely that he’ll return to form, especially after the knee injury. But, of course, like always at the beginning of any MLB season, nothing can be ruled out.

Brewers

• First of all –ouch. Jeff Suppan to the DL with cervical disk pain in his neck.

And I complain about having a stiff neck after a two hour flight. Hey, maybe I can make my pitch to be put on the disabled list and miss 15 days of work. Worth a shot, no?

Alright, so here we are. One rotation spot left, two guys gunning for it.

A remarkably even matchup: in one corner, weighing in at 6’3” 205 lbs. southpaw CHRIS NARVESONNNNN!

And in the other corner, weighing in at 6’3” 200 lbs. we have another southpaw, MANNNY “PAR-MAN” PARRRRRRAA!

With a combined career win total of 22 games, we’re sure to see a glorious fight to the finish, folks!

Can you tell news is slow towards the end of spring training?

Anyway, Parra will get the spot.

Moving on.

Millar

• In a surprisingly diplomatic quote, Cubs manager Lou Piniella had this to say about Millar not getting the final roster spot, according to MLB.com, "The decisions weren't easy but that's the way we decided to go. Everybody had merits and everybody had different contributions."

That may be true, but how can Millar’s merits even be measured?

His influence on a locker room is astounding. It can’t and probably won’t be matched for some time.

I remember going to an Orioles game a few years back and the video that played on the scoreboard after they won was a clearly Millar-inspired dance video that was so ridiculous that it was beyond hilarious.

I couldn’t find that video anywhere, but I did stumble across this gem.

Every team should want this guy on his roster.

Please Kev, don’t retire.

PD

Follow Pat DeCola on Twitter!