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Spring Training: 3/10

One man retired and another passed away. On the lighter side, a Pirates rookie is streaking through March.

Quote of the Day

"It's supposed to be fun; the man [umpire] says 'Play Ball' not 'Work Ball' you know".  ~Willie Stargell.

News

Longtime Mariner and Tiger Carlos Guillen retired after 14 seasons in the major leagues, aged 36.

Two-time All Star first baseman Don Mincher passed away at the age of 73.

Brewers signed Jay Gibbons (1 HR, 5 RBI, .255 AVG, 0 SB, 2012 age: 35) to a minor league deal.

Hideki Okajima signed with the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks of the Nippon Ham League in Japan.

Pirates rookie outfielder Starling Marte went on a streak with eight straight hits, two of which were home runs.

Carlos Guillen manned second base for 14 years, providing a consistent, well-balanced bat when healthy. He helped the Tigers to a World Series appearance in 2006 and was an indispensable bat during his time with Detroit. He struggled to break through on a Mariners club that saw Alex Rodriguez, Ken Griffey Jr., Randy Johnson, Jay Buhner, Edgar Martinez, and Ichiro Suzuki throw on the uniform during his time there. In a 10-game stint in 1998, at the age of 22, he batted .333 with five RBI and a couple of stolen bases. He was limited to five games of big league action in 1999, homering and batting .158. 2000, the Year of the Hitter, saw Guillen garner his first significant playing time. In 90 games, he hit seven home runs and batted .257 en route to earning a starting job later on. As the Mariners barreled toward a major league record-116 wins against 46 losses in 2001, the Venezuela native provided a steady bat by hitting five home runs and batting .259 with four stolen bases in 140 games. He continued his rise to stardom in 2002 by hitting nine home runs and batting .261 in 134 games. 2003, his final year with Seattle, ended much like 2002, as Guillen hit seven home runs and batted .276 in 109 games. In a trade the Mariners would like to forget, they sent him to Detroit for Ramon Santiago and minor leaguer Juan Gonzalez (not the Texas superstar). In Guillen's very first season with the Tigers, he burst onto the American League scene with 20 home runs, 97 RBI, and a .318 average with 12 stolen bases in 136 games en route to his first All Star appearance. Despite missing parts of 2005 to injury, Guillen still hit five home runs and swatted .320 in 87 games. Returning to full strength in 2006, he led the Tigers to the American League Pennant with 19 home runs, 85 RBI, and a .320 average with 20 stolen bases and 100 runs scored in 153 games. The Detroit catalyst would again terrorize big league pitching in 2007, as he hit 21 home runs, knocked in 102, and batted .296 with 13 stolen bases in 151 games, earning his second All Star appearance. 2008, though, would be the beginning of his decline, as the 32 year old hit just 10 home runs and batted .286 with nine stolen bases in 113 games for his third and final All Star season. 2009 would not quite catch as many headlines, as he hit 11 home runs and batted just .242 in 81 games while missing time to injury. Missing even more time to injury in 2010, he hit just six home runs and batted .273 in 68 games. Guillen missed almost the whole 2011 season, appearing in just 28 games and batted .232 with three home runs.  He signed with the Mariners after the season, but then opted to retire. Over his 14-year career, he hit 124 home runs (572nd all time), knocked in 660 (648th all time), and batted .285 (492nd all time) with 74 stolen bases in 1,305 games (925th all time).

Game Scores

Marlins (3-2) beat the Nationals (3-3) 3-0.

Yankees (3-4) beat the Braves (split squad, 1-6) 3-0.

Pirates (3-4) beat the Red Sox (3-2) 7-4.

Phillies (4-3) beat the Tigers (6-1) 7-5.

Mets (3-3) beat the Braves (split squad, 1-7) 5-3.

Cubs (3-3) beat the White Sox (1-4) 5-1.

Dodgers (3-1) beat the Rangers (2-4) 9-0.

Top Scorer: Brewers beat the Indians 12-2.

Standings

Grapefruit League: Top: Tigers (6-1, .857 WPCT).  Bottom: Braves (1-7, .125).

Cactus League: Top: Mariners (6-2, .750).  Bottom: White Sox and Rockies (1-4, .200).

Farthest team out of first: Braves (5.5 back of the Tigers).

Spring Leaders

Offensive: AVG: Starling Marte (Pirates), .692 (9-13).  Home runs: 5 tied with 3.  RBI: Brandon Allen (A's), J.D. Martinez (Astros), and Ryan Raburn (Tigers), 8.  Stolen bases: Gregor Blanco (Giants), 4.

Pitching: Wins: Doug Fister (Tigers), 2.  K's: Madison Bumgarner (Giants), 9.  ERA: Wade LeBlanc (Marlins), 0.00 (6.1 shutout innings).  Saves: Josh Egdin (Mets), Sean Gallagher (Reds), and Wilton Lopez (Astros), 2.

Top Performers

Offensive: Jonathan Lucroy (Brewers): 3-4, home run (1), 2 RBI, 2 runs, AVG up .065 from .571 to .636.

Pitching: Danny Duffy (Royals): 2 shutout innings, no hits, no walks, 5 K's (5), ERA drop: -.-- from -.-- to 0.00.

Worst Pitching Performance: David Pauley (Tigers): Loss (1-1), 0.2 innings, 4 earned runs, 5 hits, 2 walks, no K's, ERA jump: 12.37 runs from 4.50 to 16.87.

-- 
Teams followed in this update: Boston Red Sox, Washington Nationals, New York Yankees, Chicago Cubs, Tampa Bay Rays, Los Angeles Dodgers, Philadelphia Phillies, Atlanta Braves

If your team is not included, please email me and I will add them.

HR: home runs. RBI: runs batted in. AVG: batting average. SB: stolen bases.  ERA: earned run average. BAA: batting average against. K's: strikeouts. WPCT: winning percentage

Zack Silverman

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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