Rob Neyer, writing for SB Nation, took a look at the future of the game, including some issues that a hypothetical new commissioner might tackle. His list included the poor attendance of the Athletics and Rays, Jeffrey Loria, and the absence of major league baseball from markets like Portland and Charlotte. Elsewhere in baseball …
- The Red Sox have been very pleased with the early returns on free agent signee Ryan Dempster, writes Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal. Boston gave the soon-to-be 36-year-old a two-year, $26.5MM deal this past offseason. This raised the usual questions about how Dempster would transition to the American League, and in particular its East division. The righty has responded by sporting an impressive 12.9 K/9, albeit with an elevated walk rate, both of which could be the result of increased use of his splitter. David Ross seemed to confirm that analysis after catching Dempster yesterday, saying that he was throwing "a Bugs Bunny splitty."
- With Carlos Ruiz returning, the Phillies are facing a backup catcher roster dilemma, writes Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer. The Phils must remove a player from both the 25-man and 40-man rosters to make way for the team's top backstop. Humberto Quintero has played well in limited action, putting up a .313/.353/.438 line over 17 plate appearances. Meanwhile, Erik Kratz still has an option remaining and has struggled as the team's primary catcher, hitting .191/.222/.309 in his 72 plate appearances. The club has until Sunday to assess whether to designate Quintero for assignment or, instead, option Kratz and make an alternative 40-man move.
- Dodgers' GM Ned Colletti is looking prescient for prioritizing versatility in the team's bench, writes Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times. With Mark Ellis the latest Dodger infielder to suffer an injury, the team can still turn to players like Nick Punto (acquired from the Red Sox last season) and Skip Schumaker (traded from the Cardinals this offseason). Much like with the L.A. rotation, the club's backup infield stock once seemed so full as to warrant a trade, but now looks like valuable depth.