Spring Training News and Notes from Cactus League teams

Posted: Updated:
By Natalie Rivers By Natalie Rivers

Edwin Jackson struggles in Arizona's loss to Reds

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) -- Arizona starter Edwin Jackson allowed seven runs and six hits in 2-and-a-third innings as the Cincinnati Reds earned a 13-7 win over the Diamondbacks on Tuesday.

Jackson said he didn't have a feel for any of his pitches, but that wasn't a concern this early in spring training for the right-hander, who is expected to be the Diamondbacks' No. 2 starter.

Jackson allowed a solo home run to Jay Bruce, walked two and threw a wild pitch.

For the Reds, starter Johnny Cueto (KWAY'-toh) allowed two runs in 3-and-two-thirds innings.

It was the Reds' first trip to Tucson since the team moved its spring complex to Goodyear.

The Reds will also travel to Tucson on March 25 to play the Rockies.

Indians get right-hander Omar Aguilar from Brewers
GOODYEAR, Ariz. (AP) -- The Cleveland Indians have acquired right-hander Omar Aguilar from the Milwaukee Brewers.

In return for the 25-year-old, the Brewers are keeping left-hander Chuck Lofgren. Milwaukee selected him in the Rule  Draft in December. To send Lofgren to their minor-league system, the Brewers had to work out a deal with Cleveland or offer him back to the Indians for half the $50,000 they paid in the draft.

The 24-year-old Lofgren went a combined 9-11 with a 4.15 ERA between Double-A Akron and Triple-A Columbus in the Indians' system in 2009.

Aguilar split 2009 between Class A Brevard County and Double-A Huntsville. He went 3-1 with a 4.72 ERA and 14 saves.

He will report to the Indians' minor league camp.

Jake Westbrook leads Indians past Giants
GOODYEAR, Ariz. (AP) -- Jake Westbrook outpitched two-time Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum (LINZ'-ih-kuhm) and Travis Hafner drove in three runs, leading the Cleveland Indians to a 7-1 win over the San Francisco Giants on Tuesday.

Westbrook allowed one run and two hits in four innings. It was his best outing this spring and a huge confidence builder for the right-hander, who underwent Tommy John surgery in 2008.

Lincecum allowed a home run by Shin-Soo Choo in the first and was tagged for four runs and four hits in four innings. Although he has a 9.39 ERA during the exhibition season, the carefree 25-year-old isn't worried and came away pleased with his performance.

Hafner hit a three-run double in the seventh to make it 7-1. It was Hafner's first extra-base hit.

The fact that he pulled it to right-center was an encouraging sign for the Indians, who are hoping he can find his power stroke after hitting just 16 homers last season.

Mariners like Dustin Ackley's bat, defense
PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) -- The Mariners were attracted to Dustin Ackley by his magic bat.

But now that they see the former North Carolina star's work ethic when it comes to defense, they are excited about the 2009 No. 2 overall draft selection all over again.

Ackley played outfield and then first base with the Tar Heels after undergoing Tommy John surgery. More recently, he's been hard at work for more than three months adjusting to second base.

The Mariners and Ackley agreed last August on a five-year major league contract worth $7.5 million.

He is headed to Double-A West Tennessee this season but is showing that could be a very temporary situation.

Ackley has looked smooth in the field and typically at home at the plate.

Nelson Cruz rewarding Rangers for their patience
SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) -- Two years ago, Nelson Cruz didn't even make the Texas Rangers' roster out of spring training.

No other team claimed him and he was sent to Triple-A Oklahoma, where he had an MVP season.

Cruz hit 33 homers with 20 stolen bases last season for the Rangers, making the All-Star team last summer. He is now
unquestionably their starting right fielder.

More telling of the outfielder's growth was what he shared with younger players in the Dominican Republic this winter.

General manager Jon Daniels says he was struck with how much Cruz has matured and learned when Cruz told the youngsters that their ability to succeed is about their mental approach and mental strength.

Josh Hamilton's hand is fine, tooth is hurting
SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) -- Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton's left hand is OK after being hit by a pitch.
Now he has a toothache.

Hamilton arrived at the Rangers clubhouse Tuesday morning with a swollen face, and then went to the dentist for what is believed to be an infected tooth.

Hamilton was hit by a pitch on the top of his left hand in Monday night's game against San Francisco. X-rays were negative and he didn't have any kind of wrap on his hand Tuesday.

Hamilton says it's fine.

Hamilton already had a scheduled day off Tuesday when the Rangers traveled to Mesa to face the Chicago Cubs.

Juan Pierre, Mark Kotsay each get 3 hits for White Sox
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- Juan Pierre and Mark Kotsay each had three hits and the Chicago White Sox beat the Colorado Rockies 6-1 Tuesday.

The White Sox roughed up Aaron Cook for six runs on six hits, three walks and a hit batter in three innings. In his previous outing, he allowed five earned runs and nine hits.

Chicago relievers combined for six shutout innings. Starter Freddy Garcia gave up one run and five hits in three innings.

Alex Rios hit a two-run triple and scored twice.

The Rockies made three errors, all in the first four innings.

Ubaldo Jimenez comfortable with being ace for Rockies
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) -- Like a kid with boundless energy, the first thing Ubaldo Jimenez (oo-BAHL'-doh hih-MEHN'-ehz) wants to do every morning is grab a ball and glove and go play catch.

The days in between starts are wrenching for the Colorado Rockies' flamethrowing ace.

And the offseasons? They would be downright dreadful if he didn't play winter ball back home in the Dominican Republic.
Jimenez pitched at least six innings in a franchise-record 25 consecutive starts last season, helping the Rockies secure the National League wild card.

Jimenez has already been named the team's starter for the opener on April 5 in Milwaukee, an honor that still makes him light up when it's mentioned.

Rockies send 16 players to minor league camp
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) -- The Colorado Rockies have sent 16 players to their minor league camp, including left-handed pitcher Christian Friedrich.

The 22-year-old Friedrich was the team's 25th overall pick in the 2008 draft. Last season, he split time between Asheville and Modesto, the Rockies' Single-A affiliates.

He was 3-2 with a 2.54 ERA while in Modesto and struck out 93 hitters.

The Rockies now have 46 players on their spring training roster.

White Sox's Jared Mitchell to miss season
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- Chicago White Sox outfielder Jared Mitchell will miss the 2010 season after surgery on his left ankle.

The team said Tuesday that the 21-year-old prospect is expected to make a complete recovery.

Mitchell was injured Friday while making a spectacular, against-the-wall catch on a drive off the bat of Juan Rivera in a split-squad win over the Los Angeles Angels.

The 21-year-old Mitchell is among the club's top prospects despite minimal experience in the minor leagues so far after being drafted out of Louisiana State. He batted .296 with 12 doubles, two triples and 10 RBIs in 34 games last year for Class A Kannapolis of the South Atlantic League.

Mitchell won national championships in baseball and as a wide receiver on LSU's football team. He was taken by Chicago 23rd overall in last June's amateur draft.

The surgery was to repair a tear of the tendon on the inside of his ankle.