Rogers' Whispers: Giants' Wilson a great closing act

March 06, 2011|By Phil Rogers, Tribune Newspapers

Giants closer Brian "The Beard'' Wilson has developed the best act in the majors. The commercial he made for the video game "MLB 2K11" is well worth the trip to YouTube. He ran the table in the postseason a year ago, but it's going to be interesting to see how the Dodgers and Rockies react to him this time around. … Lance Berkman is the Cardinals' latest injury concern, but he's insisting his elbow and calf issues are minor. He may have overtrained in preparing to move to right field. … The Yankees are cautiously optimistic about A.J. Burnett, who is enjoying his work with new pitching coach Larry Rothschild. Burnett said he would improve his numbers from 2010 even if he just "threw every pitch over the middle of the plate.'' … Matt Anderson, the hard thrower the Tigers rushed to the big leagues in 1998, is opening eyes at age 34 in the Phillies' camp. He hasn't been in the big leagues since 2005. … Shortstop Alcides Escobar and center fielder Lorenzo Cain, acquired from the Brewers in the Zack Greinke trade, are off to fast starts with the Royals. Ditto 21-year-old first baseman Eric Hosmer, who has been killing the ball. … The Angels have an underrated rotation, but will Vernon Wells bring enough improvement to the lineup? Kendry Morales continues a slow recovery from his broken leg with no guarantee he will be ready for Opening Day. … Despite his 1-11 record in 2010, Ross Ohlendorf might be the best of the Pirates' starters. The Princeton man, who interned for the Department of Agriculture after the 2009 season, stuck strictly to baseball preparations this offseason. … Top prospects Jesus Montero and Austin Romine will battle for the backup catcher's job with the Yankees as Francisco Cervelli recovers from a broken foot. The Yankees hope Montero catches well enough to build his trade value, as he's likely to be offered as a midseason trade chip.

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