Overbay essentially has three-day tryout with Yanks Brandon Phillips Black Jersey

On Wednesday, Lyle Overbay was in Day 2 of what essentially amounts to a three-day tryout to prove he can crack the Yankees’ Opening Day roster.Black Brandon Phillips Jersey.

The 36-year-old first baseman has a chance to impress the Yanks’ coaching staff, and he started at first base against the Orioles in Sarasota, going 2-for-5 in the Yankees’ 11-8 win.

Overbay appeared as a defensive replacement in Tuesday’s 4-4 tie against the Astros, going 0-for-1. Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said that Overbay, who was released by the Red Sox on Tuesday, is able to opt out of his Minor League contract on Friday.

“He got released, so I just gave him, basically, a three-day contract,” Cashman said. “‘Come on over, we’ll take a quick peek.’ Our scouts have watched some of the stuff he’s been doing while he was with the Red Sox, so he’ll get a three-day, NBA-style contract on the Minor League side.”

With Mark Teixeira Brandon Phillips Black Jersey injured and expected to be out until at least the middle of May, the Yankees have been holding auditions at first base. Juan Rivera entered play on Wednesday batting .305 in 59 spring at-bats and could also make the club, and Cashman said he would not try to send either Overbay or Rivera to Triple-A.

“I’m not looking at any of that stuff, whether it’s him or Juan,” Cashman said. “I’m just looking for, can they help us at the Major League level right now given our circumstances? That’s why I’m looking at everything I can look at.”

It seems strange to make a decision based on three days of Spring Training play, but Cashman pointed out he has made unconventional moves in the past. In 2011, the Yankees gave right-hander Brian Gordon two spot starts based on a statistical assessment from the team’s director of quantitative analysis, Michael Fishman.Black and Red Brandon Phillips Jersey.

“We have our scouting reports,” Cashman said. “It’s better than the alternative of choosing to not even [look]. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.”

Yankees right-hander David Aardsma pitched a scoreless inning in an intrasquad game on Wednesday and hopes that he has shown enough to lock up a roster spot in the bullpen.

“There’s a great opportunity here,” Aardsma said. “I think we’re going to have a lot better team than people are expecting. I think we’ve got a good core group of guys and we’ve got a good bullpen. To have a chance to be a part of that is going to be special.”

Yankees Brandon Phillips Black Jersey manager Joe Girardi said that Aardsma has bounced back from a groin injury earlier in camp, but he is not ready to lock in any roster decisions. Aardsma has a 3.86 ERA in seven spring innings.

“We’re going to talk about our bullpen and our rotation and how it fits,” said Girardi, who added that having both Ivan Nova and David Phelps on the staff could impact decisions. “That changes things, so we’ll have to see what we do.”

All Black Brandon Phillips Jersey.

Pitching coach Larry Rothschild said that Aardsma is “behind a little bit” in building his arm strength, but added that “it’s starting to come now.”

Jeter Brandon Phillips Black Jersey won’t see game action until next week

Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter Brandon Phillips Black Jersey will not play in another Minor League game until at least next week, according to general manager Brian Cashman on Wednesday.

Jeter last played in a game on Saturday, when he grounded out in four at-bats as a designated hitter against the Pirates’ Triple-A club.

Jeter reported feeling soreness in his surgically repaired left ankle the next day and has been receiving treatment. Cashman said that he does not expect Jeter to play until after the weekend.

“He was here today with the physical therapist getting treatment and doing some work that way, so we’ll give him a few days to calm down,” Cashman said. “We’ll back off completely. He won’t be doing anything; he won’t be playing any games here for the next few days.”

Cashman said that this should not be considered a new issue for Jeter, who will miss his first Opening Day since 2001 when he begins the season on the disabled list.

“We’re just trying to back off and eliminate the pain,” Cashman said.

Eduardo Nunez is expected to serve as the Yankees’ Opening Day shortstop. Because of Jeter’s recurring ankle soreness, Cashman said that he cannot project a realistic date that he will return to the Yankees’ lineup.

Jeter Brandon Phillips Black Jersey will remain in Florida when the team goes north, and Cashman said that the Yankees must see Jeter play shortstop for nine innings in back-to-back extended spring training games before they will consider activating him.

“We’ll get him going again, but I can’t tell you what that date is going to be,” Cashman said. “I know we’ll have him back. I just can’t tell you when yet.”

All Black Brandon Phillips Jersey.

Ivan Nova said that his Spring Training has been “not good,” but the Yankees right-hander has also been able to find a few silver linings.

Nova had a rough outing on Wednesday against the Blue Jays’ Class A Dunedin lineup, permitting eight hits and seven runs (six earned) over five-plus innings, including two home runs.Black Brandon Phillips Jersey.

“It wasn’t what I was expecting,” Nova said. “I was expecting to have a great spring, but I feel really good. It wasn’t that bad, either. I didn’t think it was that bad. I made a lot of adjustments with my mechanics and my arm, and that’s a good point.”

Nova struck out four and walked one in the 92-pitch outing, in which he worked with catcher Chris Stewart. Nova compiled a 4.19 ERA over 19 1/3 Grapefruit League innings, spanning five starts.

“A lot of people look into the ERAs and other stuff,” Nova said. “I’m not looking into the ERAs. I’m just looking that my arm is in shape and do what I intend to do with my mechanics.”Black and Red Brandon Phillips Jersey.

Nova has been working with pitching coach Larry Rothschild on shortening the arm action of his delivery, and said that he feels like the mechanical adjustments are “in my mind already.”

Because Phil Hughes will begin the season on the disabled list, Nova and David Phelps will both begin the season in New York’s rotation. Rothschild did not argue with Nova’s assessment that his spring could have been better.

“I don’t think he pitched as well as we’d like him to, but a lot of times that doesn’t make a difference,” Rothschild said. “As long as his stamina’s there and he’s built up strength-wise, pitch-wise and things like that.

“But, obviously, if you have your druthers, you’d want to see him pitch really well and make quality pitches throughout. He’s made a lot of quality pitches and then he’s made some mistakes, and so the mistakes have caught him.”

Lilly among trio in search of new roles. Brandon Phillips Black Jersey

Despite getting roughed up Wednesday for seven runs in 2 1/3 innings, Ted Lilly said he’d rather pitch out of the Dodgers bullpen than on a Minor League rehab assignment to rebuild arm strength.

Chris Brandon Phillips Black Jersey Capuano said he’d rather be a starter, even though management seems inclined to put him in the bullpen.

And Aaron Harang still considers himself a starting pitcher, but like his two teammates, is without a role on the team.

After representing 60 percent of the Dodgers’ starting rotation when last season started, the trio is sixth, seventh and eighth on a rotation depth chart of five. The season starts Monday and management hasn’t worked things out yet.

Black and Red Brandon Phillips Jersey.A trade of Harang or Capuano is one likely option, as both have been scouted by Seattle, Pittsburgh and Cleveland. Lilly will be asked to go to the Minor Leagues, but he can’t be forced.

“”At this point, asking me today, I’m not really sure,” Lilly said about the disabled list. “I’d like to pitch for the Dodgers.”

“I don’t think we feel like he’s ready to start the season, through no fault of his own,” manager Don Mattingly said of Lilly, who missed starts with the flu and had another rained out, all while coming off shoulder surgery.

Lilly said his shoulder is fine, but his command isn’t. He fell behind in counts against the Mariners on Wednesday, threw strikes and they got hit. He gave up six hits and walked three, his spring ERA climbing to 14.00. Lilly said he hasn’t spoken to general manager Ned Colletti about his situation. Brandon Phillips Black Jersey The Dodgers are concerned that Lilly’s shoulder needs more warm-up time than relief duty allows.Black Brandon Phillips Jersey.

“As everybody witnessed, I need to be sharper than I was today,” Lilly said. “This game has never been easy for me. I’ve always had to grind and make adjustments. Don’t know why it would change now. For me, it remains the same.All Black Brandon Phillips Jersey. Do the job the best I can, prepare the best I can, and if I do that, I can leave knowing I worked hard and prepared hard.”

Mattingly Brandon Phillips Black Jersey sees positives as Cactus season ends

Don Mattingly and his players evacuated the desert Wednesday, the manager declaring Cactus League 2012 a qualified success.

“We answered questions with Matt [Kemp] and Carl [Crawford],” Mattingly said of his two outfielders coming off surgery. “Carl made it, he’s ready. Matt is playing confidently. You don’t hear about the shoulder anymore.

“Hanley [Ramirez, out two months with thumb surgery] was a little punch in the gut, but something we can sustain. Zack [Greinke’s elbow] scared us, but that can happen with any pitcher. Chad [Billingsley] had the index finger, but we crossed the hurdle with his elbow that it would hold up every five days with no issue all spring. So, a lot of those questions got answered. It was good.”

Mattingly Brandon Phillips Black Jersey even allowed that the emergence of Cuban sensation Yasiel Puig was “a nice little thing we saw.” Puig will be on display Thursday in a split-squad game at Rancho Cucamonga, then in Friday and Saturday’s home-and-away Freeway Series games with the Angels, before he reports to Double-A Chattanooga after being optioned on Tuesday.

“He’s a true real talent and has a chance to be something special if he keeps getting better,” Mattingly said.

Among the big leaguers joining Puig at Rancho Cucamonga will be Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez, Luis Cruz and Jerry Hairston. Hall of Fame manager Tom Lasorda will skipper the club and Stephen Fife will be the starting pitcher.

The rest of the Major League team will be in Anaheim, with Mattingly Brandon Phillips Black Jersey managing and Hyun-Jin Ryu the starting pitcher.

 Hyun-Jin Ryu said he wasn’t surprised, nor did he sound overly excited, to learn he will start the second game of the regular season for the Dodgers.

“It’s something I expected,” said the confident Ryu. “It will hit me more on [Tuesday]. Right now, I’m focused on wrapping up camp.”Black Brandon Phillips Jersey.

The best pitcher in Korea signed with the Dodgers for six years and $36 million, showed up for his first Major League Spring Training out of shape, and his manager three weeks ago issued a cautionary statement that nobody has a starting job guaranteed, presumably aimed at Ryu.

But Ryu stuck to his program, resisting club suggestions that he throw bullpen sessions between starts — he never did in Korea — and steadily improved his performance to win a spot in a deep Dodgers rotation.

Because the elbow injury to Zack Greinke shuffled the order and a finger bruise put Chad Billingsley behind schedule, Ryu starts Tuesday.Black and Red Brandon Phillips Jersey. Otherwise, he’s probably considered the fifth starter behind Clayton Kershaw, Greinke, Josh Beckett and Billingsley.

Ryu said he feels a “responsibility, knowing I have to pitch into that spot, even though I might not be No. 2.”

He said he will study video of the opposing Giants, although the Internet has provided the capability for Ryu to become familiar with the tendencies of players “like [Buster] Posey and other hitters,” he said.

“They are the World Series champions,” Ryu said. “But last year’s World Series champions. This year will be different. It’s exciting to face a top caliber team.”

Ryu said he’s satisfied with the progress of his breaking pitches, but said the start of the regular season in the past “always has an extra gear for velocity and command.”All Black Brandon Phillips Jersey.

Kershaw Brandon Phillips Black Jersey won’t talk contract during season

Clayton Kershaw Brandon Phillips Black Jersey just shook his head no when asked if there was anything imminent in contract talks with the Dodgers.

He wouldn’t even confirm rumors that talks are ongoing.

“I don’t want to talk about it,” he said.

But he repeated his position that negotiations won’t be held during the season once it starts on Monday.

Before Spring Training started, general manager Ned Colletti said preliminary contacts established “mutual interest” in extending Kershaw’s current contract, which paid him $8 million last year and $11 million this year.

He also remains under arbitration control by the club for 2014, before he can become a free agent.

All Black Brandon Phillips Jersey.

Kershaw Brandon Phillips Black Jersey spoke after tuning up for Monday’s Opening Day start against the Giants. He made 56 pitches over three innings against Seattle and was charged with three runs, two on a home run down the left-field line by Michael Morse, who has hit eight this spring.

“I feel fine. I feel great,” said Kershaw. “It’s not always fun giving up runs the last start. I’d like that one pitch back to Morse. But I feel good and I’m excited for the season to start. Now it’s time to go.”

The home run came on a slider down the middle.

“Just a bad pitch,” Kershaw said.Black Brandon Phillips Jersey.

The Dodgers brought no regulars to the getaway game, perhaps because of the matchup with Mariners ace Felix Hernandez, a benchmark for Kershaw in that his seven-year, $175 million contract is tops for a pitcher. Black and Red Brandon Phillips Jersey.Zack Greinke’s six-year, $147 million deal is a Dodgers record. Kershaw said he was impressed by Hernandez, as well as the Mariners.

“From last year to this year, I wouldn’t step on them,” said Kershaw. “The guys in the lineup can do some damage. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if they’re right in it.”

Detwiler Brandon Phillips Black Jersey embraces rest before first start of season

Perhaps for once, Ross Detwiler Brandon Phillips Black Jersey can consider himself lucky for all the strange layoffs he’s endured recently and in his career. Because he’s got another one coming.

After the lefty finished up his day of work Wednesday against Atlanta — two runs on eight hits (two homers), two strikeouts and one walk in 5 1/3 innings — he began to get set for a nine-day break before he pitches next, April 6 against the Reds.

“Just going to roll with it,” Detwiler said. “Got a few days off. Enjoy the festivities. They’re going to call my name on Opening Day, and I’m going to run out in line. That’s about as far as we’ve gotten.”

Detwiler began last season as a starter before a six-outing stint in the bullpen from May 30-June 19. He was back in the rotation by the end of June and finished the year there. His spot was never in doubt this spring.

“I’m not feeling different at all,” Detwiler said. “I know I’m not going to be sitting down in right field. I’ll be in the dugout. That’s about it.”

Detwiler’s also had experience with long layoffs this spring, when his schedule was thrown out of whack thanks to the World Baseball Classic. He started camp in Viera, traveled to Arizona to join Team USA (where he made one appearance out of the bullpen) before flying with the team to Miami. Once the Americans were eliminated, he rejoined the Nats, going seven days between outings.

He’ll throw a few side sessions before his first start of the regular season.

“I think that’s going to feed into this quite a bit,” Detwiler Brandon Phillips Black Jersey said of his past experiences. “I didn’t get stretched out at all last year, and going to the WBC and everything I didn’t get that great of a chance to get stretched out [this year]. I think I missed 2-3 starts here. So I think that’s definitely going to help.”Black Brandon Phillips Jersey.

Stephen Strasburg went over to the Nationals’ Minor League complex on Wednesday morning for his final tuneup before Opening Day, facing Triple-A hitters. He threw five innings, allowing five hits and no runs while striking out five. He did not walk a batter, throwing 72 pitches.

Catcher Kurt Suzuki came along to catch the beginning of the outing, before Jhonatan Solano took over.

Strasburg will be the first Nationals pitcher to start back-to-back Opening Days since John Lannan in 2009-10. In last year’s season opener in Chicago, the Nats ace scattered one run and five hits over seven innings while striking out five and taking the no-decision before the Nationals went on to beat the Cubs, 2-1.

• Catcher Carlos Maldonado and left-hander Fernando Abad were reassigned to Minor League camp on Wednesday, and utility men Carlos Rivero and Micah Owings will join them Thursday, Johnson said. J.C. Romero was told that he’d be making the trip to Washington for Friday’s exhibition, but nothing certain beyond that has been outlined.Black and Red Brandon Phillips Jersey.

• Ryan Zimmerman belted three home runs on Wednes day afternoon. He’s never had a three-homer game in 990 career regular-season Major League contests.

Wilson Ramos also hit his first two homers of the spring, a solo shot in the third and a three-run homer in the fourth.

“After working hard with my knee, now I can concentrate a little more on my offense and my swing,” Ramos said. “I’ve forgotten about my knee now, so I can work on my offense and my defense, too. For a long time I worked with my knee only and forgot a little bit about my offense and my swing. But now it’s time to work all together, and it feels good at the plate now.”

• Outfielder Jayson Werth was hit by a pitch on his left elbow in the bottom of the seventh inning, but Johnson said it was nothing to worry about. Werth said it hit him on his “not-so-funny bone.”

• Johnson said right-hander Christian Garcia, recovering from a right wrist/forearm issue, is on track to throw on Monday. Johnson still hopes that Garcia will be stretched out to be a starter.All Black Brandon Phillips Jersey.

“I like his stuff,” Johnson said. “The safe plan would be to go back to relieving. But a big, strong guy like him, with his arsenal, it would be kind of wasting him.”

Wainwright, Cardinals Brandon Phillips Black Jersey agree on five-year extension

After about two months of negotiating a contract extension with right-hander Adam Wainwright, the Cardinals Brandon Phillips Black Jersey have reached an agreement that will keep Wainwright in St. Louis through 2018.

MLB.com has confirmed that the two sides have agreed on a five-year extension that will begin after this season. Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com and MLB Network reported that the deal is worth $97.5 million. Wainwright is already under contract to earn $12 million in 2013. The Cardinals have not confirmed the report, but did announce that they have scheduled a news conference for 9 a.m. CT on Thursday.

A contract of that value easily eclipses the five-year, $63.5 million deal Chris Carpenter signed with the Cardinals in Dec. 2006. Until now, that contract stood as the largest the Cardinals have ever given to a pitcher.

Getting Wainwright, 31, signed before he could become a free agent next offseason was a priority for the Cardinals, who, in the past 13 months, have also signed catcher Yadier Molina and first baseman Allen Craig to long-term extensions. Wainwright had expressed a desire to stay, but also wanted to be paid what he viewed as fair market value for being among the game’s elite.

“I feel like I’m the guy that wants the ball in big situations,” Wainwright said. “Probably most of our pitchers would tell you the same thing, but I expect the ball in big games.”

Wainwright said recently that he wanted resolution with his contract status before he starts for the Cardinals Brandon Phillips Black Jersey  on Monday, which is Opening Day.

Wainwright went 14-13 with a 3.94 ERA in 2012, his first season back from Tommy John surgery. Since 2007, he has the sixth-lowest ERA among Major League pitchers; his 3.15 career ERA is second best among all active pitchers with a minimum of 1,000 innings.

All Black Brandon Phillips Jersey.

“Before his elbow [injury], he was one of the top five pitchers in the game, and I have no doubt that he’s going to get back to that,” veteran starter Jake Westbrook said. “You could see glimpses of that last year. His record didn’t show it, but the way he pitched, I feel like he’s going to get back to that.”

Wainwright has long been considered a co-ace on the Black Brandon Phillips Jersey Cardinals’ staff, but with Carpenter gone, he now alone assumes that role. It’s a title, manager Mike Matheny said, that Wainwright has earned through “former accomplishments, current stuff, and then leadership qualities and capabilities.”

“Those are all things he brings to the table and things he does exceptionally well,” Matheny added. “We’re excited about a lot of our young pitchers to be able to work with an Adam Wainwright-caliber pitcher, what he’s teaching them about stuff and approach, as well as you conduct yourself on the mound and off away from the field. Black and Red Brandon Phillips Jersey. Those are all types of things that are extremely valuable to this organization.”

Harper Brandon Phillips Black Jersey rests thumb, expects to return soon

Bryce Harper Brandon Phillips Black Jersey got the day off Wednesday to rest his sore left thumb, but he hopes to play in the Nationals’ exhibition game Friday in Washington, if not sooner.

The outfielder, who has twice been jammed on inside pitches in the last week, is hitting .476 this spring with three homers, 14 RBIs and a remarkable 1.238 OPS in 23 Grapefruit League games.

Black Brandon Phillips Jersey.

He originally jammed the thumb in an at-bat Friday against the Tigers, and he re-aggravated the soreness on Tuesday against the Marlins. Manager Davey Johnson suggested on Tuesday that he’d rest Harper for a day or two.

“When I woke up this morning, it felt fine,” Harper said. “Yesterday it kind of got me a little bit. I thought it was going to be a lot worse when I woke up this morning, and it wasn’t. If I was in the lineup today, I could play.”

All Black Brandon Phillips Jersey.

Harper Brandon Phillips Black Jersey didn’t take batting practice on Wednesday and planned to get more treatment, but he felt accomplished with his 67 at-bats already this spring. That said, he hopes to play Friday at Nationals Park against the Yankees before having some time off Saturday and Sunday before Monday’s regular-season opener against the Marlins.

“I don’t think it’s gonna hold me down or anything. I have a pretty high pain tolerance,” Harper said. “I had it in Hagerstown my first year, and it was a lot worse.”Black and Red Brandon Phillips Jersey.

Harper, last year’s National League Rookie of the Year, said he doesn’t believe at this point that it will be an issue that lingers long into the regular season. He hasn’t been checked out by the team doctors, though Johnson has said before that he may be. Harper said he’ll wear a thumb guard during batting practice, and he may also wear it during games.

“It doesn’t seem to be that bad to that point,” Harper said of any long-term consequences. “Hopefully it doesn’t get to that point. But I don’t see it getting to that point at all.”

McCarver says 2013 will be his last season on FOX.Brandon Phillips Black JerseyMcCarver says 2013 will be his last season on FOX.Brandon Phillips Black Jersey

The upcoming season will be the last for baseball analyst Tim McCarver, who announced on Wednesday he will step away from the FOX Brandon Phillips Black Jersey broadcasting booth following this season.

McCarver, 71, said on a conference call Wednesday that he does not plan to negotiate a new contract with the network when his current one expires at the end of this summer. Black and Red Brandon Phillips Jersey.The two-time All-Star catcher has provided commentary on national television for a record 23 World Series and has covered 28 consecutive Major League Baseball postseasons.

“Although I am neither tired of broadcasting baseball nor have I in any way lost my interest in baseball, with which I have been associated as a player and broadcaster for 55 years, it’s time to cut back,” McCarver said.

Thank you Tim.After this, his 18th year as lead analyst for the MLB on FOX, Tim McCarver will exit the broadcast booth.All Black Brandon Phillips Jersey.

– FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) March 27, 2013

“Tim McCarver has chronicled the national pastime on our biggest stages, including a record 23 World Series and 20 All-Star Games, for a generation of baseball fans,” Commissioner Bud Selig said. “As an analyst, he has always thought like a manager in the dugout, and in the process he helped redefine what sports fans expected from the broadcast booth.Black Brandon Phillips Jersey.

“Tim has led a remarkable baseball life since signing with the Cardinals in 1959, and all of us at Major League Baseball look forward to joining our partners at FOX Brandon Phillips Black Jersey Sports in honoring his Hall of Fame career throughout the 2013 season. On behalf of our 30 clubs, I thank Tim for his important contributions to our game over the past seven decades.”

McCarver hit .271 with 97 homers and 645 RBIs while winning two World Series titles in a 21-year Major League career with the Cardinals, Phillies, Expos and Red Sox from 1959-80.

Classic rivalry could decide fickle NL West.Brandon Phillips Black Jersey

It was with a team concept beyond compare that the Giants Brandon Phillips Black Jersey took the National League West title and ran with it in 2012, staving off elimination at every turn all the way to a second World Series title in three years.

With that team intact almost to a man, it’s hard to wrest the favorite’s role away from the Giants in the NL West, a division that historically has been difficult to predict.All Black Brandon Phillips Jersey.Two years ago, for instance, defending the NL West and World Series titles didn’t go so well for the Giants, who didn’t make the playoffs in 2011.

This time around, the Dodgers are putting their vast resources to work to try and topple their rivals, first with their blockbuster trades of last summer and then by signing the top free-agent pitcher on the market over the winter.

Yes, it appears the Giants-Dodgers rivalry, which dates back decades and extends from coast to coast, will decide the fate of the NL West this season. Black and Red Brandon Phillips Jersey.But if the mercurial and somewhat unappreciated division has taught us anything over the past several years, it’s that you never quite know how things will shake out.

“I think sometimes this division doesn’t get quite the credit it should, because there’s tremendous pitching in this division, and a lot of great athletes,” said Giants Brandon Phillips Black Jersey manager Bruce Bochy, who has managed in the NL West since 1995, first with the Padres for 12 seasons and now with the Giants. “It’s a division where there are pretty big ballparks — ours, L.A., San Diego — where you’ve got to play the game of baseball. I think it’s a balanced division all the way around.”

Indeed, it’s a division that has seen all five of its members reach the postseason in the past seven season, something no other division can come close to matching. From the Dodgers’ back-to-back titles in 2008-09 and the Rockies’ Wild Card run in ’09 to the Padres’ narrowly missing the playoffs in ’10 and the Diamondbacks’ surprising title in ’11, everyone has been in on the action in recent years.

Black Brandon Phillips Jersey.

Obviously, there are variables in play, such as injuries — the Dodgers will start the season without third baseman Hanley Ramirez (thumb), the Giants are concerned about Pablo Sandoval’s throwing elbow and the Padres have lost star third baseman Chase Headley (thumb) for the start of the season. The Giants don’t have to be reminded about how much health can affect one’s chances, having seen Buster Posey’s leg injury in 2011 foil their playoff hopes and then a healthy Posey winning NL Most Valuable Player honors in 2012.

All things considered, the staff of reporters who cover the NL West — Corey Brock (Padres), Steve Gilbert (D-backs), Ken Gurnick (Dodgers), Chris Haft (Giants) and Thomas Harding (Rockies) — give the Giants a slight edge over the Dodgers as the 2013 season begins.