- Zunino Builds On Father's Foundation
Content: PEORIA, Ariz.—As far back as he can remember, Mike Zunino was hanging around ballparks, tagging along with his father Greg, a scout with the Marlins back then."He was always watching, asking questions, wanting to know why things were happening," said Greg, who is still based in Florida but now scouts for the Reds. And Mike was paying attention. "When he first got to tee ball, he was a little advanced," Greg remembered. "One day they are playing catch and he says, 'Coach, when are we going to take infield?'"The father laughed. The kid was serious. "He always wanted to get better," Greg said.And he has.A 29th-round draft choice of the Athletics when he came out of Cape Coral (Fla.) High in 2009, Mike opted instead to attend the University of Florida. Three years later—after going from 6 feet, 185 pounds, to 6-foot-2, 220 pounds—Zunino was the first-round selection of the Mariners, the third overall pick.He made such an impressive pro debut last summer that the Mariners invited him to major league spring training, where he has a chance to accelerate his development because of his exposure to big league players and the big league . . .
- Athletics Trade Parker To Brewers For Byrd
Content: << Trade Central 2013 . . .
- Bullpen Delivers Dominican Championship
Content: SAN FRANCISCO—As general manager for the Dominican Republic's entry in the 2013 World Baseball Classic, Moises Alou knew what kind of talent pool he had at his disposal, its strengths and weaknesses.As was the case with virtually every WBC team, the Dominican didn't get everyone that it wanted, or all of its top players. What it got, Alou believed, would be plenty good enough if certain things broke the Dominicans' way, the way they did at AT&T Park in the championship game, a 3-0 victory against Puerto Rico to win the International Baseball Federation's world championship."(Orioles bullpen coach) Bill Castro was asking me if we were a little short of starting pitching," Alou said. "I said, 'You know what? I've been to every single WBC and (too little starting pitching) hasn't been a problem.' Teams win with bullpens. We won every game; we kept winning so we kept getting days off, so everybody fell right into their turn in the rotation."We knew what we had. My only worry was if we lost one game, that we would have to play back-to-back. Tonight was our first time going back to back, and that was huge, that was clutch. . . .
- Trap's View: Eye In The Sky
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- Pawelek Pops Back Up As Dutch Team Reliever
Content: SAN FRANCISCO—All things considered, Mark Pawelek would rather be a baseball player.After all, he's tried working customer service as a gas station. He's tried being a door-to-door salesman. And he's tried baseball player.The 26-year-old, who was the Cubs' first-round pick in 2005, likes baseball player best among those occupations, and it's what he's done in March for the Netherlands' World Baseball Classic team.Who wouldn't? It's not just the $1.75 million signing bonus the Cubs gave him when they picked him 20th overall in 2005, making him the highest-drafted prep player in Utah history. But Pawelek's career never went as planned with the Cubs.Pawelek was released in spring training in 2009 by the Cubs, pitched in the Reds system for a year and then was released again. In 2010, he walked 15 in 8.2 innings in the independent Frontier League. The lefthander says his problems throwing strikes, which basically drove him out of the game, were mostly mental, not physical. "It wasn't an injury. I was released by the Reds, and I'd been doing this game a long time," he said. "And I was mentally exhausted. Things didn't work out the way I had hoped they would. . . .