Big League Stew

Spring headlines: Jonathan Papelbon’s Terry Francona impression, Pujols doubles in debut

Baseball is back! Here at Big League Stew, we'll take a quick dash around the league each morning in an attempt to keep you updated on all the springtime storylines.

• With his cheeks still burning from J.P. Arencibia's on-point impression of his delivery, BLS favorite Tim Kurkjian went combing the Philadelphia Phillies clubhouse in search of someone who could do an impression of broadcast buddy Terry Francona. He came back with one of Tito's ex-charges and what Jonathan Papelbon put together was pretty funny too. Maybe not 100 percent accurate, but good enough to be labeled as an entertaining one-off.

• The AL East isn't done with Kurkjian, though. Here's Tampa Bay's Elliot Johnson submitting his best Timmy take.

• Albert Pujols doubled and C.J. Wilson threw two shutout innings in their respective debuts for the Los Angeles Angels. Might as well check into Disneyland's parade availability for October, no?

• As Halos Heaven sadly points out, Don Mincher passed away this week after a long illness. Mincher was the first Angels player to ever wear No. 5 — the digit that Pujols currently dons — and posted one of the greatest offensive seasons in team history in 1967.

• Jon Heyman of CBS Sports cites a source that says there's "no shot" that Matt Cain will sign for anything less than $100 million when he becomes a free agent. So it sounds like the Giants will have to hold a few more bake sales in Scottsdale if they want to hammer out an extension this spring.

[Related: How the five wealthiest MLB owners got rich]

• It's strange to say, but "Happy Johanmas!" Erstwhile Mets ace Johan Santana is scheduled to make a Grapefruit League start against St. Louis on Tuesday. He's scheduled to throw about two innings and 35 pitches against the Cardinals.

• Stop me if you heard this last spring: Shaun Marcum has been scratched from a start with shoulder soreness and having him 100 percent for opening day is in question. Given the deja vu feeling with this news, now would probably be a good time for the Brewers to remind Zack Greinke to stay off the boards.

[Related: Houston Astros will take a beating in 2012 and hope their core learns along the way]

• Jair Jurrjens may have given up two runs, three hits and one walk in two innings of work on Monday, but the only number from his performance that mattered was zero. As in the amount of pain he felt from his right knee.

•  Tom Smith of Rum Bunter remembers the last time the Pirates opened their wallets and paid an All-Star some serious cash. Can you believe it was only 12 years ago that Jason Kendall was able to command a six-year deal?

Spring training has started, so don't miss a beat ...
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