Peep Show

Updated: March 10, 2004, 9:09 AM ET
By Jim Baker

American League

Kansas City Royals: This is Kevin Appier's first spring training with the Royals since 1999, the year he left the organization that bore him in a trade with Oakland. This time around, he's on the mend from elbow surgery which was necessitated by a torn flexor muscle. Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star reports that if he stays on track, he will be ready to join the team's rotation by mid-April. "I'm throwing all of my pitches and my elbow has been responding well," said Appier. "After the surgery, with all of that scar tissue, it doesn't let it feel like it never happened. But whenever the scar tissue gets done tearing away, which hopefully happens soon, then hopefully it will feel normal." Appier has had 13 full seasons in the major leagues in his career and has bettered the adjusted league ERA in all but two of them (1999 and 2003).

Minnesota Twins: It's no secret the Phillies had more than a little problem with their bullpen last year. While their starters didn't live up to expectations, they also had a lot of wins sold out from under them by a shaky relievers. One of the big culprits was Carlos Silva, who -- as Patrick Reusse of the Minneapolis Star Tribune points out -- allowed 19 of the 32 baserunners he inherited to score over the last two years. This is not the reason he's being considered for a role in the starting rotation, however. "I asked [Phillies manager] Larry Bowa about that this winter, and he said Silva had trouble with the first hitter he faced ...that he was fine after the first guy," manager Ron Gardenhire told Reusse. Prior to coming to the majors in 2002, he was used almost exclusively as a starter -- in spite of having only two pitches (fastball and slider). There aren't many of that species -- two-pitch starters. When pressed for a precedent, Gardenhire named Scott Erickson.

Jim Baker is an author at Baseball Prospectus and a frequent contributor to Page 2. You can e-mail Jim at