Reds, braves make trade
The Cincinnati Reds traded third baseman Juan Francisco to the Atlanta Braves for right-hander J.J. Hoover on Sunday.
The 24-year-old Francisco was competing with Todd Frazier to back up Scott Rolen. Francisco was signed by the Reds in 2004 and was out of minor league options.
Francisco has played 81 games in the majors. The left-handed hitter has a career batting average of .284 with five home runs and 29 RBI.
Hoover was drafted by Atlanta in 2008. The Reds will assign him to Triple-A Louisville.
Hoover split last season between Triple-A and Double-A as a starter and reliever. The 24-year-old was a combined 3-6 with a 2.64 ERA.
Red Sox rotation
Boston manager Bobby Valentine says Felix Doubront and Daniel Bard will fill out the Red Sox rotation.
The left-handed Doubront will take the fourth spot and the right-handed Bard will be the fifth starter. Jon Lester, Josh Beckett and Clay Buchholz already had places in the rotation.
Right-hander Alfredo Aceves, who had been competing for one of the spots, will pitch out of the bullpen.
Smyly earns Tigers spot
Called into manager Jim Leyland’s office on Sunday morning, Drew Smyly heard the news he’d hoped for all spring.
Smyly, a 22-year-old left-hander who has never pitched above Double-A, had earned a spot in the Detroit Tigers’ rotation.
“Excited is an understatement,” Smyly said. “From the beginning I thought I had a good shot. I knew I was capable of getting the job done, but everyone else is probably capable, too.”
Leyland announced Smyly will be the fifth starter, and said right-hander Luis Marte had the final spot in the bullpen. “Our pitching is set,” Leyland said.
The AL Central champions got down to their limit of 12 pitchers by optioning Duane Below and Bryan Villareal to Triple-A Toledo. That left Smyly as the winner of the monthlong competition for the starting spot behind Justin Verlander, Doug Fister, Max Scherzer and Rick Porcello.
The Tigers will send Smyly to Toledo for one start on April 5, bypassing the fifth spot in the first turn through their rotation. He will be brought up to start April 12 against the Tampa Bay Rays, the final game of a season-opening homestand.
Padres pick Volquez
The San Diego Padres rewarded Edinson Volquez for his hard work this spring when they announced him as their Opening Day starter.
The Padres were expected to pick Tim Stauffer to pitch the opener, but he is bothered by a sore right triceps, manager Bud Black said.
San Diego begins the season at home Thursday against the Los Angeles Dodgers, who will counter with Clayton Kershaw.