Joel Pineiro has been around too long to think that his strong finish with the Cardinals last season guarantees anything in 2008.

"What I did last year is done and over with," Pineiro told The St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "I'm starting fresh. I come here to compete. My job is to go out there and give the team a chance to win every time I'm on the mound. I'll make my 32 or 33 starts. You can make all the money in the world and you might be hurt, you might do anything, and it falls all on you. As long as you're out there every five days giving your team a chance to win, that's all that matters."

After starting last season in the Red Sox bullpen, Pineiro was sent to the Cardinals at the trade deadline and returned to the rotation where he went 6-4 with a 3.96 ERA over 11 starts in August and September.

Kendall could move to No. 9 spot: Tony La Russa has already said he plans to hit his pitcher eighth this season, and now Ned Yost is considering doing the same thing, with catcher Jason Kendall hitting ninth.

"I'm not going to chisel it down in a block of granite," Yost told The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "But I've got my hammer and chisel ready.

"You've got to have a special player in order to do it," said Yost. "You've got to have a high on-base percentage guy that puts the ball in play, takes a lot of pitches. The advantage of it, for us, is you've got a dual leadoff guy, so to speak, in the No. 9 and 1 spots."

Price wows 'em with fastball: As the top overall pick in last June's draft, David Price has entered the spring with high expectations. On Saturday, the left-hander showed everyone why he was the top pick by the Rays.

His fastball hit the high 90s in his outing against the Yankees and regularly drew "oohs" and "aahs" from his teammates during his 17-pitch outing.

"That was the loosest I've felt in a while," Price told The St. Petersburg Times. "I kept my emotions in check. That's easily the greatest feeling ever."

Inflammation shelves McCarthy: Brandon McCarthy is not expected to be in the rotation for the start of the regular season due to a strained right forearm muscle.

McCarthy underwent an MRI, which showed no ligament damage, but he has a lot of inflammation in the forearm near the elbow, according to the Rangers. General manager Jon Daniels doesn't expect McCarthy to throw multiple innings for between four and six weeks.

"It's tough to give a date as to when he's starting in the big leagues," Daniels told The Dallas Morning News. "Barring a much quicker recovery, it's unrealistic he would open as one of the five [starters]. We're not going to push him. Sometime a few weeks into the season is more likely for him to return."

No return date yet for Delgado: Carlos Delgado is fielding and hitting the ball, but the left-handed slugger is making sure he doesn't rush back into the lineup too soon. Delgado has been battling a sore hip and took an anti-inflammatory injection last Saturday.

"I don't want to do anything stupid too early in Spring Training," Delgado, who did not predict a return date, told Newsday

Duke throws 36 pitches, 27 for strikes: Zach Duke was outstanding on Friday, working three scoreless innings while giving up just one hit. While in the game, he threw 36 pitches, 27 of which were strikes.

"Duke was sharp," Pittsburgh manager John Russell told The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "You could really see the difference. The ball was down, with more life to it."

Cueto intent on making Reds' rotation: Johnny Cueto, who has aspirations of making the Reds' starting rotation this year, took a step in the right direction on Friday when he worked three scoreless innings against the Blue Jays.

While facing just 10 batters, Cueto struck out four and gave up just one hit. He walked nobody and said after the game through interpreter Javier Valentin that he had every intention of making the team.

"Yeah, that's why I'm here," he told The Cincinnati Enquirer. "I'm throwing the ball good, and if I have the chance to start the season in the big leagues, I'm going to. And if I'll play, I'm going to be happy."

Lopez an early riser: Former All-Star Javy Lopez has been arriving in camp at 7 a.m. daily and working hard in his effort to make the Braves as a backup to Brian McCann.

The 37-year old homered in his first at-bat but has been struggling since then and believes he may be pressing too hard as a non-roster invite trying to earn his way back.

"I just need to slow down mentally," Lopez told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "It's tough to do, because in the back of my mind I know I'm not on the team yet, and because of that I'm probably a little too anxious -- trying to prove myself, trying to make the team in one day, and that's not how it works."

Sweeney shoots for playoff success: Former Royals first baseman Mike Sweeney is in camp with the A's, trying to win a position as the club's backup first baseman. Sweeney played on teams that finished below .500 in 12 of his 13 seasons with the Royals.

"I never played on a playoff team, and I want that before I hang up my spikes," Sweeney told The San Francisco Chronicle. "I'm hungry for that, and hopefully it's here in Oakland. If I suit up with the A's, I'm going to help these young guys, not only by example but by words."

Smooth transition to left field for Braun: Early results suggest that reigning NL Rookie of the Year Ryan Braun is making a smooth transition from third base to the outfield this spring.

"He's been much, much better than I thought he'd be at this point," manager Ned Yost told The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "He's got an opportunity one day to win a Gold Glove in left field. He certainly does."

Ponson signs with Rangers: Sidney Ponson signed a Minor League contract with the Rangers on Saturday.

Ponson was 2-5 with a 6.93 ERA last season with the Twins before being designated for assignment last May.

Ponson is 82-101 in his career with a 4.94 ERA in 259 games. His best win total came in 2003 when he won 17 games for the Orioles and Giants.

"He understands where he is at this point of his career and feels he has something to prove," general manager Jon Daniels told The Dallas Morning News.

-- Red Line Editorial