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Around The Horn Of The Grapefruit League 2/27/12

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(Source:AP)

(Source:AP)

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Spring training is in full swing across the Grapefruit League and that means it’s the season of optimism, even for some of the worst teams in Major League Baseball.

Case in point, New York Mets owner Fred Wilpon said he’s optimistic about the team’s potential in 2012, despite massive cutbacks in payroll the Mets have undertaken in the last few years.

Much of that salary cutting is due to Wilpon’s own deep financial troubles. Wilpon was heavily involved with Bernie Madoff, who lost billions in a Ponzi scheme. Still Wilpon said he plans on owning the team for a long time.

Wilpon said he’s optimistic the Mets will host the 2012 All-Star game and said the decision to sign third baseman David Wright to a long-term contract extension is up to general manager Sandy Alderson.

Cardinals Ready For Repeat?
Cardinals ace Chris Carpenter is on track to be St. Louis’ opening-day starter while 20-game winner Adam Wainwright is also set to return from Tommy John surgery in 2012. It’s all giving the Cards hope heading into 2012.

The Cardinals pitching should be fine, but filling the spot once held by Albert Pujols will prove much more difficult for St. Louis. In addition, they have to replace long-time manager Tony LaRussa who won two World Series championships with St. Louis.

One pitcher who could bolster the Cards’ lineup will be a slimmer Jake Westbrook. He’s lost 20 pounds since last season and is looking for consistency from his sinkerball. Westbrook finished 2011 with a 12-9 record and a 4.66 ERA, both of which the Cards are looking for him to improve on.

End Of The Line For Zumaya?
In Fort Myers, 2011 may have been the swan song for Minnesota Twins relieve Joel Zumaya. He is considering retirement after he tore a ligament in his elbow at spring training.

For Zumaya to return to baseball, he will have to undergo ligament replacement surgery, also known as Tommy John surgery. If he opted for surgery, it would be his sixth operation since 2006 and he’s not sure if he wants to put his body through it.

Zumaya said he is intrigued by the success some pitchers have after the surgery, but said he will first talk things over with his family and then make a decision in a day or two.

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