It has been a busy couple of days for Dr. Tom Graham, a noted hand specialist at the Cleveland Clinic.
Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Sam Fuld was the first to receive the bad news from the doctor, while Boston Red Sox pitcher Andrew Bailey got the thumbs down Tuesday evening. Another Boston pitcher, Josh Beckett, also had an appointment Tuesday to see Graham, but the Red Sox were optimistic he wouldn't need a surgical procedure.
Fuld, an early season dynamo for the Rays in 2011, was scheduled for surgery on his right wrist and was expected to miss at least four months of the season, it was announced Tuesday. Graham's procedure will stabilize a ligament in Fuld's right wrist.
Fuld, 30, batted .240 with three homers, 27 RBI and 20 stolen bases in 105 games last season for Tampa Bay, his first with the club after parts of three seasons with the Chicago Cubs.
Bailey, 27, acquired in December from the Oakland A's, is scheduled for surgery Wednesday.
"It was determined that Andrew should undergo surgery to reconstruct the ulnar collateral ligament in his right thumb," the Red Sox said Tuesday. "The surgery is scheduled to be performed by Dr. Graham (Wednesday) in Cleveland."
While Beckett also has a right-thumb injury, Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said he expects him to start on Friday.
FRANKLY, FRANCISCO'S OK
New York Mets closer Frank Francisco was pain-free Tuesday and said he would be ready to go for the team's season opener Thursday at Atlanta.
Francisco was told that MRI tests on his swollen left knee showed no structural problems.
He was confident after pitching off the mound Tuesday.
"I threw long toss (Monday) and still felt really good," he told MLB.com. "But throwing off the mound is a little different, so I had a little doubt in my mind in the beginning. But I said, 'I have to let it go.' And everything was great."
Francisco, who was with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2011, signed a two-year, $12-million deal with the Mets in the off-season.
Sean Marshall has been handed the job of closer by Cincinnati Reds manager Dusty Baker. "It's Marshall right now," Baker said Tuesday on the team website. Marshall, who saved five games for the Chicago Cubs last season, takes over for Ryan Madson, who is out for the season with an elbow injury ... The Reds have claimed pitcher Alfredo Simon off waivers from the Baltimore Orioles. Simon went 4-9 with a 4.90 earned-run average for the Orioles last season ... Detroit Tigers infielder Brandon Inge was placed on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to March 30, with a left groin strain. He's eligible to return April 14 ... Cleveland Indians pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez is appealing a five-game suspension he was handed Monday for throwing at Colorado Rockies batter Troy Tulowitzki. Jimenez is scheduled Saturday to start Cleveland's second game of the season ... Chicago Cubs first baseman Matt LaHair sat out Tuesday with tightness in his back. LaHair has been out since last Friday but manager Dale Sveum said he should be ready to play this weekend ... Tampa Bay Rays closer Kyle Farnsworth has a sore pitching elbow and could be headed for the disabled list, the Tampa Tribune reported.