Yankees right fielder Bobby Abreu is expected to miss at least two weeks after straining his right oblique during batting practice yesterday, an injury Manager Joe Torre said won't cause the team to make a new push for Bernie Williams to report.
Torre said Abreu will be ready for Opening Day. . . .
Center fielder Johnny Damon rejoined the team after a two-day excused absence to tend to a personal matter with his family in the Orlando area.
"It's a non-issue now," Damon said.
· RED SOX:Manny Ramirez reported to training camp three days ahead of his anticipated arrival but four days after Boston's first full workout.
The team had given the slugging left fielder permission to report Thursday, the day after its first exhibition game, for family reasons. His mother underwent surgery recently.
But Ramirez emerged from the trainer's room and sat down at his locker at 8:54 a.m. yesterday.
"Please move," he told a reporter politely. "I need some space."
· DIAMONDBACKS:Randy Johnson felt a little sore after throwing off the mound but said that was to be expected.
It was Johnson's second session off a mound in his comeback from back surgery. He said the soreness was "the residual effects from the first time out."
"My back's a little stiff, the legs are stiff, arm's stiff," Johnson said.
· BRAVES:After passing off the Opening Day honors last season, John Smoltz is all set to handle Atlanta's first start of 2007.
To the surprise of no one, Manager Bobby Cox aligned his spring training rotation to ensure that Smoltz would be ready to pitch the April 2 opener at Philadelphia.
· CUBS:Oft-injured pitcher Mark Prior was pushed up to start next Monday in a spring training game against the Mariners.
After the team worked out yesterday, Manager Lou Piniella said Prior will pitch in Chicago's fifth exhibition game. Only 24 hours earlier, Piniella said the right-hander would not make an appearance until the second time through the rotation.
· CARDINALS:Manager Tony La Russa and third baseman Scott Rolen are talking again, and both agree the rift that began during the 2006 postseason is over.
The two shook hands last week outside La Russa's office at the St. Louis spring training complex. The two had not spoken since the disagreement began.
"It's a dead issue," Rolen said yesterday. "It's healthy to be a dead issue."