Cardinals' Rafael Furcal still bothered by sore elbow

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St. Louis shortstop Rafael Furcal and his injured elbow might not be ready for Saturday’s first game of spring training.

Cardinals manager Mike Matheny insists that shouldn’t be much of a concern.

“We still have a few days to figure that out,” Matheny said. “He still hasn’t let it go yet so it’s going to be hard to put him out there in a situation where he has to go to his backhand deep in the hole. We know he’s not ready for that.”

Furcal is working his way back from a strained elbow ligament suffered near the end of last season. There was a concern that he’d have to undergo Tommy John surgery, but the former Brave chose to try rehab instead.

PIRATES: Manager Clint Hurdle agreed to a contract extension with the club that runs through at least the end of the 2014 season.

Terms were not disclosed but the deal includes a club option for 2015. The 55-year-old was in the final season of a three-year deal he signed in December 2010 when he replaced John Russell.

Pittsburgh is 151-173 in two seasons under Hurdle, including a 79-83 mark in 2012, tied for the franchise’s best record in two decades.

“I feel privileged to have the opportunity to continue and finish what we started,” Hurdle said. “There’s no place I would rather be than in a Pirates uniform.”

CUBS: Pitcher Matt Garza has a mild side strain and is expected to miss only a week of spring training camp.

Garza strained his side while throwing live batting practice on Sunday.

NATIONALS: Left-hander Ross Detwiler will pitch for Team USA in the upcoming World Baseball Classic.

AUCTION: Walter Johnson’s family is putting some keepsakes up for auction.

A ticket from Game 7 of the 1924 World Series is one of the items up for bids Saturday at Heritage Auctions in New York. It’s thought to be the only surviving ticket from the game that still has its perforations intact, having never been torn by a ticket-taker.

Other items for sale include the personalized framed copy of Johnson’s plaque from his Hall of Fame induction and a handwritten congratulatory letter from Ty Cobb.


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