Any hope the Cardinals had that Rick Ankiel would be in their rotation on Opening Day was dashed last week when he felt stiffness in his left (pitching) elbow after his first spring outing. Ankiel, who allowed five runs and two walks in two innings against the Expos, wasn't expected to pitch again for at least a week.... He's not a conventional leadoff hitter, but the A's have been trying slow-footed DH Jeremy Giambi in the top spot. The move makes sense in one respect: Giambi's .391 on-base percentage was second only to brother Jason's .477 mark among Oakland's regulars last season.... Orlando Hernandez, who's fighting lefties Sterling Hitchcock and David Wells for one of the two final spots in the Yankees' rotation, enhanced his prospects—not to mention his trade value—with stellar outings in his first two spring starts, especially when he threw 29 of 40 pitches for strikes in three shutout innings against the Rangers on March 6. Texas, in the market for another starter, is one team that might be interested in dealing for El Duque.