MLB Quick Hits: Cabrera ‘positive’ he’ll be ready for Opening Day
The wait is finally over, Tiger fans. 1B Miguel Cabrera (ankle) and DH Victor Martinez (knee) got their first game action of the spring on Sunday. Cabrera was 1-for-3 with a couple of strikeouts against the Nationals, while Martinez went hitless in a split-squad game vs. the Braves. After his game, Cabrera said he was "positive" that he and Martinez would be ready for Opening Day, while manager Brad Ausmus said that there’s "probably a better than 50 percent chance" that Cabrera will be in the lineup on April 6. Stay tuned.
In other news …
Dodgers SP Hyun-Jin Ryu has been sent to Los Angeles for tests on his shoulder, and won’t be ready for the start of the season. We should know more today or tomorrow.
Brett Cecil has officially been named as the Blue Jays’ closer. Cecil whiffed 76 batters and walked 27 in 53 1/3 innings last season, and while those numbers aren’t perfect, they’ll do just fine for the minimal investment (NFBC ADP: 299) required to own him.
In other Blue Jays’ news, Daniel Norris is the front runner for the fifth starter role, and Maicer Izturis’ groin injury might have opened the door for rookie Devon Travis to start the season at second base. Travis batted .298 with 10 homers and 16 steals at Double A last season.
Reds SP Homer Bailey (offseason shoulder surgery) pitched two solid innings in his spring debut on Sunday. He’s still targeting a mid-April return.
Cubs manager Joe Maddon talked Sunday about the possibility of Kris Bryant playing some outfield. Even if that might happen, when might it happen? In a Saturday article, the Chicago Sun-Times noted the "obvious likelihood he’ll open the season in the minors for a couple of weeks to retain an additional year of club control before free agency." No surprise, right?
Read these quotes about Orioles C Matt Wieters, who will start the season on the DL with elbow tendinitis related to his 2014 Tommy John surgery. The O’s don’t sound too concerned, but manager Buck Showalter does acknowledge some uncertainty regarding Wieters’ condition, and one MLB.com article said "it would not be a big shock if Wieters’ season-opening DL stay extends deep into April." The O’s don’t seem interested in using Wieters as a full-time DH.
Today’s "Player I Don’t Want" is White Sox 1B Adam LaRoche. I like his move to The Cell, but the projections at FanGraphs have him at about .240 with 25 home runs. I’d rather have Eric Hosmer, Brandon Moss and even Justin Morneau, all of whom are being drafted after LaRoche at NFBC. At age 35, decline has to come soon as well, right?
Braves OF Nick Markakis (offseason neck surgery) will make his spring debut today, and if all goes well over the next couple of weeks, he should be ready to start the season.
Yankees deep sleeper 2B Jose Pirela suffered a concussion while running into an outfield wall on Sunday. AL-only owners: Try to grab Pirela if you have bench spots, even if he opens the season in the minors or on the DL. He might get the second-base job by default at some point, and after batting .305 with 10 homers and 15 steals at Triple A last season, he has modest fantasy potential.
Mets SS Wilmer Flores was wearing a walking boot after fouling a ball off his left foot on Sunday. Hopefully, this will heal quickly.
Hard-throwing Rubby de la Rosa is "very close" to securing a rotation spot, according to Diamondbacks manager Chip Hale. I would really like to take a chance on de la Rosa in an NL-only league – his stuff comes with upside – but I’m not sure if I’d draft him in a shallower format.
See you back here tomorrow morning.