Wednesday's quick hits – Indians make deals

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– After Matt Lindstrom’s second straight ugly outing Tuesday, it was
determined Wednesday that he had a sprained elbow ligament and would
miss at least six weeks.

Lindstrom, who injured his shoulder in the WBC, has likely been
pitching hurt all season. The results certainly suggest it, not that
they stopped the Marlins from having him pitch in both games of a
doubleheader during May and work on three straight days twice in the
last month. If rehab doesn’t work, Lindstrom is likely looking at Tommy
John surgery. Leo Nunez is going to take over the closer’s role and
should be an upgrade.

– The Indians made a pair of minor deals, shipping first baseman
Michael Aubrey to the Orioles for a player to be named and acquiring
reliever Jose Veras from the Yankees for cash.

Veras had a 3.59 ERA in 57 2/3 innings for the Bombers last season,
but he was at 5.96 this year before getting designated for assignment.
His velocity is down a bit and he’s always had poor command, but he
might be an adequate middle man for a team that could use one.

The Orioles, on the other hand, don’t gain anything by picking up
Aubrey, a 2003 first-round pick who had his potential sapped by
injuries. A singles and doubles hitter, he’s a poor man’s Sean Casey.
The retired Casey, not the one who was a quality regular in his prime.

– Gary Sheffield received a cortisone shot for his sore right knee and won’t start again until at least Friday.

Maybe Sheffield’s body would have held up had the Mets been able to
limit him to a couple of starts in the outfield per week. However, they
can’t be blamed for trying to make him a regular when he was playing so
well and injuries decimated the lineup. Unfortunately, his knee
problems seem destined to put him on the disabled list, though the Mets
say that’s not a consideration right now. Fernando Tatis and Jeremy
Reed stand to pick up more playing time.

Video: Andrew Toles hammers grand slam in Cactus League win

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Dodgers’ left fielder Andrew Toles crushed his first spring training home run on Saturday afternoon. With the bases loaded and a two-run deficit hanging over their heads in the fourth inning, Toles stepped up to the plate against Oakland right-hander Jesse Hahn and unloaded a grand slam on the second pitch he saw.

Third baseman Justin Turner was quick to follow up with a solo jack of his own, bringing the score to a comfortable 7-4 lead by the end of the fourth. Another three-run outburst in the fifth and an eighth-inning RBI single by Austin Barnes raised the final score to 11-6… which, coincidentally, was the same score the Reds used to defeat the Athletics’ second split-squad lineup on Saturday (albeit with a few more RBI walks than grand slams).

Toles, 24, is approaching his sophomore season with the Dodgers in 2017. He slashed .314/.365/.505 with three home runs and an .870 OPS in his first major league season in 2016 and is expected to platoon with the right-handed Franklin Gutierrez in left field this year.

David Price’s season debut could be pushed back to May

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David Price showed “strength improvements” in his elbow on Saturday, but Red Sox’ manager John Farrell still doesn’t think the left-hander will be ready to throw by the start of the season — or for a few weeks afterward. According to ESPN’s Scott Lauber, the 31-year-old might not be ready to debut until May at the earliest.

Price hasn’t thrown off of a mound this spring after experiencing soreness in his left elbow on March 1. Surgery doesn’t appear to be necessary, but the Red Sox are playing it extra safe with their No. 3 starter in hopes that rest and rehabilitation will return him to full health sometime during the 2017 season. For now, Price has been restricted to short games of catch until he’s cleared to resume a more rigorous throwing program. Via MLB.com’s Ian Browne:

[There were] strength improvements to the point of putting the ball back in his hand a little more consistently,” said manager John Farrell. “Today’s the first step for that. A short game of catch. That’s what he’s going through. Not off a mound but just to get the arm moving with a ball in flight, and he will continue in this phase for a period of time. There’s no set distance and volume yet to the throws.

The lefty is coming off of a lackluster 2016 season, during which he delivered a 3.99 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 8.9 SO/9 over 230 innings for the Red Sox.