Troy Glaus said yesterday that he’s “back to normal” and has “no limitations” after shoulder surgery limited him to just 14 games last season:
There’s no doubt that it feels better than it did in September. I was able to have a full winter of working out and getting in shape. During the last offseason and throughout the last season, all I could do is concentrate on rehabbing the shoulder. I couldn’t work out. I couldn’t lift weights. So my strength was down.
Glaus will have to get used to playing first base after a dozen seasons spent almost exclusively across the diamond, but he’s just one year removed from hitting .270/.372/.483 with 27 homers and if healthy can make a huge impact between Chipper Jones and Brian McCann in Atlanta’s lineup. Getting him for just $2 million was an excellent risk for the Braves to take and batting cleanup should give him a ton of RBI chances.
All of which is why Glaus was one of my fantasy “sleeper” picks among National League hitters. On average he’s being drafted 333rd overall in mixed leagues, but Glaus still has third base eligibility and the Rotoworld Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide projecting him to hit .252/.359/.463 with 26 homers and 87 RBIs would make him a top-15 option at the position.
Who says no-hitters can’t be just as fun when they happen during spring training?
Angels’ right-hander Bud Norris delivered two perfect innings on Friday night, paving the way for an eight-pitcher no-hitter against the Mariners at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Jose Alvarez, Cam Bedrosian, Andrew Bailey, Austin Adams, Drew Gagnon and Justin Anderson each filed a hitless inning of their own, leaving right-hander Abel De Los Santos to close out the ninth inning with just three pitches — and three game-saving plays by the defense.
Of course, it didn’t hurt that the Angels were facing a bevy of Mariners’ backups, rather than their starting lineup. In fact, Seattle’s lineup featured just two starting players — outfielder Leonys Martin and shortstop Jean Segura — while the majority of their everyday position players took on the Royals in a 4-3 win elsewhere in the Cactus League. The Mariners managed to reach base twice, first on catcher interference in the fourth inning, then on a four-pitch walk in the sixth, spoiling the Angels’ chances of turning their combined no-hitter into a combined perfect game.
Still, whether it’s executed in spring training or the regular season, against an All-Star lineup or one comprised of minor leaguers, a no-hitter is a no-hitter. The team’s eight-pitcher effort marked the first spring training no-no the Angels had completed since 1996, when they took on the Giants in a 15-0 showdown. Unfortunately for the 1996 squad, their regular season ended with a 70-91 record, good for last place in the AL West. Perhaps this no-hitter will prove a better omen for the coming season.
Rangers’ bullpen candidate Tanner Scheppers left Friday’s Cactus League game with pain in his “lower half,” according to reports by Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. The specifics of the right-hander’s injury have yet to be determined, but he was accompanied by the athletic trainer when he exited the game and is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Saturday.
Scheppers, 30, has a long history of elbow and knee injuries. He missed all but 8 2/3 innings of the 2016 season after undergoing a procedure to repair torn articular cartilage in his left knee. While he appeared healthy enough through his first seven appearances this spring, he failed to impress with three runs, five walks and six strikeouts over 7 2/3 innings with the club.
Should Scheppers find himself on the disabled list for another lengthy stay, MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan speculates that his absence could clear some room in the bullpen for Rule 5 draft pick and fellow righty Mike Hauschild. Hauschild, 27, has dealt seven runs, five walks and 15 strikeouts through 17 1/3 innings in camp.