Alberto Callaspo was scratched from Friday’s lineup against the Dodgers after he tweaked his right side on a swing during batting practice. He was out of the lineup again on Saturday and manager Trey Hillman told Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star that he isn’t sure when Callaspo will be able to return to game action.
“We’re going to get a better read (Sunday),” Hillman said. “It’s usually 24-48 (hours before you know). He came in feeling a lot better, and it wasn’t that bad (on Friday). We still think it’s going to be OK.”
The fear, according to Dutton, is that Callaspo suffered a strained oblique muscle, the type of injury that could sideline him for several weeks. Callaspo, who turned 27 in April, emerged as one of the most productive bats for the Royals last season, batting .300/.356/.457 with 11 homers and 73 RBI.
Josh Fields, who was acquired from the White Sox in the Mark Teahen in November, would likely open the season as the primary third baseman if Callaspo needs a stint on the disabled list. Alex Gordon, who broke his thumb earlier this month, is already expected to open the season on the DL.
The Yankees probably have the best minor league system in baseball right now and the best player in that system is, without question, shortstop Gleyber Torres. Now that top prospect is a step closet to the Bronx: he has been promoted to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
The Yankees don’t rush their prospects anywhere nearly as fast as a lot of teams do, but Torres, who is only 20, proved himself to be ready for the promotion. In 32 games at Double-A Trenton this year he hit .273/.367/.496 in 139 plate appearances. That OPS is almost 100 points higher than that which he posted in high A-ball in 2016.
Torres came over to the Yankees from the Cubs organization in the Aroldis Chapman trade last summer. At this rate he’ll be playing shortstop behind Chapman in New York before too long.
Dodgers outfielder Brett Eibner came into yesterday’s game against the Marlins as a pinch hitter in the sixth inning. He hit a single scoring Joc Pederson and Kiké Hernandez and then advanced to second on the throw home. Overall on the year he’s 5-for-16 with a walk, two homers and six driven in eight games. Admirable work for a guy whose job is to be a bench bat and outfield depth.
As Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports, however, he could possible provide some bullpen depth too:
Eibner has thrown several bullpen sessions at Dodger Stadium and at Oklahoma City, working on building arm strength and developing secondary pitches to accompany a fastball he said hit 95 mph in college.
The idea, still in its theoretical stages, would be for Eibner to remain, primarily, a backup outfielder, but to possibly serve as an extra arm during periods when the Dodgers pen gets worked hard. Something less than an everyday reliever but something more than the gimmick of using a position player to save the real pitchers in a blowout.
In an age when teams have cut their position player depth down to the bone in the service of adding more relief pitchers, finding a guy who can do both could provide a nice little boost, no?