According to Ray Buck of the Dallas Morning News, Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler is finally beginning to show progress in his recovery from a high ankle sprain. He worked out Sunday in cleats for the first time since March 12, taking grounders and turning double plays. He tried to run, though, and could only push it at about half effort.
Kinsler won’t be cleared to begin a minor league rehab assignment until he can run at 100 percent, and that could mean another two weeks. Joaquin Arias has seen a good chunk of time at second base and is 8-for-16 with three runs scored. Andres Blanco, 0-for-5, has also seen some playing time at the position.
Kinsler, 27, boasts an 827 career OPS and hit .253/.327/.488 last season with 31 home runs and 86 RBI in 566 at-bats. The Rangers are hoping he’ll rejoin the club by the end of April.
The Orioles announced, prior to Sunday’s game against the Yankees, that the club signed pitcher Tommy Hunter to a major league contract. In related roster moves, the club recalled pitcher Oliver Drake from Triple-A Norfolk and designated pitcher T.J. McFarland and outfielder Julio Borbon for assignment.
The Indians released Hunter on Thursday after he struggled in a rehab assignment with Triple-A Columbus. Hunter was recovering from a non-displaced fracture in his lower back. The right-hander put up a respectable 3.74 ERA with a 17/5 K/BB ratio in 21 2/3 innings for the Indians.
This will be Hunter’s second stint with the Orioles. The O’s had acquired him along with first baseman Chris Davis at the trade deadline from the Rangers in 2011 in the Koji Uehara trade.
The Orioles are only responsible for paying Hunter the prorated major league minimum.
Orioles DH Mark Trumbo drilled a two-run home run to left-center field off of reliever Ben Heller in the eighth inning of Sunday afternoon’s game against the Yankees. In doing so, he became the first player to reach the 40-homer plateau this season.
Trumbo finished 1-for-4 on the afternoon. Along with the 40 dingers, he’s hitting .257/.317/.541 with 96 RBI. He has already set a career-high in homers and is four RBI away from tying his career high in that regard.
Trumbo is eligible for free agency after the season. Needless to say, his performance in 2016 bodes well for his ability to secure a hefty contract.