Pat Neshek's injury was misdiagnosed by Twins

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Ron Gardenhire was described as “steaming” over the weekend when the Twins intended to demote Pat Neshek to Triple-A only to be told that the reliever preferred to be placed on the disabled list because his finger injury was still a problem.
Neshek received some subtle jabs from Gardenhire and some not-so-subtle jabs from the local media … and now it turns out the Twins’ medical staff misdiagnosed his injury the whole time.
Phil Mackey of 1500ESPN.com reports that an MRI exam revealed the injury is to Neshek’s palm rather than his middle finger, which makes sense given that a cortisone shot to his finger last month didn’t seem to help much. It also explain why Neshek had trouble gripping the baseball and why his fastball velocity dipped several miles per hour, causing him to struggle leading up to the planned demotion.
Neshek wrote via Facebook that he’s “not happy with anything that has gone on, especially when it could have been taken care of three weeks ago and I was told the wrong info.” However, he added that “Gardy and I are on the same page” and once healthy he’s willing to pitch wherever the Twins assign him, calling the whole thing “a miscommunication.”
As for why it took the medical staff a month to order an MRI exam or why the Twins felt the need to publicly criticize Neshek, that’s another issue.

Video: Angels use eight pitchers in spring training no-hitter

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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.

Tanner Scheppers leaves Cactus League game with lower core injury

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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.