UPDATE: Ladson spoke with Norris, who said he expects to miss five to seven days due to a concussion.
11:07 AM: According to Bill Ladson of MLB.com, Nationals prospect catcher Derek Norris was hospitalized after being hit in the head by a fastball during a game with Class A Potomac on Friday night.
Norris was reportedly motionless on the field for 10 minutes before being taken away in an ambulance. According to a statement released by the team, Norris was conscious and able to move his extremities upon his arrival to the hospital.
“His vitals are fine and everything looks promising,” said Doug Harris,
the Nationals’ director of player development.
Norris, 21, is regarded as the organization’s best hitting prospect. He batted .286/.413/.513 with 23 home runs and 84 RBI with Single-A Harrisburg last season. He is batting .317/.472/.439 with one home run and six RBI over his first 41 at-bats this season after missing five weeks due to a broken bone in his right hand.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Royals and first baseman Eric Hosmer have discussed a long-term contract extension. However, Hosmer also indicated that he will head into free agency if a deal is not consummated by Opening Day.
Hosmer, 27, avoided arbitration with the Royals last month, agreeing to a $12.25 million salary for the 2017 season. He is one of four key Royals players who can become a free agent after the season along with Mike Moustakas, Alcides Escobar, and Lorenzo Cain. If Hosmer does reach free agency, he would arguably be the top free agent first baseman.
Hosmer finished the past season hitting .266/.328/.433 with 25 home runs and 104 RBI while making his first All-Star team.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Yankees have signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, pending a physical. Assuming the deal is finalized, Sherman notes that the Yankees will have Niese work as both a starter and a reliever in big league camp this spring.
According to Sherman, the Yankees were interested in lefty relievers Jerry Blevins and Boone Logan, but didn’t want to commit at their asking prices. They are looking for a lefty set-up man along with Tommy Lane.
Niese, 30, pitched for the Pirates and Mets last season, finishing with a 5.50 ERA and an 88/47 K/BB ratio over 121 innings.