Ricky Nolasco may try to pitch through torn meniscus

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Ricky Nolasco was diagnosed with a torn right meniscus over the weekend and scratched from his scheduled Sunday start in favor of Andrew Miller.  With such a serious diagnosis, and with the Marlins well out of contention, it felt like Nolasco might be done for the season.  But, alas, he could be ready to pitch again by Saturday.

Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald reports that Nolasco will play catch on Monday and throw a bullpen session on Wednesday.  If those go well, he is likely to be cleared to start against the first-place Braves this weekend.

“He wants to pitch, and he says he’s feeling much better the last two
days,” manager Edwin Rodriguez said. “At this point of the season, pretty much
everybody’s hurt. Nobody’s 100 percent. If he says he’s 90, 95 percent, I
think it’s good enough.”

Nolasco, 27, struggled through the first half of the season but he’s limited opponents to a .237 batting average and has racked up 53 strikeouts in 45 innings since mid-July.  Through 25 total starts this season, he owns a 14-8 record, a 4.22 ERA, a 1.23 WHIP and 147 strikeouts.

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.

Report: Jose Ramirez close to four-year extension with Indians

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Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan reports that third baseman Jose Ramirez is finalizing a four-year extension with the Indians. The deal is said to be worth north of $30 million, and may crest $50 million if all options are exercised. While the extension won’t take effect until the 2018 season, it guarantees Ramirez a $26 million sum with two options worth $11 and $13 million and will give the Indians control of the infielder through the 2023 season.

Ramirez, 24, is entering his fifth season in the Indians’ organization. He posted career-high numbers during his first full season in the majors, slashing .312/.363/.461 with 11 home runs, 22 stolen bases and 4.8 fWAR in 2016. He’s projected to have a strong follow-up season at the plate and will likely see some time at second base as Jason Kipnis works his way back from a shoulder injury.

Although 2016 only showcased the beginning of Ramirez’s success with the club, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman says it’s a standard move for Cleveland to “sign their stars early,” and indicates that Ramirez was rumored to want the deal. Jeff Todd of MLB Trade Rumors adds that the extension will keep Ramirez under club control through three arbitration-eligible years and one year of potential free agency.