Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton was given a rare double-dose of cortisone injections on Wednesday of this week in the area of his sore ribcage. It hasn’t helped.
According to MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan, the injured MVP candidate felt the same Saturday as he did on Wednesday and is not optimistic about his chances of returning before the end of September.
“Obviously the best-case scenario is getting back and getting a good
last week of the regular season … get some at-bats,” said Hamilton. “At the moment, I
don’t see that happening.”
Right now, this isn’t a major issue. The Rangers are up 9.5 games over the A’s in the American League West and Hamilton has already turned in a season worthy of baseball’s greatest awards. But if the lingering rib soreness affects his readiness for the postseason — which it most likely will — Texas’ starting lineup won’t be nearly as frightening in a five- or seven-game setting.
Hamtilon, 29, has posted a major league-leading .361 batting average, 31 home runs and 97 RBI in 507 at-bats this season while showing excellent range in center field.
The Diamondbacks have signed free agent left-hander Jorge De La Rosa to a minor league deal, per a team announcement on Sunday. The contract includes an invitation to spring training. Nick Piecoro of AZCentral.com adds that De La Rosa stands to make $2.25 million if he secures a spot on the major league roster, with up to $600,000 in incentives if he pitches out of the bullpen and up to $1 million in incentives if he pitches out of the starting rotation.
The 35-year-old is expected to compete for a bullpen role after spending the better part of a decade in the Rockies’ rotation. He capped a nine-year run with Colorado in 2016, finishing the year with a 5.51 ERA, 4.2 BB/9 and 7.3 SO/9 over 134 innings. Despite his struggles out of the rotation, he found limited success in a three-game stint in the bullpen, striking out 10 of 26 batters and holding the opposition to just three hits and one earned run in eight innings.
The veteran lefty is set to join a bullpen comprised of right-handers Randall Delgado, Jake Barrett and Fernando Rodney, along with a number of unproven candidates on similar minor league contracts. His age and command issues may be off-putting, but the promise he showed as a reliever should give the Diamondbacks some upside as they attempt to redeem a league-worst bullpen in 2017.
Blue Jays’ third baseman Josh Donaldson is expected to miss up to three weeks with a right calf strain, reports John Lott. Donaldson reportedly felt some discomfort in his calf during sprinting drills on Friday and was diagnosed with what looked like a mild strain after undergoing an MRI on Saturday. According to Lott, the 31-year-old is on crutches for the next few days and will likely miss 2-3 weeks of spring training.
Donaldson had a similar scare at the start of the 2016 season, when he limped out of the batter’s box during the Blue Jays’ first regular season road trip with a right calf strain. He returned to DH two days later, however, and was back on the field in less than a week’s time. Blue Jays’ GM Ross Atkins told MLB.com’s Corey Long that the two calf injuries are unrelated, and expects that Donaldson will recover in similar fashion this spring — well before Opening Day comes around.