The league released the complete list of spring training reporting and workout dates yesterday. To see when your rooting interest gets underway, click here.
Pitchers and catchers report as early as February 14th for some teams and as late as February 17th for others. Likewise, full-squad workouts begin as early as February 19th for some teams and as late as February 23rd. But only one team reports on the 23rd: the Twins.
I went to college at a school that was on the quarter system rather than the semester system. As such, I had nearly a month of knocking around my hometown after all my friends went away to college before I got to go. It was kind of a drag, actually. Apart from waiting in line at the record store to buy Guns N’ Roses “Use Your Illusion I and II” the day it came out (on cassette, natch), it was a totally wasted month. I wonder if the Twins position players feel like that.
I also wonder how many of them own “Use Your Illusion I and II” on cassette. Maybe Joe Nathan. He’s the only one about the right age for that.
Thursday is September 1, which means rosters expand. As a result, the Nationals plan to promote pitcher Mat Latos to the major league roster, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. Latos had an opt-out clause for Monday, but after discussing the matter with the team, he agreed to stay at Triple-A Syracuse until Thursday.
Latos, 28, put up a 4.62 ERA over 11 starts with the White Sox before being released in mid-June. Nearly two weeks later, he signed a minor league contract with the Nationals.
In the Nationals’ minor league system, Latos has made three starts for the club’s Gulf Coast League team as well as three for Syracuse. In aggregate, the right-hander has yielded six runs (four earned) on 20 hits and 10 walks with 28 strikeouts in 28 innings.
Latos will likely pitch out of a long relief role for the Nationals and can be used as starting rotation insurance as well.
Mark Buehrle hasn’t officially retired, but he hasn’t thrown a pitch in professional baseball since last October. Still, the Blue Jays wouldn’t mind having some insurance, so manager John Gibbons recently texted Buehrle, “You know, rosters expand in September,” Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports.
Buehrle’s response? He texted back a picture of a lake. Sounds like he’s not interested in making a return, at least this year.
Last year, at the age of 36, Buehrle went 15-8 with a 3.81 ERA with a 91/33 K/BB ratio in 198 2/3 innings while leading the league with four complete games. He fell 1 1/3 innings shy of a 15th consecutive 200-inning season. There are many worse ways to end a career.