Astros infielder Jeff Keppinger didn’t have the best offseason. First the ‘Stros traded for Bill Hall and named him their starting second baseman, pushing the 30-year-old Keppinger into a backup role. Then the guy found out in January that he needed surgery to remove a sesamoid bone from his left foot.
Keppinger is not going to be ready for the start of the season. In fact, Brian McTaggart of MLB.com is saying that Keppinger will miss the first six weeks.
He was in a walking boot Thursday in camp and said he’s only “hoping” to get out of it by next week.
Once Keppinger returns to full health, he will be used in a utility infield role, getting limited looks behind Hall at second base and Clint Barmes at short. He batted .288/.351/.393 with six home runs, 59 RBI and 62 runs scored across 137 games last year.
Jake Peavy is still considered questionable for Opening Day, but everything has gone smoothly to this point in White Sox camp.
The right-hander, making his way back from major lat surgery, threw a bullpen session in front of White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen and general manager Kenny Williams on Thursday afternoon.
According to Mark D. Gonzalez of the Chicago Tribune, Peavy “threw with ease” and reported to abnormal pain or discomfort when he was finished. It’s a good start, but he isn’t fully pushing his body at this point and he still has a long road ahead.
“Just what I expected, because I’ve been on the mound before,” Peavy told reporters afterward. “Just nice and easy. Nothing too much. Just a good side session. Fastball, changeup, and the location was good. Just climbing like the other guys are.”
The White Sox announced Thursday that 21-year-old left-hander Chris Sale is going to open the 2011 season in the bullpen, which serves as a good indication that they are confident in Peavy’s ongoing recovery.
Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski spoke to reporters for an extended period of time Thursday about Miguel Cabrera’s Wednesday DUI arrest. Dombrowski touched on a number of important items, but he didn’t have an answer to the question, “When will Cabrera arrive at spring camp?”
Now we know.
According to Noah Trister of the Associated Press, via NBCSports.com, Cabrera has made plans to show up to spring training on Saturday for the first round of position player workouts.
He is still facing a couple of serious charges, including resisting an officer without violence, but his offseason home is not farm from the Tigers’ spring training complex in Lakeland, Florida. He can still make court dates while also showing his face at team practices and gearing up for the start of the regular season.
The Tigers haven’t decided what course of action they’re going to take to further punish Cabrera. It will likely involve some treatment and maybe even a short regular season suspension.