Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal reports that Adrian Gonzalez has been cleared to begin hitting off a tee and did so this morning. Feeling fine and no need to consult with a doctor as was previously suggested he might. He’s supposed to begin live batting practice soon. So that’s some good news for a Red Sox Nation that has had nothing but … oh, wait. They’ve basically had nothing but good news since November. Forget I said anything.
Speaking of tees, this weekend I bought my son a regulation tee, a couple of balls and a glove. This on the heels of a recent declaration that he wants to play t-ball this spring. Then — before I gave them to him — he told me that he’d rather play soccer. The equipment is now sitting in my trunk, for I fear that if I give them to him now I am officially that dad who pushes his kid into stuff he doesn’t want to do. Of course, if I don’t give them to him, he’s going to go through childhood thinking that soccer is a real sport or something.
Parenting is hard, yo.
The Braves have signed reliever Blaine Boyer to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports. Bowman adds that the right-hander has a “good chance” to make the Braves’ bullpen out of spring training.
Boyer, 35, spent the past season with the Brewers, finishing with a 3.95 ERA and a 26/17 K/BB ratio in 66 innings.
Boyer, of course, started his professional baseball career with the Braves as they selected him in the third round of the 2000 draft. Since the Braves traded him in 2009, Boyer has pitched for the Cardinals, Diamondbacks, Mets, Padres, and Twins along with the Brewers.
Update (6:48 PM EST): Topkin reports the contract will be of the major league variety.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays and free agent reliever Shawn Tolleson are close to finalizing a contract.
Tolleson, who turns 29 years old on Thursday, had an ugly 2016 season, finishing with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He was one of the Rangers’ best relievers in the two seasons prior to that, however, which included saving 35 games in 2015.