The Mets may have a new front office regime and a new manager, but their communication skills clearly haven’t improved from the Omar Minaya era.
New general manager Sandy Alderson told Joel Sherman of the New York Post on Tuesday that outfielder Carlos Beltran would be “shut down” for at least 4-5 days due to tendinitis in his left knee.
But he wasn’t shut down. Not at all, actually.
According to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York, Beltran went through a pretty normal spring workout on Wednesday in camp and told Mets skipper Terry Collins that his knee is already beginning to feel much better:
“He threw,” Collins informed ESPN New York. “He took some swings in the cage And he said his leg felt a lot better. He showed me a couple of things that he couldn’t do yesterday that he could do today. It was a pretty good day. As I told him, I’m looking forward to probably early next week to hopefully get him back in there.”
Perhaps Alderson meant that Beltran had been shut down from playing in Grapefruit League games, not shut down altogether. Either way, it sounds like the newly-named Mets right fielder is on the right track toward recovery from his left knee issues. He is still hoping to be ready for Opening Day.
Cubs’ manager Joe Maddon hasn’t selected a fifth starter for his 2017 rotation yet, but told reporters that he could envision left-handers Brett Anderson and Mike Montgomery sharing the spot throughout the year. Neither pitcher was stretched out to the full 200-inning threshold last year, Maddon added, and suggested that the two could alternate innings out of the rotation and bullpen as needed (via MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat).
Anderson, 29, was acquired by the Cubs in January on a $3.5 million deal. He’s coming off a rough 2016, during which he underwent back surgery and missed all but 11 1/3 innings of his last season with the Dodgers. His last full, healthy year in the majors yielded a 3.69 ERA, 2.3 BB/9 and 5.8 SO/9 over 180 1/3 innings with Los Angeles in 2015.
Montgomery, meanwhile, is vying for a rotation spot after pitching almost exclusively from the bullpen during the second half of the Cubs’ 2016 run. The 27-year-old lefty put up a 2.82 ERA, 4.7 BB/9 and 8.9 SO/9 over 38 1/3 innings for Chicago last year, returning in the postseason to post a 3.14 ERA during the Cubs’ championship finish.
Maddon also mentioned the possibility of throwing a sixth starter into the mix, which would help prevent his other starters from getting overworked too early in the year. Either way, Anderson and Montgomery are expected to get a lot of looks early in spring training as rotation spots are finalized in the weeks leading up to Opening Day.
Orioles’ center fielder Michael Bourn is expected to be sidelined for four weeks while he rehabs a broken ring finger on his right hand, according to reports from the Baltimore Sun’s Peter Schmuck. Bourn broke the finger while playing catch with a football after a spring training workout.
The veteran outfielder re-signed with the club earlier this week on a minor league deal and was prepared to compete for a bench role this season. He’s in line to receive a $2 million salary if he makes the major league roster and can make an additional $3.5 million in incentives based on a set number of plate appearances. Now, however, his chances of cracking the roster out of spring training look considerably diminished, as his current timetable gives him an approximate return date of March 25 if all goes well.
Bourn had an impressive, if short-lived run with the Orioles following his trade to Baltimore last August, batting .283/.358/.435 with two home runs and a .793 OPS in 55 PA. While still somewhat removed from the totals that brought him an All-Star nod with the Braves in 2012, his defensive chops should give the Orioles some depth in center once he’s healthy again.