That’s the most predictable headline of the spring so far, isn’t it?
Nationals manager Jim Riggleman told Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post on Sunday that right-hander Chien-Ming Wang showed progress in a recent bullpen session but has no chance of breaking camp as a member of the club’s 25-man roster. He’s still recovering from that major shoulder surgery that he underwent back in mid-2009 and won’t be back to full health for several more weeks.
Here’s more from Riggleman, via the Post.
“For a starting pitcher, there’s no way we’ll get him stretched out,’ Riggleman said. “Until [pitching coach] Steve McCatty tells me there’s not only progress, but consistent progress for a couple progress for a couple weeks, then we’ll think about that. You can’t get too high or low about a bullpen session.”
With this winter’s $1 million contract included, the Nationals have now committed $3 million to Wang and been given exactly zero innings in return. He hasn’t pitched in a big league game since July 4, 2009.
The Cubs had a scare on Wednesday night when third baseman Kris Bryant left with an apparent ankle injury. In the bottom of the fifth inning, Nationals catcher Matt Wieters hit a pop up that veered just into foul territory near the third base bag. Bryant caught it but his momentum took him back into fair territory. In doing so, he stepped awkwardly on the third base bag and appeared to twist his ankle. Bryant needed the assistance of manager Joe Maddon and the team trainer to get off the field.
Bryant was diagnosed with a mild ankle sprain, CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney reports.
Bryant was 2-for-3 on the night before departing and being replaced by Jeimer Candelario. He’s now hitting .264/.395/.520 with 16 home runs and 32 RBI in 329 plate appearances. Needless to say, the 39-39 Cubs would see their playoff odds hurt immensely if Bryant were to miss a significant amount of time.
Hector Gomez reports Twins third baseman Miguel Sano will participate in the 2017 Home Run Derby, to be held in two weeks at Marlins Park in Miami. So far, Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton is the only other confirmed participant.
Sano, 24, is having an outstanding season, batting .274/.375/.548 with 18 home runs and 53 RBI in 293 plate appearances. According to MLB’s Statcast, only Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge (96.7 MPH) has a higher average exit velocity than Sano (96.4 MPH).
Brian Dozier was the last member of the Twins to participate in the Home Run Derby. In 2014 at Target Field, Dozier failed to make it into the second round after hitting only two home runs. Justin Morneau is the only Twin to have ever won the Home Run Derby, as he beat Josh Hamilton 5-3 in the finals of the 2008 Derby at Yankee Stadium — although Hamilton out-homered him in total 35 to 22.