We heard last week that Ian Stewart was a “longshot” to be ready for Opening Day, but it turns out he may cut things pretty close.
According to Troy Renck of the Denver Post, Stewart is scheduled to start at third base tomorrow against the Rangers. It will be his first Cactus League action since spraining the MCL in his left knee in a collision with teammate Carlos Gonzalez in the Rockies’ exhibition opener back on February 26.
Stewart actually appeared in a “B” game against the Angels yesterday as the designated hitter, finishing 2-for-4 with a walk. Thomas Harding of MLB.com reports that Stewart originally expected to return to Cactus League action Thursday night, but the Rockies apparently felt encouraged enough by his progress to move up his timetable.
There’s still a chance Stewart will have enough time to be ready for Opening Day, but if not, Ty Wigginton is an obvious short-term alternative at the hot corner.
MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports that the Dodgers have promoted 1B/OF prospect Cody Bellinger.
Bellinger, 21, is considered the Dodgers’ best prospect and No. 10 overall in baseball, according to MLB Pipeline. At Triple-A Oklahoma City, Bellinger was hitting .343/.429/.627 with five home runs, 15 RBI, 15 runs scored, and seven stolen bases in 77 plate appearances.
The Dodgers are dealing with a slew of injuries to their outfielders — most recently losing Joc Pederson to a strained groin — so Bellinger is likely to get regular playing time there.
The Marlins are on the last leg of a nine-game road trip that started in Seattle, took them through San Diego, and now has them in Philadelphia. If the hectic travel schedule weren’t punishing enough, the NFL Draft has heaped some more difficulty onto the Marlins’ trip.
Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that, because the NFL booked all of the hotels in Philadelphia ahead of the draft (which starts on Thursday and ends on Saturday), the Marlins have to stay at a hotel in Wilmington, Delaware.
At least the city of Wilmington is welcoming the Marlins with open arms: