Mike Stanton was expected to miss “at least two weeks” with a strained quadriceps suffered on February 27. It’s been three weeks and a couple days, and now Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post reports that Stanton is hoping to make his spring training debut Thursday.
In the meantime he’ll test his quadriceps by playing a few innings of right field in a minor-league game today, so barring a setback it sounds like Stanton should have plenty of time to be fully healthy by Opening Day.
He’s a very popular breakout pick after an impressive rookie half-season with the Marlins and Stanton blasted 43 homers between Triple-A and the majors as a 20-year-old. Few hitters in baseball have as much power potential, but Stanton still has plenty of work to do on his plate discipline and strike zone control after posting a 123/34 K/BB ratio in his debut.
Tigers’ right-handed reliever Francisco Rodriguez was released on Friday, per a team announcement. The club recalled fellow right-hander Bruce Rondon from Triple-A Toledo in a corresponding move.
The former closer got the boot after losing his closing role in early May, giving left-hander Justin Wilson a chance to impress at the back end of the bullpen. It’s been a rough year for Rodriguez, who manufactured six blown saves and a 7.82 ERA, 3.9 BB/9 and 8.2 SO/9 over 25 1/3 innings for the Tigers. The final straw, it seemed, came with Robinson Cano‘s grand slam in the seventh inning of the Tigers’ 6-9 loss to the Mariners on Thursday.
While the demotion to a clean-up role and an apparent lack of communication caused Rodriguez considerable frustration, he’s two years removed from his last dominant performance as a major league closer and has shown few signs of returning to form. His recent slump doesn’t diminish the impressive totals he’s racked up over his 16-year career — 437 saves and six All-Star nominations among them — but if he can’t break out of it soon, he may not receive the kind of high leverage role he’s seeking with another big league team, either.
The Red Sox have signed third baseman Jhonny Peralta to a minor-league deal. He’ll report to Pawtucket.
Peralta, 35, hit a paltry .204/.259/.204 in 58 plate appearances for the Cardinals this year. But with Pablo Sandoval on the disabled list — and ineffective when he hasn’t been — the Sox could use some infield depth.
This is the second former Tiger that former Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski has picked up today, after signing Doug Fister. No word if he’s kicking the tires on Andy Dirks or Brennan Boesch.