Late-spring injuries are the worst.
According to Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News, Giants outfielder Cody Ross was lifted from the club’s Cactus League tilt with the Angels Wednesday due to a right calf strain.
Ross was attempting to make a catch on a shallow line drive when he pulled up lame. He struggled to get off the field on his own and was later spotted riding to the clubhouse in a golf cart.
The Giants are likely to provide an update on his status Thursday after they give him a round of tests. Calf strains can range from very minor to very serious, so it’s possible that San Francisco will be forced to place him on the 15-day disabled list before the start of the season. And it’s also possible that he’s fine.
Ross, 30, posted a weak .735 OPS during the 2010 regular season but his bat came alive in October and he helped the Giants to the World Series title with a five-homer and 10-RBI postseason outburst. He is expected to start in right field on most days and nights this summer for San Francisco.
Free agent first baseman Edwin Espinal has signed a minor league deal with the Tigers, the infielder announced Saturday. The move has yet to be confirmed by the team.
Espinal, 23, capped a seven-year run with the Pirates’ minor league affiliates in 2017. He split his season between Double-A Altoona and Triple-A Indianapolis, batting a cumulative .294/.327/.447 with 15 home runs and 31 doubles in 532 plate appearances. While he’s raked at nearly every level so far, he also profiles well on defense, and rounded off his 2017 performance with a perfect fielding percentage, 208 putouts and a Gold Glove award.
Espinal is untested at the major league level and it’s not yet clear if he’ll make the jump in 2018. He showed some positional versatility during his time in the minors, however, and could take reps at third base or DH if necessary. The Tigers are reportedly on the lookout for pitching depth and left-handed bats — two bills the right-handed Espinal doesn’t fit — and presumably have a lot of moves left to make this winter.