Ronny Paulino is ineligible to play in the Mets’ first eight games of the season due to a 50-game suspension for a positive performance-enhancing drug test dating back to last year, but now Anthony DiComo of MLB.com reports that the backup catcher could be out longer after recent blood tests revealed “stomach and colon issues.”
No further details about Paulino’s condition are offered, but obviously that doesn’t sound good. He’s scheduled for further exams and general manager Sandy Alderson said it’s “very possible” Paulino will be placed on the disabled list once he returns from suspension, leaving Mike Nickeas to back up Josh Thole.
It’s been a rough spring training for Paulino, who reported to camp nearly a month late due to visa problems in the Dominican Republic and has appeared in just seven games. He signed a one-year, $1.3 million contract with the Mets in December.
Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner left Monday’s Cactus League game against the Athletics after he was hit by a pitch. He went for X-rays, revealing that he suffered a broken wrist, Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports. Shaikin adds that Turner is unlikely to return before May, noting that Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman missed six weeks with a similar injury last year and Astros outfielder George Springer missed nine weeks in 2015.
Needless to say, this is a huge loss for the Dodgers. Last year, Turner hit .322/.415/.530 with 21 home runs and 71 RBI in 543 plate appearances, helping the Dodgers reach the World Series. He made the All-Star team for the first time in his career and finished eighth in NL MVP balloting.
Thankfully, the Dodgers have some versatile players on the roster. Logan Forsythe could move from second base to third, giving Chase Utley more playing time at second. Enrique Hernandez could man the hot corner as well. Chris Taylor has played some third base, or he could shift to second base in Forsythe’s stead. The club should shed some light on how it plans to move forward following Turner’s injury.