The left side of the Dodgers’ infield just took another hit.
According to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times, Casey Blake underwent surgery on his infected left elbow and could be back in four weeks. The 37-year-old third baseman was officially placed on the disabled list earlier today.
Blake began the year on the disabled list with lower back pain, but was batting .321/.446/.509 with two homers and six RBI over his 66 plate appearances this season.
If tonight’s lineup against the Padres is any indication, the Dodgers will apparently forge ahead with Juan Uribe at third base and Aaron Miles at second. Russell Mitchell has been recalled from Triple-A Albuquerque to take Blake’s place on the active roster.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Yankees have signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, pending a physical. Assuming the deal is finalized, Sherman notes that the Yankees will have Niese work as both a starter and a reliever in big league camp this spring.
According to Sherman, the Yankees were interested in lefty relievers Jerry Blevins and Boone Logan, but didn’t want to commit at their asking prices. They are looking for a lefty set-up man along with Tommy Lane.
Niese, 30, pitched for the Pirates and Mets last season, finishing with a 5.50 ERA and an 88/47 K/BB ratio over 121 innings.
Veteran Omar Infante has spent the overwhelming majority of his career as an infielder, but the Tigers plan to give him some playing time in center field this spring. The Tigers’ center field situation is still murky and adding more versatility would increase Infante’s odds of making the roster.
Infante, 35, signed a minor league deal with the Tigers in December. He played 39 games for the Royals last season, batting .239/.279/.321 in 149 plate appearances while playing second base exclusively. Infante last played in the outfield in 2010 with the Braves, and last played center field specifically in ’09 with the Braves.
The Tigers currently have Mikie Mahtook, Tyler Collins, and JaCoby Jones at the top of their center field depth chart. It is not what one would call “optimal.”