Dodgers manager Don Mattingly told reporters earlier this week that shortstop Rafael Furcal was “just not ready” to begin a minor league rehab assignment because he was unable to swing comfortably from the right side of the plate.
That tune has changed a bit.
According to the Dodgers’ Twitter feed, Furcal is likely to begin a rehab assignment Saturday with Triple-A Albuquerque despite the discomfort. He will only bat left-handed initially to allow his fractured left thumb a few more days to heal.
Furcal has been on the disabled list since early April and is likely to spend at least a week taking at-bats in the minor leagues before the Dodgers consider activating him.
The 33-year-old was batting .192/.250/.231 with one stolen base and two RBI in his first seven games.
The Rays have traded right-hander Jake Odorizzi to the Twins, per team announcements on Saturday evening. The Twins will receive minor league shortstop Jermaine Palacios in the deal. Despite previous speculation, recently-DFA’d outfielder Corey Dickerson was not included in the trade.
With Odorizzi, the Twins finally have the front-end starter they’ve been seeking all winter. It’s a bargain deal as well, as the 27-year-old righty is under contract through 2019 and didn’t require the club to part with any of their top-shelf prospects in the trade. Odorizzi will be looking to stage a comeback in 2018 after a dismal performance with the Rays last year, during which he eked out a career-worst 4.14 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 through 143 1/3 innings.
Palacios, 21, ranked no. 27 in the Twins’ system last season. He split his year between Single-A Cedar Rapids and High-A Fort Myers, raking a combined .296/.333/.454 with 13 home runs and 20 stolen bases in 539 plate appearances. He’s expected to continue developing at shortstop, though he’s also seen limited time at second and third base during his four-year career in the minors.