Report: If Posada isn’t hitting by the All-Star break, he’s gone

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That’s the implication from Andrew Marchand’s story over at ESPN New York today, which says that the Yankees “will reconsider Jorge Posada’s future with the team if his numbers don’t improve by the All-Star break.”

I’m not sure how else you can read that other than to say that he’d be released if he’s not hitting by then. I mean, what else could “reconsider his future” mean?  Every player’s future is being considered by his team at all times.  For this to be any sort of news, it has to mean that the Yankees would cut the Ringo of their Core Four* if he can’t find his stroke.

So get cracking, Jorge!  In a world in which teams carry 12 and 13 pitchers at a time, there isn’t much room on the roster for a part-time DH who can’t do the one thing that DHs normally do.

*Note: this is not a slam on Ringo or Posada. I love both of them. Even named a cat after Ringo once (though he may have been named after the cat in the Dada song “Here Today, Gone Tomorrow,” I’ll never tell). But let’s be honest: Jeter is Lennon, Rivera is McCartney, Pettitte is George Harrison and Posada, for all of his charms, has to be Ringo by the process of elimination.  Also: this makes Joe Girardi Pete Best!

Steven Matz to skip next spring training start with elbow issues

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Mets’ left-hander Steven Matz will miss his Grapefruit League appearance on Monday after experiencing soreness in his left elbow, according to a report by Mike Puma of the New York Post. Matz reportedly first felt discomfort in his elbow on Wednesday after pitching four innings against the Marlins, but a medical evaluation revealed no structural damage.

Still, it’s unsettling news for the 25-year-old, who is coming off of an injury-riddled 2016 season. Matz pitched to a 3.40 ERA, 2.1 BB/9 and 8.8 SO/9 during his sophomore campaign with the Mets, but his success was hampered by a bevy of shoulder and elbow issues that culminated in season-ending surgery to remove bone spurs from his left elbow.

Comments from Mets’ GM Sandy Alderson indicated that while the club doesn’t believe anything is significantly wrong with Matz’s elbow this time around, the setback could have an impact on his chances of cracking the Opening Day roster. Until he’s cleared to return to the mound, the club is expected to take a longer look at rotation candidates Robert Gsellman, Zack Wheeler and Seth Lugo.

Video: Andrew Toles hammers grand slam in Cactus League win

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Dodgers’ left fielder Andrew Toles crushed his first spring training home run on Saturday afternoon. With the bases loaded and a two-run deficit hanging over their heads in the fourth inning, Toles stepped up to the plate against Oakland right-hander Jesse Hahn and unloaded a grand slam on the second pitch he saw.

Third baseman Justin Turner was quick to follow up with a solo jack of his own, bringing the score to a comfortable 7-4 lead by the end of the fourth. Another three-run outburst in the fifth and an eighth-inning RBI single by Austin Barnes raised the final score to 11-6… which, coincidentally, was the same score the Reds used to defeat the Athletics’ second split-squad lineup on Saturday (albeit with a few more RBI walks than grand slams).

Toles, 24, is approaching his sophomore season with the Dodgers in 2017. He slashed .314/.365/.505 with three home runs and an .870 OPS in his first major league season in 2016 and is expected to platoon with the right-handed Franklin Gutierrez in left field this year.