Wandy Rodriguez scratched from Saturday start with discomfort in elbow

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According to Steve Campbell of the Houston Chronicle, the Astros have scratched Wandy Rodriguez from Saturday’s scheduled start against the Diamondbacks due to discomfort in his left elbow. Bud Norris will move up a day to make the start in his place.

Rodriguez complained of some soreness following Sunday’s outing against the Blue Jays and felt continued discomfort during a bullpen session today. Astros general manager Ed Wade said that the 32-year-old southpaw is scheduled for an MRI exam tomorrow.

“Until we get the MRI, we won’t know if we’re looking at him just missing (Saturday) and getting pushed back,” Wade said. “Somebody is going to have to start on Tuesday. Once we get the MRI, we’ll get a better sense and feel of whether he’s going to be in position to throw a bullpen on Sunday and get ready for Tuesday.”

Rodriguez is 3-3 with a 3.41 ERA and 53/16 K/BB ratio over his first 10 starts this season. He has made at least 30 starts in four out of the last five seasons.

One would think that an extended absence could lead to top prospect right-hander Jordan Lyles being called up from the minor leagues. Lyles, 20, has a 3.20 ERA over his first 10 starts with Triple-A Oklahoma City this season, averaging 6.3 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9. He has a 2.81 ERA over his last five starts.

Video: Angels use eight pitchers in spring training no-hitter

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Who says no-hitters can’t be just as fun when they happen during spring training?

Angels’ right-hander Bud Norris delivered two perfect innings on Friday night, paving the way for an eight-pitcher no-hitter against the Mariners at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Jose Alvarez, Cam Bedrosian, Andrew Bailey, Austin Adams, Drew Gagnon and Justin Anderson each filed a hitless inning of their own, leaving right-hander Abel De Los Santos to close out the ninth inning with just three pitches — and three game-saving plays by the defense.

Of course, it didn’t hurt that the Angels were facing a bevy of Mariners’ backups, rather than their starting lineup. In fact, Seattle’s lineup featured just two starting players — outfielder Leonys Martin and shortstop Jean Segura — while the majority of their everyday position players took on the Royals in a 4-3 win elsewhere in the Cactus League. The Mariners managed to reach base twice, first on catcher interference in the fourth inning, then on a four-pitch walk in the sixth, spoiling the Angels’ chances of turning their combined no-hitter into a combined perfect game.

Still, whether it’s executed in spring training or the regular season, against an All-Star lineup or one comprised of minor leaguers, a no-hitter is a no-hitter. The team’s eight-pitcher effort marked the first spring training no-no the Angels had completed since 1996, when they took on the Giants in a 15-0 showdown. Unfortunately for the 1996 squad, their regular season ended with a 70-91 record, good for last place in the AL West. Perhaps this no-hitter will prove a better omen for the coming season.

Tanner Scheppers leaves Cactus League game with lower core injury

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Rangers’ bullpen candidate Tanner Scheppers left Friday’s Cactus League game with pain in his “lower half,” according to reports by Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. The specifics of the right-hander’s injury have yet to be determined, but he was accompanied by the athletic trainer when he exited the game and is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Saturday.

Scheppers, 30, has a long history of elbow and knee injuries. He missed all but 8 2/3 innings of the 2016 season after undergoing a procedure to repair torn articular cartilage in his left knee. While he appeared healthy enough through his first seven appearances this spring, he failed to impress with three runs, five walks and six strikeouts over 7 2/3 innings with the club.

Should Scheppers find himself on the disabled list for another lengthy stay, MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan speculates that his absence could clear some room in the bullpen for Rule 5 draft pick and fellow righty Mike Hauschild. Hauschild, 27, has dealt seven runs, five walks and 15 strikeouts through 17 1/3 innings in camp.