Wandy Rodriguez threw 60 pitches in a bullpen session yesterday and Zachary Levine of the Houston Chronicle reports that the Astros now expect him to come off the disabled list when eligible next Monday.
He’ll first have to avoid a setback with his elbow injury while making a rehab start Wednesday at Double-A, but Levine writes that he’ll likely be limited to 50-60 pitches in that outing.
Rodriguez said after the bullpen session that he “felt great” and “didn’t have any problem.”
Top prospect Jordan Lyles took Rodriguez’s spot in the rotation and pitched well in his debut, but the 20-year-old former first-round pick struggled yesterday versus the Padres and seems likely to be sent back down when Rodriguez returns.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Royals and first baseman Eric Hosmer have discussed a long-term contract extension. However, Hosmer also indicated that he will head into free agency if a deal is not consummated by Opening Day.
Hosmer, 27, avoided arbitration with the Royals last month, agreeing to a $12.25 million salary for the 2017 season. He is one of four key Royals players who can become a free agent after the season along with Mike Moustakas, Alcides Escobar, and Lorenzo Cain. If Hosmer does reach free agency, he would arguably be the top free agent first baseman.
Hosmer finished the past season hitting .266/.328/.433 with 25 home runs and 104 RBI while making his first All-Star team.
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.