Tsuyoshi Nishioka was back in Minnesota’s lineup today for the first time since breaking his leg on April 7 and after finishing off a two-game sweep of the White Sox the Twins activated Joe Mauer and Glen Perkins from the disabled list as well.
Mauer has been out since mid-April, but because of the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the strength of his surgically repaired knee the Twins have decided to keep three catchers on the roster for a while. Instead of demoting Drew Butera or Rene Rivera, they outrighted career minor leaguer Brian Dinkelman back to Triple-A.
Chuck James was also optioned to Triple-A to make room in the bullpen for Perkins, who was emerging as the Twins’ most reliable reliever before suffering an oblique injury last month.
Minnesota still has Justin Morneau, Jason Kubel, Jim Thome, Denard Span, Joe Nathan, and Kevin Slowey on the DL, but the Twins have turned things around by going 11-3 so far this month.
The Kansas City Star has covered the death of Yordano Ventura and its aftermath in a thorough, thoughtful, respectful and admirable fashion and it has all been compelling to read, even if it’s often been difficult to read. Their latest story may be the most difficult, though it is nonetheless essential.
It covers the final year of Ventura’s life which, sadly, was tumultuous. He had become estranged from his family. He was married to a woman who, at the time of the ceremony, was still married to her first husband and whose family, allegedly, later made threats against Ventura that we’re only now learning about. This includes allegations of armed men accosting Ventura at his home near the Royals spring training facility a year ago. An incident which led to him missing time due to “flulike symptoms,” but which, in reality, caused him considerable mental distress. He was again threatened, it is claimed, in Kansas City during the season. There is also an allegation that Ventura attempted suicide via an overdose of Benadryl, though that is disputed.
Beyond that, there is an arc to the end of Ventura’s life which sounds unfortunately familiar. It’s a story of a young man whose life changed dramatically in a very, very short period of time and who struggled at times to process the changes. Were it not for a fateful drive on a dark and winding road one night in late January, they all could’ve been things that, as his career matured, he could look back on as learning experiences. Now that he’s gone, however, they form the final, tragic chapter.
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.