Bryan Stow’s condition improves

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Based on everything we’ve heard, Bryan Stow likely suffered brain damage in the beating he received at Dodger Stadium on Opening Day. Yet within the overall sense of gloom about his condition, there have been occasions of good news. The latest coming today:

Doctors say the medical condition of a San Francisco Giants fan who was severely beaten outside Dodgers Stadium is continuing to improve, and they’ve upgraded him from critical to serious … Doctors there said Wednesday that Stow is now breathing without a ventilator and has been able to intermittently follow some basic commands. They say he’s also been weaned off two of five anti-seizure medications used to address brain swelling and that they’re lowering the doses of his remaining medications.

When things are as dire as they have been, you take whatever good news you can find.

Tigers sign Edwin Espinal to minor league deal

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Free agent first baseman Edwin Espinal has signed a minor league deal with the Tigers, the infielder announced Saturday. The move has yet to be confirmed by the team.

Espinal, 23, capped a seven-year run with the Pirates’ minor league affiliates in 2017. He split his season between Double-A Altoona and Triple-A Indianapolis, batting a cumulative .294/.327/.447 with 15 home runs and 31 doubles in 532 plate appearances. While he’s raked at nearly every level so far, he also profiles well on defense, and rounded off his 2017 performance with a perfect fielding percentage, 208 putouts and a Gold Glove award.

Espinal is untested at the major league level and it’s not yet clear if he’ll make the jump in 2018. He showed some positional versatility during his time in the minors, however, and could take reps at third base or DH if necessary. The Tigers are reportedly on the lookout for pitching depth and left-handed bats — two bills the right-handed Espinal doesn’t fit — and presumably have a lot of moves left to make this winter.