Designated for assignment by the Red Sox yesterday, Mike Cameron told Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe that he has no plans to retire and hopes to find another big-league job once he’s released:
I need to sort some things out, but if all goes as planned, I’ll be back playing. I haven’t played much this year. Rest assured I’ll be back. People think Father Time has got me. But it wasn’t Father Time. It was not getting much of a chance to go out there and run around and play.
Cameron is right that he didn’t get much of a chance to play regularly, totaling just 105 plate appearances through the Red Sox’s first 80 games, but he also hit just .149 with a strikeout in 24 percent of his trips to the plate and was in a 3-for-39 (.077) slump when the move was made.
Cameron was better last season, hitting .259 with a .729 OPS that would make him a useful part-time player, but betting on a 38-year-old bouncing back is always unlikely and his defense is no longer a huge asset in center field. With that said, when the Red Sox are on the hook for his entire contract and signing him for the second half costs a new team just $175,000 or so it wouldn’t be a terrible flier to take.
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.
David Price showed “strength improvements” in his elbow on Saturday, but Red Sox’ manager John Farrell still doesn’t think the left-hander will be ready to throw by the start of the season — or for a few weeks afterward. According to ESPN’s Scott Lauber, the 31-year-old might not be ready to debut until May at the earliest.
Price hasn’t thrown off of a mound this spring after experiencing soreness in his left elbow on March 1. Surgery doesn’t appear to be necessary, but the Red Sox are playing it extra safe with their No. 3 starter in hopes that rest and rehabilitation will return him to full health sometime during the 2017 season. For now, Price has been restricted to short games of catch until he’s cleared to resume a more rigorous throwing program. Via MLB.com’s Ian Browne:
[There were] strength improvements to the point of putting the ball back in his hand a little more consistently,” said manager John Farrell. “Today’s the first step for that. A short game of catch. That’s what he’s going through. Not off a mound but just to get the arm moving with a ball in flight, and he will continue in this phase for a period of time. There’s no set distance and volume yet to the throws.
The lefty is coming off of a lackluster 2016 season, during which he delivered a 3.99 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 8.9 SO/9 over 230 innings for the Red Sox.