The Phillies have decided to give two of their aces some extra rest after their All-Star appearances and go with Vance Worley, Cole Hamels and Kyle Kendrick this weekend against the Mets.
Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee will be held back until next week’s series against the Cubs that begins Monday.
Hamels, the Saturday starter, was supposed to join Halladay and Lee in the All-Star Game, but he was scratched because he pitched Sunday. He’ll be working on five days’ rest this week.
Halladay started and pitched two scoreless innings for the NL in Tuesday’s All-Star Game. Lee followed him to the mound and gave up the lone run scored by the AL while working 1 2/3 innings. He threw 25 pitches to Halladay’s 19.
To make room for Worley on the roster, the team is optioning Scott Mathieson back to Triple-A.
The Mets told Jay Bruce that the club plans on having him open the season as the everyday right fielder, Ken Davidoff of the New York Post reports. This comes as no surprise after the Mets failed to get any bites after dangling Bruce as a trade chip. The Mets reportedly wanted a pair of prospects in exchange for Bruce.
With Bruce in right, Yoenis Cespedes back in left, and Curtis Granderson in center, Michael Conforto appears to be the odd man out. He’ll either warm the bench or head back to Triple-A Las Vegas for regular at-bats.
Bruce, who turns 30 years old in April, had a rough final two months of the 2016 season after joining the Mets in a trade from the Reds. He hit a paltry .219/.294/.391 with eight home runs and 19 RBI in 187 plate appearances. Bruce, apparently, wanted to go anywhere but in New York.
Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Angels have inked outfielder Eric Young, Jr. to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.
Young, 31, played in just six games and logged one plate appearance in the majors this past season with the Yankees. He last played regularly in 2014. While Young doesn’t do much with the bat, he could provide value as a pinch-runner. He also offers versatility, having played all three outfield positions along with second base.
The Angels have Ben Revere as their fourth outfielder and Jefry Marte behind him, so Young would need to have a very impressive showing in spring training to find a spot on the Angels’ roster.