Astros first-round pick George Springer meets with Long Island Ducks

6 Comments

The Diamondbacks agreed to terms with No. 3 overall pick Trevor Bauer earlier today, but it doesn’t sound like the Astros are close to an agreement with their first-round pick.

Confirming a story passed along by Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors earlier this afternoon, Brian McTaggart of MLB.com reports that George Springer did indeed meet with the general manager of the independent league Long Island Ducks on Saturday.

Springer’s father, George Springer Jr., attended the meeting and said that they merely met with the Ducks in case an agreement couldn’t be reached with the Astros prior to the August 15 deadline.

“Obviously, whatever discussions are going on with the Astros are going to be kept between us and the Astros, and hopefully we can reach some agreement,” Springer Jr. said. “We have to prepare for all contingencies if that doesn’t happen. I don’t want anybody to read into it more than that.”

Springer, a 21-year-old outfielder, was selected No. 11 overall out of the University of Connecticut in June’s First-Year Player Draft. While talks with the Ducks could very well be a bluff, Springer’s father said that returning to college isn’t a likely option. If the two sides are unable to reach an agreement before the deadline, Springer would re-enter the draft in 2012 and the Astros would receive compensation in the form of a draft pick.

Video: Angels use eight pitchers in spring training no-hitter

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Who says no-hitters can’t be just as fun when they happen during spring training?

Angels’ right-hander Bud Norris delivered two perfect innings on Friday night, paving the way for an eight-pitcher no-hitter against the Mariners at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Jose Alvarez, Cam Bedrosian, Andrew Bailey, Austin Adams, Drew Gagnon and Justin Anderson each filed a hitless inning of their own, leaving right-hander Abel De Los Santos to close out the ninth inning with just three pitches — and three game-saving plays by the defense.

Of course, it didn’t hurt that the Angels were facing a bevy of Mariners’ backups, rather than their starting lineup. In fact, Seattle’s lineup featured just two starting players — outfielder Leonys Martin and shortstop Jean Segura — while the majority of their everyday position players took on the Royals in a 4-3 win elsewhere in the Cactus League. The Mariners managed to reach base twice, first on catcher interference in the fourth inning, then on a four-pitch walk in the sixth, spoiling the Angels’ chances of turning their combined no-hitter into a combined perfect game.

Still, whether it’s executed in spring training or the regular season, against an All-Star lineup or one comprised of minor leaguers, a no-hitter is a no-hitter. The team’s eight-pitcher effort marked the first spring training no-no the Angels had completed since 1996, when they took on the Giants in a 15-0 showdown. Unfortunately for the 1996 squad, their regular season ended with a 70-91 record, good for last place in the AL West. Perhaps this no-hitter will prove a better omen for the coming season.

Tanner Scheppers leaves Cactus League game with lower core injury

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Rangers’ bullpen candidate Tanner Scheppers left Friday’s Cactus League game with pain in his “lower half,” according to reports by Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. The specifics of the right-hander’s injury have yet to be determined, but he was accompanied by the athletic trainer when he exited the game and is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Saturday.

Scheppers, 30, has a long history of elbow and knee injuries. He missed all but 8 2/3 innings of the 2016 season after undergoing a procedure to repair torn articular cartilage in his left knee. While he appeared healthy enough through his first seven appearances this spring, he failed to impress with three runs, five walks and six strikeouts over 7 2/3 innings with the club.

Should Scheppers find himself on the disabled list for another lengthy stay, MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan speculates that his absence could clear some room in the bullpen for Rule 5 draft pick and fellow righty Mike Hauschild. Hauschild, 27, has dealt seven runs, five walks and 15 strikeouts through 17 1/3 innings in camp.