A.J. Pierzynski won’t return from the disabled list when he’s first eligible tomorrow, but there’s a good chance he’ll be back with the White Sox as soon as next weekend.
According to Scott Merkin of MLB.com, Pierzynski tested his fractured right wrist yesterday by catching Gavin Floyd’s bullpen session and participating in batting practice.
“All good. All positive,” Pierzynski said. “We’ll do it again tomorrow and see how it reacts, and then go from there.”
Pierzynski was placed on the disabled list for the first time in his career earlier this month. He is tentatively scheduled to play three minor league rehab games with Triple-A Charlotte early next week, including one where he’ll catch Phil Humber, who is on the disabled list with a facial contusion. Barring any setbacks, the veteran backstop will return for a crucial series against the first-place Tigers next weekend.
Pierzynski, 34, is hitting .296/.338/.412 with six home runs, 39 RBI and a .750 OPS over 402 plate appearances this season. Tyler Flowers has filled in admirably during his absence, batting .333 (12-for-36) with one home run, three doubles, one triple and a .984 OPS.
Free agent middle infielder Danny Espinosa signed a minor-league deal with the Blue Jays, the team announced Saturday. The deal includes an invite to spring training, where Espinosa is scheduled for his first split-squad game against the Orioles this afternoon.
Espinosa, 30, was inked to another minor-league deal with the Yankees in January. The veteran infielder was competing for an infield job until the team picked up second baseman Neil Walker on a one-year, $4 million deal last Monday. Prior to his release, he slashed .160/.276/.320 with one home run through his first 12 games with the Yankees this spring. He didn’t fare much better in the majors last year, either, batting a cumulative .173/.245/.278 with six home runs and a .523 OPS in 295 PA for the Mariners and Rays.
Blue Jays starting shortstop Troy Tulowitzki is still dealing with a bone spur in his heel and has officially been ruled out for Opening Day, which could clear a path for Espinosa to claim a starting role in Toronto. Of course, he won’t be the only candidate under consideration — Yangervis Solarte and Aledmys Diaz are still in the mix as well, though no final decision appears to be made just yet.