Astros may have interest in Ryan Theriot if he’s non-tendered

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MLB Network’s Jon Heyman hears that the Astros may have interest in infielder Ryan Theriot if he’s non-tendered by the Cardinals.

The non-tender part sounds like a pretty good bet to happen, as the Cardinals have already pegged Daniel Descalso as their starting second baseman for next season and are “making progress” in bringing back shortstop Rafael Furcal.

Theriot earned $3.3 million this past season while batting .271/.321/.342 with one home run, 47 RBI, four stolen bases and a .662 OPS over 483 plate appearances. The 32-year-old made 17 errors in 91 games at shortstop in 2011 and advanced defensive metrics haven’t been kind to him over the past two seasons, so he may be better suited as a second baseman moving forward.

With Jose Altuve already projected as the Astros’ second baseman for 2012, it will be interesting to see whether new GM (and former Cardinals VP of scouting and player development) Jeff Luhnow views Theriot as a feasible replacement for Clint Barmes.

Dominic Smith dealing with a strained right quad

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Mets first baseman Dominic Smith is dealing with a strained right quad and is set to undergo an MRI on Monday, MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo reports.

Smith, 22, did not play in the Mets’ first Grapefruit League game after showing up late. He played on Saturday, scoring two runs on a single and a hit-by-pitch in two plate appearances. He was held out of Sunday’s lineup.

The Mets signed Adrian Gonzalez during the offseason, which makes him the front runner for the starting job at first base. Smith needs to have a strong spring showing to make the 25-man roster but so far, it hasn’t gone well.

Smith made his major league debut in August last year and ended up playing in 49 games. He struggled to a .198/.262/.395 slash line with nine home runs and 26 RBI in 183 plate appearances.