We’ve seen Nyjer Morgan cross-check major league catchers in the past, but he’ll have a chance to go back to his roots tomorrow. According to Adam McCalvy of MLB.com, the outspoken outfielder will suit up to practice with his hometown San Jose Sharks.
“I’m really excited to get on the ice with the team,” said Morgan. “I’ve been a diehard fan since the team came to San Jose in 1991. I will never forget the George Kingston and Patty Falloon days. I’m not sure the guys are ready for me!”
Morgan gave up hockey about a decade ago in order to focus on baseball, but he did play with the Regina Pats of the Western Hockey League in 1999-2000. You can watch him on the ice here. He scored two goals in seven games and wouldn’t you know it, he also logged 20 penalty minutes.
Zack Greinke began last season on the disabled list after breaking his rib in a pickup basketball game prior to spring training, so some minor trepidation on the Brewers’ part would be understandable, but GM Doug Melvin told McCalvy that they aren’t concerned given Morgan’s previous experience as a hockey player. The Brewers and Morgan avoided arbitration earlier this month by agreeing to a one-year, $2.35 million contract, but the deal is not guaranteed.
Royals’ Opening Day starter Danny Duffy weathered a minor scare during Saturday’s Cactus League game against the Diamondbacks. The left-hander was removed from his final spring training start after experiencing some left shoulder tightness in the second and third innings. No lasting damage appears to have been done — Duffy told reporters that he simply felt a slight ache, nothing more — and it looks like he’ll remain on track to open the season with the team next Thursday.
The 29-year-old southpaw is coming off one of his best performances to date. Despite losing a few weeks to an oblique strain and elbow soreness, he went 9-10 in 24 starts and finished the 2017 season with a 3.81 ERA, 2.5 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 over 146 1/3 innings. While Duffy entered camp with a clean bill of health, he struggled to execute against his spring training opponents and racked up 13 runs, four homers, seven walks and 11 strikeouts in 13 innings of Cactus League play.
The Royals are scheduled to kick off their home opener against the White Sox on Thursday, March 29 at 4:15 PM ET. Barring any further complications with his shoulder, Duffy will take the mound for the Royals, while James Shields is expected to make his first Opening Day appearance for the White Sox.