Kendrys Morales close to making Cactus League debut

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We’ve heard nothing but good things about Kendrys Morales so far this spring. That’s quite a contrast from this time last year, which Craig can vouch for first-hand. And while Morales has yet to make his Cactus League debut, he’s certainly moving in the right direction.

According to Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times, Morales hopes to get into games during the week of March 18. He also notes that the 28-year-old hasn’t reported any soreness, swelling or pain in his surgically-repaired ankle.

Morales hasn’t played in a professional game since fracturing his lower left leg while jumping onto home plate following a game-winning grand slam on May 29, 2010. The 28-year-old switch-hitter owns a .284/.336/.502 batting line and an .838 OPS in the majors, so he could provide a major boost to the middle of the Angels’ lineup if he can return to form.

While we’re on the subject of Angels’ players who are rehabbing from injury, Mark Trumbo is slated to start at third base and bat cleanup this afternoon against the Giants. He played a couple innings at the hot corner on Wednesday, but these will be his first at-bats in a major league game since being shut down with a stress fracture in his right foot last September.

Drew Smyly has a torn UCL, will undergo Tommy John surgery

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Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times reports that Mariners starter Drew Smyly has a torn UCL and will undergo Tommy John surgery.

Smyly was diagnosed with a flexor strain in his left elbow at the end of spring training. He had been on the shelf since then, but was throwing bullpen sessions. He was set to throw his first simulated game today, but that was scratched after he said his arm didn’t feel right in his last throwing session. The Mariners called it “a little setback.” A reexamination shows that this is not little, obviously.

The Mariners acquired Smyly in January for outfielder Mallex Smith and two minor leaguers, and were expected to utilize the lefty as a core member of their rotation in 2017. Now he’s going to miss all of this season and, given that he’s on a one-year deal, will be released by the team at the end of the season. Odds are that he’ll be unable to pitch for most of 2018.

Tough break.

Miguel Montero to be designated for assignment

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A play in three acts:

I.

Miguel Montero talks smack about his teammate

II.

A team leader talks smack about Miguel Montero

III.

The Cubs get rid of Miguel Montero:

This is rather surprising. As I said in the last post, I figured he’d apologize today and it’d all be in the past. Guess not. Even more surprising: we learned earlier this week that the key to good clubhouse chemistry is having a teammate everyone hates. Guess that only works for the Giants.

Montero is making $14 million this season, so the Cubs are definitely eating some money to make a headache go away. They’re also losing some offensive production, as Montero has hit a nice .286/.366/.439 on the season. His terrible defense against opposing baserunners mitigates that, of course. And the whole “pissing off everyone in the clubhouse” thing isn’t exactly working out for him either, so here we are.

Oh well, have a good one, Miguel.