Drew Cumberland forced back into retirement

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Sad news to pass along from Padres’ camp.

Padres’ vice president of player development and international scouting Randy Smith told Corey Brock of MLB.com that prospect infielder Drew Cumberland has ended his comeback attempt.

Cumberland retired for the first time last summer after being diagnosed with bilateral vestibulopathy, a rare inner-ear condition which can cause blurred vision, dizziness and headaches. The 23-year-old has a history of concussions dating back to before he was a supplemental first-round pick of the Padres back in 2007. He was cleared to resume his career after visiting with concussion specialists in November, but his symptoms resurfaced this spring.

“I talked to Cumby [Sunday] and he said that his symptoms had returned and he just wasn’t going to be able to continue,” said Randy Smith, the Padres’ vice president of player development and international scouting.

“I told him to take as much time as he needs … but I don’t think that the outcome is going to change.”

Cumberland was ranked as the organization’s No. 9 prospect by Baseball America last offseason after batting .316/.380/.430 over his first four professional seasons. It’s a shame his career is over at such a young age, but hopefully his condition eventually improves to the point where he can have some quality of life again.

Adrian Beltre cleared for extended spring training

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Adrian Beltre has been on the disabled list all year because of nagging right calf strain, but he’s about to take a big step toward getting back to action.

Beltre has been cleared to begin playing in extended spring training games. He’ll commence them tomorrow at the Rangers facility in Surprise, Arizona. After three games the team’s doctors will reevaluate him. If things go well, he’ll likely be sent off for a full minor league rehab assignment.

Joey Gallo has filled in for Beltre all season, bringing a lot of power but not much else to the table. While Beltre is 38, his all-around game would be welcomed back on the field and his leadership would be welcomed back in the Rangers clubhouse. On a personal note, Beltre is only 58 hits shy of 3,000 for his career.

Barring a setback, he’ll be back with the big club in early June and will hit the milestone eventually.

Michael Bourn opts out of his minor league deal with the Orioles

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Outfielder Michael Bourn was traded by the Diamondbacks to the Orioles late last season and hit a solid .283/.358/.435 in 55 plate appearances with them through the end of the season. While that’s not enough to outweigh the miserable season he had in Arizona, it was enough to get the O’s to give him a look in spring training with a minor league deal. They signed him to one in late February.

Then, a couple of days later, Bourn broke his finger while playing catch with a football. Unable to play, the O’s cut him. In early April, once Bourn healed, the O’s signed him again. He played 11 games for their Triple-A affiliate and went 9-for-41 with ten walks in 51 plate appearances. While that makes for a decent OBP, his lack of any sort of pop or good contact suggests that if someone throws him strikes, he can’t do much with the ball.

As such, the O’s had not called him up to Baltimore. And as a result of that, Bourn exercised his opt-out rights and became a free agent.

Someone may take a look at him given that his batting eye seems to be intact and given that, in an admittedly small sample size, he still performed last season. But if he does get a look, it’ll likely be back at the minor league level.