Chris Carpenter’s setback is the biggest story in Cardinals camp, but they did get some good news yesterday as Allen Craig returned from knee surgery to play in a minor-league game.
It was Craig’s first action since Game 7 of the World Series, although he was limited strictly to hitting and didn’t run or play defense.
Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports that Craig remains likely to begin the season on the disabled list and may even have to wait a while before being cleared for full-on game participation, but manager Mike Matheny called yesterday “a step forward’ and added that “if he feels good then we move forward … we have to see how his body reacts.”
The Braves have signed reliever Blaine Boyer to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports. Bowman adds that the right-hander has a “good chance” to make the Braves’ bullpen out of spring training.
Boyer, 35, spent the past season with the Brewers, finishing with a 3.95 ERA and a 26/17 K/BB ratio in 66 innings.
Boyer, of course, started his professional baseball career with the Braves as they selected him in the third round of the 2000 draft. Since the Braves traded him in 2009, Boyer has pitched for the Cardinals, Diamondbacks, Mets, Padres, and Twins along with the Brewers.
Update (6:48 PM EST): Topkin reports the contract will be of the major league variety.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays and free agent reliever Shawn Tolleson are close to finalizing a contract.
Tolleson, who turns 29 years old on Thursday, had an ugly 2016 season, finishing with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He was one of the Rangers’ best relievers in the two seasons prior to that, however, which included saving 35 games in 2015.