Jonathan Lucroy was off to a surprising start before suffering a fracture in his right hand almost two months ago. But he’s inching closer to rejoining the Brewers’ lineup.
According to Brewers’ media relations director Mike Vassallo, Lucroy is tentatively scheduled to begin a minor league rehab assignment Thursday with Class A Wisconsin.
Lucroy began taking batting practice in the cage over the weekend and Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports that he was blocking balls in the dirt before tonight’s game against the Cardinals. It’s possible he could return by the end of the month if all goes well.
Lucroy was well on his way to a career year prior to the injury, batting .345/.387/.583 with five home runs, 30 RBI and a .969 OPS through 43 games. Martin Maldonado has played well during his absence, so it’s possible the Brewers could shop George Kottaras to contenders leading up to the trade deadline.
Veteran right-hander Bartolo Colon was released from his minor league deal with the Rangers on Saturday, MLB.com’s TR Sullivan reports. Despite his strong showing in spring training, Colon wasn’t considered a lock to make the Opening Day rotation. This may not be the end of his time with the team, however — according to multiple reports, the Rangers have expressed their desire to restructure a minor league deal with the right-hander and could work out an arrangement to keep him on as bullpen and Triple-A depth this season.
Colon, 44, is preparing for his 21st year in the majors. He split his 2017 campaign with the Braves and Twins, posting a cumulative 7-14 record in 28 starts and finishing the season with a 6.48 ERA, 2.2 BB/9 and 5.6 SO/9 in 143 innings. While those numbers were some of the worst he’d seen since 2009, the veteran righty made a compelling case in camp this spring, holding batters to six earned runs, four home runs, two walks and 10 strikeouts in 18 innings.
The Rangers are expected to open the season with a rotation comprised of Cole Hamels, Doug Fister, Matt Moore, Mike Minor and Martin Perez. Perez is working his way back from an elbow injury in his non-throwing arm and is slated to miss his first start of the season, which would provide a brief window of opportunity for Colon when the Rangers hit the road in April.