Rangers righty Colby Lewis was cleared to begin a throwing program earlier this month and is on a good pace in his recovery from a July procedure to repair a torn flexor tendon in his throwing elbow. The club’s other rehabbing starter is also making progress.
According to Anthony Andro, Rangers beat writer for FOX Sports Southwest, the Texas medical staff is “pleased with where Neftali Feliz is in his rehab” from Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery, which he underwent back in early August.
“Nefty is doing well,” confirmed Rangers general manager Jon Daniels. “He’s coming into Arlington in a couple of weeks to get checked up by (team doctor Keith) Meister and then will report out in Arizona to continue his rehab. Everything’s on schedule.”
If all continues to go according to plan, Feliz could be ready to rejoin the Rangers’ starting rotation by next September. Lewis is expected to return at some point before the All-Star break.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Yankees have signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, pending a physical. Assuming the deal is finalized, Sherman notes that the Yankees will have Niese work as both a starter and a reliever in big league camp this spring.
According to Sherman, the Yankees were interested in lefty relievers Jerry Blevins and Boone Logan, but didn’t want to commit at their asking prices. They are looking for a lefty set-up man along with Tommy Lane.
Niese, 30, pitched for the Pirates and Mets last season, finishing with a 5.50 ERA and an 88/47 K/BB ratio over 121 innings.
Veteran Omar Infante has spent the overwhelming majority of his career as an infielder, but the Tigers plan to give him some playing time in center field this spring. The Tigers’ center field situation is still murky and adding more versatility would increase Infante’s odds of making the roster.
Infante, 35, signed a minor league deal with the Tigers in December. He played 39 games for the Royals last season, batting .239/.279/.321 in 149 plate appearances while playing second base exclusively. Infante last played in the outfield in 2010 with the Braves, and last played center field specifically in ’09 with the Braves.
The Tigers currently have Mikie Mahtook, Tyler Collins, and JaCoby Jones at the top of their center field depth chart. It is not what one would call “optimal.”