February 17, 2013

Joakim Soria aiming to join Rangers’ bullpen in May


Via Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com:

Texas Rangers reliever Joakim Soria was smiling on Sunday, pleased that after throwing three bullpen sessions his arm has felt good. He still feels that some time in May is a realistic target for his return.

“I won’t know for sure until I face hitters,” Soria said. “Threw the first few bullpens, everything has gone smooth. That is nice.”

Soria had Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery a little more than 10 months ago. He signed a two-year, $8 million free agent contract with the Rangers this winter and will operate as a setup man in front of closer Joe Nathan once he’s back to full strength.

Soria, 28, owns a 2.40 career ERA, a 1.04 career WHIP and a 9.7 career K/9 through five MLB seasons.

Matt Garza can’t complete first live batting practice session


Matt Garza missed the final 11 weeks of the 2012 season because of a stress reaction in his pitching elbow. And he might still be dealing with that injury.

According to Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune, the right-hander left his first live batting practice session Sunday in camp. Garza was holding his left side, though that might not be indicative of anything.

The Cubs should send out an update shortly.

Garza is supposed to function as trade bait this summer for the rebuilding Northsiders. He posted a cool 3.91 ERA and 8.3 K/9 in 18 starts last season and an even-better 3.32 ERA and 9.0 K/9 across 31 starts in 2011. The 29-year-old is currently scheduled to hit the free agent market following the 2013 campaign. He has a 3.84 career ERA.


UPDATE, 8:36 PM: Sullivan reports that the Cubs have diagnosed Garza with a mild lat strain.

Brennan Boesch day-to-day after tweaking right oblique


Noah Trister of the Associated Press reports that Tigers outfielder Brennan Boesch tweaked a right oblique muscle on Saturday while swinging a bat.

He was held out of workouts on Sunday and might not be ready for action again until later this week.

Boesch agreed to a one-year, $2.3 million contract with the Tigers back in mid-January, avoiding salary arbitration, but he is not locked into a starting job for the 2013 season and can’t do much to change that.

The 27-year-old batted just .240/.286/.372 in 503 plate appearances last summer for Detroit and will serve as a reserve this year behind starting left fielder Andy Dirks, starting center fielder Austin Jackson and starting right fielder Torii Hunter.

The oblique injury should be a non-issue by the opening of the Grapefruit League schedule.