After losing Chase d’Arnaud for 6-8 weeks following thumb surgery the Pirates have added some middle infield depth by acquiring John McDonald from the Diamondbacks, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com.
Rosenthal reported last week that McDonald was on the trading block because Arizona had stockpiled too many light-hitting veteran infielders and preferred to keep Willie Bloomquist and Cliff Pennington.
McDonald is under contract for $1.5 million this season at age 38 and has long been one of the worst hitters in baseball, although his measly .681 OPS in 2012 was actually 73 points above his career average.
Royals’ Opening Day starter Danny Duffy weathered a minor scare during Saturday’s Cactus League game against the Diamondbacks. The left-hander was removed from his final spring training start after experiencing some left shoulder tightness in the second and third innings. No lasting damage appears to have been done — Duffy told reporters that he simply felt a slight ache, nothing more — and it looks like he’ll remain on track to open the season with the team next Thursday.
The 29-year-old southpaw is coming off one of his best performances to date. Despite losing a few weeks to an oblique strain and elbow soreness, he went 9-10 in 24 starts and finished the 2017 season with a 3.81 ERA, 2.5 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 over 146 1/3 innings. While Duffy entered camp with a clean bill of health, he struggled to execute against his spring training opponents and racked up 13 runs, four homers, seven walks and 11 strikeouts in 13 innings of Cactus League play.
The Royals are scheduled to kick off their home opener against the White Sox on Thursday, March 29 at 4:15 PM ET. Barring any further complications with his shoulder, Duffy will take the mound for the Royals, while James Shields is expected to make his first Opening Day appearance for the White Sox.