The Indians closer, battling a shoulder strain, should be ready on Opening Day according to manager Terry Francona. Via MLB.com’s Barry M. Bloom:
Francona said that Perez can pitch every other day beginning Tuesday as Spring Training winds down, and then will throw a light ‘pen session on April 1, the day before the start of the regular season.
As far as him being ready to start the season on the active roster, Francona said:
“I think everything leans toward that as long as there are no setbacks, which I don’t think there will be. I think he’s looking pretty good.”
Perez himself thinks he’s ready as well:
In 57.2 innings last year, the right-hander posted a 3.59 ERA with 39 saves in his third season as the team’s closer.
Good news in Boston: An MRI on Red Sox outfielder Andrew Benintendi‘s left knee revealed no structural damage.
Benintendi slipped while trying to avoid a tag at second base, injuring his leg, but it appears he’s avoided a serious injury. A timetable for his return isn’t known at this point, but the Red Sox expect to get him back before the end of the season.
Benintendi is hitting .324/.365/.485 with a homer and ten RBI in 21 games.
And then there was one. One player from the 2008 World Series champs, that is. Ryan Howard likely isn’t going anywhere so he’ll be the last one to turn the lights off, but today Carlo Ruiz bid adieu to the Phillies following his trade to Los Angeles.
Lost in all of the emotions the Dodgers are reported to be feeling about A.J. Ellis leaving is the fact that Ruiz was one of the most beloved Phillies players ever, by both his teammates and their fans. Yesterday Roy Halladay penned a heartfelt goodbye to Ruiz, suggesting that he was every bit as essential to his and the Phillies’ success as Ellis has been to Clayton Kershaw (and in pure baseball production, obviously, quite more).
Today Chooch left a message for his now former teammates: