UPDATE: Marc Topkin of the Tampa Times reports that Scott has been placed on the disabled list. He could miss as much as five weeks.
3:20 PM: Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune reports that Scott received a cortisone shot in his calf and hopes to be return by April 8. In other words, he will begin the season on the disabled list.
11:01 AM: Luke Scott was sent for an MRI yesterday after he was forced to leave a minor league game due to continued soreness in his right calf. According to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times, Scott was diagnosed with a calf strain, which means that he will almost certainly begin the season on the disabled list.
The symptoms first popped up on Monday, but it wasn’t a major concern initially. Scott could be looking at an extended absence following his setback, though the Rays will likely know more once he sees the team doctor later today.
Assuming Scott begins the season on the disabled list, Brandon Guyer, Stephen Vogt or Chris Gimenez are the most likely options to replace him on the Opening Day roster. Shelley Duncan and Leslie Anderson are also possibilities, but the Rays would have to make room on the 40-man roster.
Scott, 34, batted .229/.285/.439 with 14 home runs, 55 RBI and a .724 OPS in 96 games last season. After declining his $6 million club option, the Rays brought him back this winter on a one-year, $2.75 million deal.
The Braves reportedly have a deal in place with free agent catcher Kurt Suzuki, per Chris Cotillo of SB Nation. FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal adds that the contract is for one year, $1.5 million with up to $2.5 million in additional incentives.
Suzuki, 33, completed a three-year track with the Twins in 2016, slashing .258/.301/.403 with eight home runs in 373 PA. The veteran backstop likely won’t provide an offensive or defensive upgrade over current starter Tyler Flowers, but should give the Braves some depth at a position they’ve been looking to strengthen since the start of the offseason.
The team has yet to confirm the deal.
With the 2017 World Baseball Classic around the corner, Team Israel has reportedly reached out to Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis, per MLB Network’s Jon Morosi. Tournament rules stipulate that a player’s roster eligibility can be achieved in one of several ways: they were born in the country in question or hold citizenship/permanent legal residence there (or are simply capable of qualifying for citizenship), or one of their parents was born in the country or holds citizenship/permanent legal residence there.
For Kipnis, it’s the latter. Kipnis’ father, Mark Kipnis, is Jewish. That gives Kipnis the status he needs to suit up for Team Israel, despite the fact that he is a practicing Roman Catholic. He has yet to confirm or deny his participation in the competition.
Fifteen players have confirmed for Team Israel so far, including Mets’ infielder/outfielder Ty Kelly and free agents Sam Fuld, Nate Freiman, Jason Marquis and Jeremy Bleich. Per MLB.com’s Chad Thornburg, eight minor leaguers will also appear for the team. Like Kipnis, at least three other major leaguers are eligible for Team Israel’s roster but have yet to accept or decline involvement in the WBC: Dodgers center fielder Joc Pederson, Mariners infielder/outfielder Danny Valencia and free agent left-hander Craig Breslow.