Good news for a lineup which is severely lacking in pop.
According to Joe Frisaro of MLB.com, Giancarlo Stanton is day-to-day after an MRI revealed a left shoulder contusion. While the young slugger is out of the lineup tonight for the second straight game, he will not required an extended absence. The Marlins will go with Placido Polanco, Austin Kearns and Justin Ruggiano in the heart of their lineup tonight against Phillies’ left-hander Cole Hamels, so they need a healthy Stanton in the worst way.
Stanton has struggled through the early part of the season, hitting just .167 (5-for-30) with two extra-base hits (zero homers) and 12 strikeouts. He has also been walked eight times, so teams haven’t been all that interested in giving him anything to hit.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Royals and first baseman Eric Hosmer have discussed a long-term contract extension. However, Hosmer also indicated that he will head into free agency if a deal is not consummated by Opening Day.
Hosmer, 27, avoided arbitration with the Royals last month, agreeing to a $12.25 million salary for the 2017 season. He is one of four key Royals players who can become a free agent after the season along with Mike Moustakas, Alcides Escobar, and Lorenzo Cain. If Hosmer does reach free agency, he would arguably be the top free agent first baseman.
Hosmer finished the past season hitting .266/.328/.433 with 25 home runs and 104 RBI while making his first All-Star team.
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.