White Sox starter Gavin Floyd left tonight’s start against the Rays in the third inning with a flexor strain in his right elbow. It is the same injury that caused Floyd to go on the disabled list two separate times last year. The right-hander retired the first two hitters he faced in the third before being taken out. The Rays scored off of Floyd early thanks to a first-inning two-run home run by Ben Zobrist.
Though he has racked up a lot of strikeouts, Floyd has been very hittable over his first five starts, allowing 27 hits in 24.1 innings, which has then led to a 4.98 ERA.
Floyd was relieved by Hector Santiago, who is one candidate to replace Floyd in the rotation should the need arise.
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.
Veteran Omar Infante has spent the overwhelming majority of his career as an infielder, but the Tigers plan to give him some playing time in center field this spring. The Tigers’ center field situation is still murky and adding more versatility would increase Infante’s odds of making the roster.
Infante, 35, signed a minor league deal with the Tigers in December. He played 39 games for the Royals last season, batting .239/.279/.321 in 149 plate appearances while playing second base exclusively. Infante last played in the outfield in 2010 with the Braves, and last played center field specifically in ’09 with the Braves.
The Tigers currently have Mikie Mahtook, Tyler Collins, and JaCoby Jones at the top of their center field depth chart. It is not what one would call “optimal.”