Freddy Garcia’s minor league deal with the Orioles gave him the ability to opt out if he wasn’t called up to the majors by his fifth start with Triple-A Norfolk, but MASNSports’ Roch Kubatko reports that he has agreed to stick around until May 14. In other words, the Orioles have bought themselves another two weeks.
Garcia was released by the Padres after a poor showing during spring training, but he has pitched well so far at the Triple-A level. Through five starts, the 36-year-old right-hander has a 2.67 ERA and 21/2 K/BB ratio over 33 2/3 innings.
Garcia was passed up for a start last week in favor of Josh Stinson, but there could be an opportunity for him with the big club in the coming days. Of course, if he keeps pitching well in Triple-A and the Orioles don’t call him up, he probably wouldn’t have a problem finding an opportunity elsewhere.
Kyuji Fujikawa’s first stint as the Cubs’ closer didn’t last long due to a right forearm strain, but he could get another chance soon.
Carrie Muskat of MLB.com reports that Fujikawa threw 32 pitches in a bullpen session today, his second since he was placed on the disabled list earlier this month. While Cubs manager Dale Sveum told Bruce Miles of the Daily Herald that he didn’t look particularly “crisp,” he’s scheduled to throw another bullpen session Thursday and should begin a minor league rehab assignment Sunday with Triple-A Iowa. He’ll likely need a few appearances before he’s cleared to rejoin the Cubs’ bullpen.
Fujikawa, who came over from Japan this winter on a two-year, $9.5 million contract, allowed six runs on eight hits and one walk over 4 1/3 innings prior to the injury. The Cubs have relied on a closer-by-committee during his absence, with the dynamic duo of Kevin Gregg and Carlos Marmol notching saves in the past week.
Troy Tulowitzki is out of tonight’s lineup against the Dodgers after he suffered a left shoulder strain yesterday on an awkward slide into home plate.
While it was easy to think the worst given Tulowitzki’s lengthy injury history, fortunately this injury appears to be minor. According to Troy Renck of the Denver Post writes that the 28-year-old shortstop is “doing well” and might hit today. Assuming he doesn’t feel any lingering pain, he could return to the lineup as soon as tomorrow or Wednesday.
Tulowitzki is hitting .308/.394/.603 with six home runs, 22 RBI and a .996 OPS over 24 games this season for the surprising Rockies. He was limited to just 47 games last season due to a groin injury and hasn’t played more than 143 games in a season since 2009.
Johnny Cueto hasn’t pitched since April 13 due to a strained right lat muscle, but he could be days away from beginning a minor league rehab assignment.
Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports that Cueto had no issues during a 45-pitch bullpen session this afternoon. It was his second time throwing off a mound since he was placed on the disabled list.
“It was pretty good, no pain,” Cueto said. “I threw my breaking ball, everything.”
Good news for the Reds. It’s not clear what the next step will be, but Cueto told Sheldon that a minor league game is a possibility.
Tony Cingrani has thrived as Cueto’s replacement, compiling a 1.50 ERA and 28/4 K/BB ratio in 18 innings across his first three major league starts. Needless to say, Mike Leake’s rotation spot could soon be in jeopardy.