Jered Weaver throws off mound for first time since fracturing elbow

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Things are pretty ugly with the Angels right now, but here’s a piece of good news.

According to Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times, Jered Weaver threw off the mound today for the first time since he fractured his left (non-throwing) elbow while trying to get out of the way of a comebacker on April 7.

Weaver threw a total of 28 pitches (all fastballs) at about 90 percent intensity and said that he felt “great.” The 30-year-old right-hander will likely need a few more bullpen sessions before being cleared for a minor league rehab assignment. He’s on track to return in late-May or early-June, which would place him a little bit behind the original timeline of 4-6 weeks.

Angels’ starters entered play tonight ranked 25th in the majors with a 4.81 ERA. Weaver’s return won’t solve everything — and it’s worth noting that he was showing diminished velocity prior to the injury — but it will be a welcome sight.

Sandy Leon homered twice in one inning, including a grand slam

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Red Sox catcher Sandy Leon achieved a rare feat during Monday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition against the Orioles: he homered twice in one inning. One of those homers happened to be a grand slam.

Leon led off the top of the fifth inning with a solo home run off of Logan Verrett. Verrett continued to get knocked around, giving up three singles and a walk before being relieved by Brian Moran. Moran gave up a walk to load the bases, then a single to knock in a run and keep the bases loaded. Leon stepped back to the plate and swatted a grand slam to left field, making it an eight-run fifth for the Red Sox. The Sox would tack on one more before the inning was mercifully ended.

How often do players homer twice in one inning during the regular season? Not that often. Since 2010, the feat has been accomplished four times in the American League and twice in the National League. The Orioles’ Mark Trumbo was the only one to do it last year.

As for Leon, he’s on track to open the season as the starting catcher in Boston, Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald reported last week.

Phillies release veteran catchers Ryan Hanigan and Bryan Holaday

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The Phillies announced on Monday that the club released veteran catchers Ryan Hanigan and Bryan Holaday. Both were competing for the back-up catcher spot on the team’s 25-man roster. With both out of the picture, that means Andrew Knapp has won that honor.

Knapp, 25, hit a combined .266/.330/.390 with eight home runs and 46 RBI in 443 plate appearances last year at Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He did not have a great spring but has hit well as of late, which likely pushed him ahead of Hanigan and Holaday. Knapp will serve as the understudy to starting catcher Cameron Rupp.