The Indians apologize for Friday night’s rain delays

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The Indians-Rays game Friday night didn’t end until 2:53 AM Saturday morning. It had five hours of rain delays in all, causing the cancellation of a fireworks show and dollar dog night at Progressive Field which drew nearly 30,000 fans, which is is pretty darn good for Cleveland.

Yesterday team president Mark Shapiro apologized for the delays:

“We feel terrible about that type of circumstance for our fans,” Shapiro said. “That’s not what we’re looking to do here. We’re looking to provide the best experience possible for our fans. To have them wait around that long with that much uncertainty is something we want to work to make right.”

What “make it right” means is unclear, but the team asked fans to hold on to their ticket stubs to the game.

The reason for trying to get Friday’s game in rather than suspend or cancel it was a crappy weekend forecast in Cleveland overall which threatened both yesterday’s and today’s games too.

Rain happens. It’s good of the Indians, however, to realize that even if it happens that it can really be a pain sometimes.

Steven Matz to skip next spring training start with elbow issues

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Mets’ left-hander Steven Matz will miss his Grapefruit League appearance on Monday after experiencing soreness in his left elbow, according to a report by Mike Puma of the New York Post. Matz reportedly first felt discomfort in his elbow on Wednesday after pitching four innings against the Marlins, but a medical evaluation revealed no structural damage.

Still, it’s unsettling news for the 25-year-old, who is coming off of an injury-riddled 2016 season. Matz pitched to a 3.40 ERA, 2.1 BB/9 and 8.8 SO/9 during his sophomore campaign with the Mets, but his success was hampered by a bevy of shoulder and elbow issues that culminated in season-ending surgery to remove bone spurs from his left elbow.

Comments from Mets’ GM Sandy Alderson indicated that while the club doesn’t believe anything is significantly wrong with Matz’s elbow this time around, the setback could have an impact on his chances of cracking the Opening Day roster. Until he’s cleared to return to the mound, the club is expected to take a longer look at rotation candidates Robert Gsellman, Zack Wheeler and Seth Lugo.

Video: Andrew Toles hammers grand slam in Cactus League win

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Dodgers’ left fielder Andrew Toles crushed his first spring training home run on Saturday afternoon. With the bases loaded and a two-run deficit hanging over their heads in the fourth inning, Toles stepped up to the plate against Oakland right-hander Jesse Hahn and unloaded a grand slam on the second pitch he saw.

Third baseman Justin Turner was quick to follow up with a solo jack of his own, bringing the score to a comfortable 7-4 lead by the end of the fourth. Another three-run outburst in the fifth and an eighth-inning RBI single by Austin Barnes raised the final score to 11-6… which, coincidentally, was the same score the Reds used to defeat the Athletics’ second split-squad lineup on Saturday (albeit with a few more RBI walks than grand slams).

Toles, 24, is approaching his sophomore season with the Dodgers in 2017. He slashed .314/.365/.505 with three home runs and an .870 OPS in his first major league season in 2016 and is expected to platoon with the right-handed Franklin Gutierrez in left field this year.