Like many in-contention major league teams, the Red Sox will be looking to beef up their bullpen before the July 31 trade deadline. And it sounds like a certain pursuit might already be underway.
According to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, White Sox reliever Matt Thornton is on a “list of possible bullpen targets” for the Boston front office. Atlanta is also known to have inquired about the veteran left-hander, though Rosenthal heard Sunday that the Braves’ actual level of interest is “limited.”
Thornton, 36, has registered a 3.04 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and 20/9 K/BB ratio in 26 2/3 innings this season out of the White Sox bullpen. He has held left-handed batters to a .229/.295/.350 batting line in his career and he’s also pretty effective against righties.
Not all players coming in to spring training are in The Best Shapes of Their Lives. Some have put on a few pounds, such as Miguel Sano, notes Twins GM Thad Levine:
Sano has been given medical clearance to engage in all baseball workouts with his teammates, his surgically reinforced left shin now completely healed, though the Twins intend to lighten his schedule to prevent any new injuries.
They’d like to lighten something else, too: His “generous carriage,” as General Manager Thad Levine delicately put it last week. Sano’s conditioning understandably lags, after a winter largely spent incapacitated by the surgery.
Sano’s conditioning has often been a topic of conversation among the members of the Minnesota press corps, though not always in good faith. For example, last year when Sano injured his shin by fouling a ball off of it, one member of the The Fourth Estate found a way to make a column out of blaming the freak injury on Sano’s conditioning. At least in this instance his colleague is correctly noting that the poor conditioning is a result of the injury and not the cause.
Still, it’s just another issue facing Sano this spring. He’s out of shape, coming off of an injury, and — not that he’s due any sympathy for it — he’s facing a likely suspension arising out of the allegations of sexual assault leveled against him late last year.
So this spring we’ll be seeing more of Sano, it seems. At least until that time we’ll be seeing less of him.