Cardinals prospect Oscar Taveras continues battling ankle injury

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2013 was supposed to be the year of Oscar Taveras. He entered the season rated the #3 overall prospect by both Baseball America and MLB.com and was coming off of a season in which he decimated Double-A pitching at the age of 20. Some thought he would become a mainstay of the Cardinal offense by midseason, but an ankle injury suffered in mid-May with Triple-A Memphis put the kibosh on that.

Taveras returned from the injury on June 8 and played in 15 games before having to be shut down for the second time. He began a rehab assignment in the Gulf Coast League on July 15 and got shut down a third time after just two at-bats. Now, Derrick Goold is reporting that the Cardinals are shutting him down for the next ten days, barring him from any running activity.

The Cardinals had to place Matt Holliday on the disabled list earlier with a hamstring injury, so Allen Craig will get considerably more time in left field rather than first base. Matt Adams will get more consistent playing time at first base.

Dave Roberts: It “doesn’t make sense” for Scott Kazmir to start year in Dodgers’ rotation

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Scott Kazmir won’t begin the regular season in the Dodgers’ starting rotation. Manager Dave Roberts said after Kazmir’s Cactus League outing on Sunday that it “doesn’t make sense” for the ailing Kazmir to break camp in the rotation, Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times reports. The lefty will instead rehab some more and join the rotation at a later time.

Kazmir has been battling a hip issue which has caused his mechanics to suffer. He was clocked in the low 80’s 10 days ago and wasn’t much better on Sunday afternoon.

Last season with the Dodgers, Kazmir posted a 4.56 ERA with a 134/52 K/BB ratio in 136 1/3 innings, his worst numbers since returning to the majors in 2013.

Robert Gsellman wins spot in Mets’ rotation

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Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that Robert Gsellman has won the No. 4 spot in the Mets’ starting rotation. He adds that the Mets are likely to play things cautiously with lefty Steven Matz. The fifth and final rotation spot will go to either Zack Wheeler or Seth Lugo.

Gsellman, 23, has had a great spring. The right-hander has allowed three earned runs on 15 hits and four walks with nine strikeouts in 17 1/3 innings. That is on the heels of seven solid starts at the end of the 2016 season during which he yielded 12 earned runs on 40 hits and 12 walks with 40 strikeouts in 41 innings.

Matz, 25, is dealing with irritation in his left elbow. He had surgery in October to remove a bone spur and was a Tommy John patient several years ago. It sounds like the Mets are leaning towards having him start the season on the disabled list.

Wheeler, 26, isn’t having a great spring. He’s surrendered seven runs in 7 1/3 innings. Lugo has given up three earned runs in seven spring innings and also looked solid in the World Baseball Classic although he took the loss in the final against the United States.