While Braves outfielder Jason Heyward had earlier surgery today to repair a fractured jaw, the news is more encouraging for Astros rookie catcher Max Stassi, who had a pitch deflect off his shoulder and hit him in the mouth last night against the Rangers.
Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the Houston Chronicle reports that Stassi stayed at the Medical Center of Arlington last night, during which CAT scan and X-rays showed no facial fractures. The 22-year-old was scheduled to travel to Houston today to undergo concussion tests, but the early signs are promising.
“We were relieved because looking at it live it seemed like it might be worse,” general manager Jeff Luhnow said. “He was fortunate that there’s no fracture. Obviously any time there’s a blow to the head you have to be careful.”
Stassi was called up by the Astros this week after batting .277/.333/.529 with 17 home runs and 60 RBI over 76 games this season with Double-A Corpus Christi. He is 2-for-6 through his first two games in the majors while the bases-loaded hit-by-pitch last night gave him his first career RBI. That’s probably not the way he dreamed it up.
The Mets told Jay Bruce that the club plans on having him open the season as the everyday right fielder, Ken Davidoff of the New York Post reports. This comes as no surprise after the Mets failed to get any bites after dangling Bruce as a trade chip. The Mets reportedly wanted a pair of prospects in exchange for Bruce.
With Bruce in right, Yoenis Cespedes back in left, and Curtis Granderson in center, Michael Conforto appears to be the odd man out. He’ll either warm the bench or head back to Triple-A Las Vegas for regular at-bats.
Bruce, who turns 30 years old in April, had a rough final two months of the 2016 season after joining the Mets in a trade from the Reds. He hit a paltry .219/.294/.391 with eight home runs and 19 RBI in 187 plate appearances. Bruce, apparently, wanted to go anywhere but in New York.
Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Angels have inked outfielder Eric Young, Jr. to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.
Young, 31, played in just six games and logged one plate appearance in the majors this past season with the Yankees. He last played regularly in 2014. While Young doesn’t do much with the bat, he could provide value as a pinch-runner. He also offers versatility, having played all three outfield positions along with second base.
The Angels have Ben Revere as their fourth outfielder and Jefry Marte behind him, so Young would need to have a very impressive showing in spring training to find a spot on the Angels’ roster.