Justin Upton took a pitch to the left hand last night. Mark Bowman of MLB.com reports that Upton is doing better and hopes to play tomorrow, but for now he needs to give it a rest. I guess they didn’t like the idea I floated this morning about B.J. donating his hand for a transplant. Oh well.
In other broken Braves outfielder news, Bowman reports that Jason Heyward has been cleared to do some light exercising following his jaw being surgically-repaired. He’s doing 30 minutes on an elliptical machine today. Which, let’s be honest, is more than most of you who went out and bought elliptical machines a couple of Januaries ago have done recently.
The Braves have signed reliever Blaine Boyer to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports. Bowman adds that the right-hander has a “good chance” to make the Braves’ bullpen out of spring training.
Boyer, 35, spent the past season with the Brewers, finishing with a 3.95 ERA and a 26/17 K/BB ratio in 66 innings.
Boyer, of course, started his professional baseball career with the Braves as they selected him in the third round of the 2000 draft. Since the Braves traded him in 2009, Boyer has pitched for the Cardinals, Diamondbacks, Mets, Padres, and Twins along with the Brewers.
Update (6:48 PM EST): Topkin reports the contract will be of the major league variety.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays and free agent reliever Shawn Tolleson are close to finalizing a contract.
Tolleson, who turns 29 years old on Thursday, had an ugly 2016 season, finishing with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He was one of the Rangers’ best relievers in the two seasons prior to that, however, which included saving 35 games in 2015.