Braves starter Julio Teheran found himself in hot water in the bottom of the second inning, giving up back-to-back singles to Yasiel Puig and Juan Uribe. After striking out Skip Schumaker, A.J. Ellis walked to load the bases for pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu. Ryu hit a sacrifice fly to right field, scoring Puig. With runners on the corners and two outs, Carl Crawford worked the count to 2-2 against Teheran before turning on an 84 MPH slider, sending it well beyond the fence in right field for a three-run home run, putting the Dodgers up 4-2.
After striking out Mark Ellis to end the inning, Teheran was visibly upset at himself, yelling forcefully into his glove while walking off the mound. He needed 30 pitches to get through the bottom of the second and now finds himself at 46 total. It could be a bullpen night for the Braves if Teheran can’t straight himself out quickly.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Royals and first baseman Eric Hosmer have discussed a long-term contract extension. However, Hosmer also indicated that he will head into free agency if a deal is not consummated by Opening Day.
Hosmer, 27, avoided arbitration with the Royals last month, agreeing to a $12.25 million salary for the 2017 season. He is one of four key Royals players who can become a free agent after the season along with Mike Moustakas, Alcides Escobar, and Lorenzo Cain. If Hosmer does reach free agency, he would arguably be the top free agent first baseman.
Hosmer finished the past season hitting .266/.328/.433 with 25 home runs and 104 RBI while making his first All-Star team.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Yankees have signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, pending a physical. Assuming the deal is finalized, Sherman notes that the Yankees will have Niese work as both a starter and a reliever in big league camp this spring.
According to Sherman, the Yankees were interested in lefty relievers Jerry Blevins and Boone Logan, but didn’t want to commit at their asking prices. They are looking for a lefty set-up man along with Tommy Lane.
Niese, 30, pitched for the Pirates and Mets last season, finishing with a 5.50 ERA and an 88/47 K/BB ratio over 121 innings.