Good news Sunday out of Cardinals camp, via MLB.com beat reporter Jenifer Langosch …
JUPITER, Fla. — After ending Tuesday’s live batting practice early due to tightness in his right groin, Cardinals closer Trevor Rosenthal returned to the mound on Sunday and threw without issue during a 25-pitch bullpen session.
The injury was never considered serious, and relievers don’t typically need as much spring game action as starters and position players. Rosenthal has ample time to get himself prepared for the opening of the 2014 regular season.
“I was lucky that it wasn’t too [serious an injury] and that it was early,” the hard-throwing right-hander told reporters on Sunday in Cardinals camp. “I feel like I’m pretty close to being right on track.”
Rosenthal, 23, owns a stellar 2.66 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, and 12.2 K/9 in 98 major league innings.
He also has a 0.00 ERA, 0.54 WHIP, and 33 strikeouts in 20 1/3 postseason frames.
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.