Positive development Wednesday in Reds camp.
According to C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer, starter Mat Latos tossed two scoreless innings against minor league hitters in his first live appearance since undergoing surgery on February 14 to repair a tear of the meniscus in his left knee.
Latos threw 31 pitches — 19 strikes — giving up three hits but fanning four. His fastball averaged 92-94 mph and a couple of times touched 95 mph.
“I can’t really complain for the first time,” the right-hander told Rosecrans after his outing on Wednesday. “That first inning I was amped up and (was full of) adrenaline — I was shaking on the mound, just trying to get the nerves out. It’s something I’ve done for a long time, but with the crap I’ve been through the last couple of months, it was definitely exciting.”
Latos is aiming to join the Reds’ regular-season rotation on or around April 6.
He had a stellar 3.16 ERA and 187 strikeouts in 210 2/3 innings last year.
The Cubs had a scare on Wednesday night when third baseman Kris Bryant left with an apparent ankle injury. In the bottom of the fifth inning, Nationals catcher Matt Wieters hit a pop up that veered just into foul territory near the third base bag. Bryant caught it but his momentum took him back into fair territory. In doing so, he stepped awkwardly on the third base bag and appeared to twist his ankle. Bryant needed the assistance of manager Joe Maddon and the team trainer to get off the field.
Bryant was diagnosed with a mild ankle sprain, CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney reports.
Bryant was 2-for-3 on the night before departing and being replaced by Jeimer Candelario. He’s now hitting .264/.395/.520 with 16 home runs and 32 RBI in 329 plate appearances. Needless to say, the 39-39 Cubs would see their playoff odds hurt immensely if Bryant were to miss a significant amount of time.
Hector Gomez reports Twins third baseman Miguel Sano will participate in the 2017 Home Run Derby, to be held in two weeks at Marlins Park in Miami. So far, Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton is the only other confirmed participant.
Sano, 24, is having an outstanding season, batting .274/.375/.548 with 18 home runs and 53 RBI in 293 plate appearances. According to MLB’s Statcast, only Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge (96.7 MPH) has a higher average exit velocity than Sano (96.4 MPH).
Brian Dozier was the last member of the Twins to participate in the Home Run Derby. In 2014 at Target Field, Dozier failed to make it into the second round after hitting only two home runs. Justin Morneau is the only Twin to have ever won the Home Run Derby, as he beat Josh Hamilton 5-3 in the finals of the 2008 Derby at Yankee Stadium — although Hamilton out-homered him in total 35 to 22.