On the disabled list as he tries to return from multiple back surgeries last season, Rangers left-hander Matt Harrison has been cleared to make a minor-league rehab start Thursday at Double-A.
Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas reports that Harrison is scheduled to throw four innings and “likely needs a few more starts, every five days, before he could join the rotation.”
That seemingly rules him out until May, especially since the Rangers will probably avoid rushing Harrison along after he was limited to just two starts last season due to back surgeries and Thoracic Outlet Syndrom.
Prior to having his 2013 ruined by health problems Harrison threw 213 innings with a 3.29 ERA for the Rangers in 2012, so whether it’s late April or early May getting him back would be a huge boost to Texas’ injury wrecked rotation.
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.