Pirates outfielder Starling Marte took a pitch off his helmet last Friday night. A concussion was initially ruled out — the Bucs were instead calling it “head trauma” — but now there’s this …
Marte also suffered a head injury in late June when he collided with the knee of Rays infielder Sean Rodriguez while trying to steal second base, so it’s best to play this one safe. The speedy 25-year-old has posted a disappointing .255/.328/.385 batting line in 86 games this season after batting .280/.343/.441 in 135 games last season. Marte has tallied 74 stolen bases in 268 career games at the major league level.
Free agent middle infielder Danny Espinosa signed a minor-league deal with the Blue Jays, the team announced Saturday. The deal includes an invite to spring training, where Espinosa is scheduled for his first split-squad game against the Orioles this afternoon.
Espinosa, 30, was inked to another minor-league deal with the Yankees in January. The veteran infielder was competing for an infield job until the team picked up second baseman Neil Walker on a one-year, $4 million deal last Monday. Prior to his release, he slashed .160/.276/.320 with one home run through his first 12 games with the Yankees this spring. He didn’t fare much better in the majors last year, either, batting a cumulative .173/.245/.278 with six home runs and a .523 OPS in 295 PA for the Mariners and Rays.
Blue Jays starting shortstop Troy Tulowitzki is still dealing with a bone spur in his heel and has officially been ruled out for Opening Day, which could clear a path for Espinosa to claim a starting role in Toronto. Of course, he won’t be the only candidate under consideration — Yangervis Solarte and Aledmys Diaz are still in the mix as well, though no final decision appears to be made just yet.