Marc Carig of Newsday reports that Mets pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka has left his team, currently in Milwaukee for a four-game series to wrap up a ten-game road trip, to fly back to New York. He will undergo an MRI on his troublesome right elbow.
Matsuzaka allowed three runs in two innings of relief yesterday against the Brewers and has struggled tremendously dating back to late June, serving as a swingman. In four starts and two relief appearances since June 26, Matsuzaka has a 5.93 ERA with a 26/13 K/BB ratio in 27 1/3 innings.
The 33-year-old right-hander has undergone Tommy John surgery before, back in 2011 when he was still with the Red Sox. Obviously, that scary thought has to be lingering in the back of GM Sandy Alderson’s mind.
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.