Josmil Pinto, who’s competing to be the Twins’ backup catcher, will be held out of baseball activities for at least 4-5 days after being cracked in the head by Orioles center fielder Adam Jones’ backswing three different times during Saturday’s game.
Pinto left the game after the third swing hit him on top of the head and he felt dizziness and headaches Sunday. General manager Terry Ryan told Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press that Pinto would likely have been placed on the seven-day concussion disabled list if this were the regular season.
Pinto is a good hitter with power and plate discipline at age 25, but his struggles defensively have kept the Twins from turning to him as a full-time catcher. Eric Fryer and Chris Herrmann as the other options to back up Kurt Suzuki.
Orioles right-hander Hunter Harvey, a consensus top-100 prospect and former first-round draft pick, suffered a slightly fractured right fibula when he was hit by a comebacker Saturday.
Britt Ghiroli of MLB.com reports that he’ll be shut down for 4-6 weeks, meaning the 20-year-old’s season debut in the minors will likely be delayed until May.
Harvey was the 23rd overall pick in 2013 and has been dominant through two pro seasons, posting a 2.87 ERA and 139 strikeouts in 113 innings of rookie-ball and Single-A.
Stephen Strasburg has started Opening Day for the Nationals in each of the past three seasons, but they’re going with Max Scherzer in Game 1 this year after signing the former Cy Young winner to a $210 million deal as a free agent.
This will be the first Opening Day start of Scherzer’s career, because Justin Verlander always got the Game 1 nod in Detroit (until now, as the Tigers will go with David Price this season).
Last season Scherzer threw 220 innings with a 3.15 ERA and 252/63 K/BB ratio, while Strasburg threw 215 innings with a 3.14 ERA and 242/43 K/BB ratio. So the larger point is that the Nationals have a really, really good rotation.
According to Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald the Marlins and Rangers “are in trade discussions” for left-hander Brad Hand, a 2008 second-round draft pick who’s now out of minor-league options.
Hand is 25 years old with a 4.52 ERA and 123/88 K/BB ratio in 195 career innings for the Marlins, 111 of which came last season. His numbers at Triple-A are similar, with decent overall results and very poor control.
He projects as a back-of-the-rotation starter or middle reliever, so the Marlins are probably just trying to get a little something in return for Hand rather than potentially losing him on waivers for nothing.