Author: Aaron Gleeman

Los Angeles Dodgers v Arizona Diamondbacks

Diamondbacks reliever Brad Ziegler “ahead of schedule” in recovery from knee surgery

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Brad Ziegler underwent microfracture knee surgery in September after pitching through the injury for most of the season and the Diamondbacks reliever is on track to be recovered at some point in April.

Ziegler, who posted a 3.49 ERA in 67 innings despite the knee problems, told Steve Gilbert of

It’s going well. Dr. [Michael] Lee told me that as far as the microfracture surgeries he’s done, I’m further along at the point that I’m at than anyone else that he’s been checking up on. So I guess that means ahead of schedule. Hopefully I’ll be ready for Opening Day, but if not, barring a setback, it should be shortly after that.

Ziegler has been playing catch overhand, but has yet to do any throwing from his submarine delivery to test how his knee holds up. With a 2.56 career ERA, including a sub-3.50 ERA in all seven of his seasons–Ziegler is a big part of Arizona’s bullpen.

Cubs infielder Logan Watkins out for the season with torn Achilles’ tendon

Logan Watkins Cubs
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Logan Watkins, who had stints with the Cubs in each of the past two seasons, announced via Twitter that he suffered a torn Achilles’ tendon while working out in Arizona.

Watkins was the Cubs’ minor league player of the year in 2012, but hasn’t been very productive at Triple-A for the past two seasons. He got into 27 games for the Cubs in 2013 and another 31 games for them last year, hitting a combined .233 with one homer and a .569 OPS while playing mostly second base.

He would have competed for a bench spot during spring training, but now figures to miss the entire season.

Blue Jays designate Chris Colabello for assignment

Minnesota Twins v Cleveland Indians

Two months after claiming him off waivers from the Twins the Blue Jays have designated first baseman/outfielder Chris Colabello for assignment, dropping him from the 40-man roster.

Colabello signed with the Twins after winning an independent league MVP in 2011 and played well in the minors, but hit just .214 in 114 games as a big leaguer.

He got off to a great start last season, but then went into a prolonged slump and later revealed that he’d played almost the entire season with a thumb injury. If healthy Colabello has enough pop to be a productive part-timer.

Rangers sign former All-Star Ryan Ludwick

ludwick getty

Looking for some veteran outfield depth, the Rangers have signed former All-Star Ryan Ludwick to a minor-league contract with an invitation to spring training.

Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star Telegram reports that Ludwick will get $1.75 million if he makes the Opening Day roster out of spring training.

Ludwick had a big 2012 season with the Reds, hitting .275 with 26 homers, but posted a sub-.700 OPS in each of the past two years while playing a total of 150 games. At age 36 he’d probably be best suited for a part-time role facing mostly left-handed pitchers.