As of mid-February reports had Tim Hudson behind schedule in his recovery from offseason ankle surgery, but the Giants right-hander took the mound for his spring training debut Wednesday and afterward “expressed confidence” in being ready for Opening Day.
Hudson threw a scoreless inning against the Brewers and then told Chris Haft of MLB.com that his ankle is a “non-issue.”
Hudson, who turns 40 in July, has indicated that 2015 will be his 17th and final season. Last year he logged 189 innings for the Giants, posting a 3.57 ERA and 120/34 K/BB ratio, but struggled in the playoffs.
Yankees left-hander Chris Capuano has been diagnosed with a Grade 2 quadriceps strain and is expected to begin the season on the disabled list.
That means New York has an opening in the rotation after re-signing the 36-year-old veteran for $5 million to eat some back-of-the-rotation innings. Last season Capuano posted a 4.35 ERA in 97 innings for the Red Sox and Yankees, spending time in the rotation and the bullpen.
Adam Warren is one candidate to step into the rotation spot, although the Yankees may be tempted to keep him in the bullpen after last year’s success as a reliever.
Making official what was expected, the White Sox have ruled out left-hander Chris Sale for Opening Day due to the avulsion fracture in his right foot.
Executive vice president Kenny Williams told Dan Hayes of CSNChicago.com that Sale is still at least 10 days from resuming baseball activities and the White Sox start the season against the Royals on April 6.
Sale was the Opening Day starter in 2013 and 2014, and is coming off a dominant season in which he threw 174 innings with a 2.17 ERA and 208/39 K/BB ratio at age 25.
Jeff Samardzija seems like the leading candidate to take the Opening Day assignment in Sale’s place.
Diamondbacks catcher Oscar Hernandez broke his left hamate bone while taking a swing in Tuesday’s game and will need surgery.
Hernandez was a Rule 5 pick out of the Rays’ farm system, so he must remain in the majors all season or be offered back to Tampa Bay. Being on the disabled list counts as being in the majors, so the Diamondbacks will likely take their time welcoming Hernandez back to the active roster once he’s healthy.
He played last season at low Single-A and put up modest numbers, so expecting Hernandez to hold his own in the big leagues at age 21 is asking a lot.
The second opinion on Yu Darvish’s injured elbow agreed with the first opinion: Dr. David Altchek advised the Rangers ace to undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery.
However, before a decision is made Darvish will seek a third opinion from Dr. James Andrews. But barring something shocking, he looks headed for surgery to repair the damaged ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow.
Trying the rest-and-rehab route is also an option, but the problem is that if Darvish spends months doing that and then eventually needs Tommy John surgery anyway he’d likely be out for a significant portion of 2016 as well.
Darvish was great last season, posting a 3.06 ERA with 11.3 strikeouts per nine innings, but injuries limited him to 22 starts and 144 frames. He’s signed through 2017.