Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager, the consensus No. 1 prospect in baseball and the NL favorite for Rookie of the Year, is expected to be sidelined for 1-2 weeks with a strained left knee.
That qualifies as positive news, because Seager tweaked his knee running the bases Friday and went for an MRI exam. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts called the diagnosis of a mild strain the “best-case scenario” and said it’s possible but probably “pushing it” that Seager will be ready for Opening Day.
Seager was the Dodgers’ first-round draft pick in 2012 and debuted last season, hitting .337 with four homers and a .986 OPS in 27 games while playing both shortstop and third base. Jimmy Rollins’ departure as a free agent cleared the path for Seager to take over as the everyday shortstop and the 22-year-old has a chance to be one of the best in the league immediately.
White Sox ace Chris Sale has been 6-foot-6 and about 175 pounds for most of his career, but the rail thin 27-year-old four-time All-Star has recently been trying to bulk up and his goal is to reach 200 pounds this year.
And in a situation almost no one–including me–can relate to, Sale is having some trouble. He weighed in at 190 pounds upon arriving at White Sox camp, but his teammates and the team training staff are skeptical he’ll get to 200.
White Sox director of conditioning Allen Thomas told Scott Merkin of MLB.com:
Yeah, every time he comes in, he puts a couple pounds of weight in his back pocket so I can’t see. 205 some days, 179 some days. It depends on how many Philly cheese steaks.
Sale described the weight gain as “my quest” and told Merkin that he’s been eating tons of tacos, cheeseburgers, and steaks at home. But as White Sox center fielder Adam Eaton put it:
I don’t think he’ll ever see 200 … and he’s eating whatever he wants to come across his plate. I don’t know, he’s been blessed.
Or cursed, at least as far as the 200-pound goal is concerned.
Sale credited Thomas and the training staff for increasing his strength and endurance regardless of his weight and it’s worth noting that he’s thrown an average of 197 innings in four seasons as a starting pitcher. He’s been a whole lot more durable than most people expected based on his incredibly thin frame and first two seasons spent as a reliever, so perhaps looks–and the effect of tacos and cheeseburgers–can be deceiving.
Metabolism is a helluva thing.
Gaby Sanchez‘s comeback attempt didn’t go so well, as the former All-Star first baseman who signed a minor-league deal with the Mariners in January has already been released.
Sanchez was trying to win a part-time role after spending last season in Japan, but the Mariners have other options to serve as a right-handed bench bat and decided to move on quickly from the 32-year-old.
Sanchez made the All-Star team for the Marlins in 2011 and was a solid regular for Pittsburgh as recently as 2013, but as a first baseman with modest power his margin for error wasn’t great to begin with and now he’ll likely have to work his way back to the big leagues by putting together a strong stretch at Triple-A for someone.
Mets right-hander Jacob deGrom was scratched from today’s scheduled start against the Tigers with back soreness.
The good news, according to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York, is that the move was precautionary and deGrom feels well enough that he’s slated to throw off a mound at the Mets’ team complex instead of facing the Tigers.
Or as deGrom himself put it:
I really didn’t want to ride on the bus for a couple of hours and then go try to pitch. … Today I feel good. Yesterday I felt good. I think it’s just more not sitting on the bus for a couple of hours and then going out there and pitching.
I suppose in that case an alternate headline could be “Jacob deGrom scratched from start with not wanting to ride a bus.”
For the third straight season the Pirates will go with left-hander Francisco Liriano as their Opening Day starter, which is noteworthy because it means right-hander Gerrit Cole will not get the Opening Day nod following a season in which he finished fourth in the Cy Young balloting.
However, with Cole recovering from an offseason rib cage injury the Pirates don’t want to rush his timetable and manager Clint Hurdle told Stephen Nesbitt of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette that “it wouldn’t be fair to him to try and push that deadline date on him.”
Cole has yet to make his spring training debut, but the Pirates are hoping he’ll be stretched out to around the 100-pitch mark shortly after Opening Day. And of course Liriano is certainly deserving too. He has a 3.26 ERA with 543 strikeouts in 510 innings since signing with the Pirates in 2013, including a 3.38 ERA and 205 strikeouts in 187 innings last season.