It was reported earlier this week that reliever Tommy Hunter was close to landing a two-year deal with the Yankees worth between $11.5-12 million before it was voided due to an issue with his physical. Coming back from core muscle repair surgery, he ended up settling for a one-year, $2 million deal with the Indians.
Indians manager Terry Francona said earlier this week that Hunter will likely begin the season on the disabled list, but he went a step further this afternoon by telling Jordan Bastian of MLB.com that he could be sidelined through mid-May. Craig Stammen, who recently signed a minor league deal with Cleveland, is also expected to miss the start of the season as he makes his way back from surgery to repair a torn flexor tendon. Both could be useful bullpen arms if they come back healthy, but the Indians will have to make do without them in the early part of the season.
Hunter, 29, compiled a 4.18 ERA and 47/14 K/BB ratio over 60 1/3 innings between the Orioles and Cubs in 2015.
Mets right-hander Bartolo Colon made plenty of highlight reels last season for a casual behind-the-back toss to first base. If for some reason you missed it or you just want to see it again (and who wouldn’t?), here it is:
Colon’s teammates haven’t forgotten about it, as they tried to emulate the 42-year-old wonder during a drill at Mets camp today. The results were mixed. Maria Guardado of NJ Advance Media has the important video from the scene:
You know the “Play Like A Champion Today” sign Notre Dame football players touch on the way out of the locker room? The Mets should really introduce a “Play Like Bartolo Today” one. It would be a hit.
Just like we’re all still adjusting to seeing new Marlins hitting coach Barry Bonds in that uniform — yes, it’s weird — he’s getting the expected questions about his Hall of Fame status in the early days of spring training. This will surely die down in time, but the all-time home run king approached the topic respectfully this morning while also making it clear that he knows he belongs in Cooperstown.
Check out the video from Marlins’ camp below:
Bonds was shut out again this January in his fourth year on the ballot. He received 44.3 percent of the vote, which means that he’s still nearly 31 percent shy of election.
You might remember that Mike Aviles‘ five-year-old daughter, Adriana, was battling leukemia last year. Well, Aviles provided an update on her condition upon arriving to Tigers’ camp on Thursday. According to Jason Beck of MLB.com, he said that his daughter is now cancer-free.
“Everything’s going well with her,” Aviles said. “She had a bone marrow transplant in December. She’s recovering and she’ll be out here in a couple weeks when she’s allowed to fly. She’s cancer-free and going forward.”
That’s the best news of the week right there.
While Aviles signed with the Tigers over the winter, his daughter’s impact is still being felt with the Indians organization. Manager Terry Francona told Jordan Bastian of MLB.com that he cried when he heard the news during the offseason. Meanwhile, closer Cody Allen said that “we were all just really, really relieved and extremely happy for Mike and his family.”
Below is the video of Adriana and her twin sister Maiya throwing out ceremonial first pitches at Progressive Field last August:
Sometimes this stuff is just too easy. Still, we greatly appreciate Sean Doolittle cutting to the chase at Athletics’ camp in Mesa, Arizona. It’s a real help.
By the way, Doolittle also changed his Twitter name to “BestShapeOfMyLifeGuy,” so he’s living the gimmick these days.
Doolittle missed the start of last season due to a slight tear in his rotator cuff. The southpaw finally made his season debut in late May, but landed right back on the disabled list after just one appearance. After three months of rehab, Doolittle rejoined the Athletics in late August and posted a 4.26 ERA and 13/5 K/BB ratio over 12 2/3 innings. He looked much better after his first couple of appearances and his velocity wasn’t far off from where it has been in the past. The Athletics added Ryan Madson over the winter, but Doolittle should be the favorite for save chances this season if he’s healthy. And fortunately for the A’s, it sounds like he is.