The White Sox have already ruled out ace left-hander Chris Sale for Opening Day, but he continues to make solid progress from the avulsion fracture on the side of his right foot.
According to Dan Hayes of CSNChicago.com, Sale threw 60 pitches in a bullpen session on Friday. He’s just three weeks removed from the injury, so White Sox general manager Rick Hahn is pleased with how he’s progressing.
“Sale had a good today,” Hahn said. “Sale had a really good day today. He threw a live bullpen session, four sets of 15 and was pretty much full bore in doing that. And he remains on track to not miss significant time.
“We are working with what we’re expecting internally in terms of timing of him coming back and so far he’s progressing as we had hoped.”
There’s no clear timetable for Sale’s return, but mid-April appears realistic at this point. In other words, he might only have to miss a start or two.
Sale, who turns 26 next week, had a 2.16 ERA (178 ERA+) with 10.8 K/9 and 2.0 BB/9 across 26 starts last season.
New MLB commissioner Rob Manfred chatted with former President George W. Bush at the Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, Texas last night and addressed a number of topics regarding the state of baseball.
Bush hosted Manfred in advance of a new exhibit at the presidential library. “Baseball: America’s Presidents, America’s Pastime” opens to the public today and will examine baseball’s relationship with America’s presidents.
Bush, who once owned the Texas Rangers, asked Manfred about instant replay, pace of play, the chances of expansion in Mexico City, and whether he would vote someone who used steroids into the Hall of Fame. Interestingly, Manfred said the only autographed baseball he owns is from Bush, who signed it after he threw out the first pitch before Game 3 of the 2001 World Series.
My favorite exchange might have been this below, via Richard Justice of MLB.com:
Bush asked if Manfred had always been a baseball fan.
“I grew up a Yankee fan,” Manfred said.
When the crowd booed, Bush said, “Good, Rob. Welcome to Texas anyway.”
The conversation was about 45 minutes, but here’s a quick clip below. You can see more at MLB.com:
UPDATE: According to Chris Iott of MLive.com, Cabrera and Martinez will actually get some at-bats in minor league games today. They will lead off five straight innings to get their at-bats in, but they won’t run the bases.
10:59 a.m. ET: Great news here for the Tigers, as Chris Iott of MLive.com reports that there’s a chance that both Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez will be ready for game action on Sunday.
The final test for Cabrera and Martinez will be running the bases today, but they could be cleared assuming all goes well. The Tigers have split-squad games tomorrow, which would allow them to have both players serve as the designated hitter. They could also have them play in minor league games before advancing to Grapefruit League action. We should have some clarity on the plan later today.
Cabrera underwent surgery last October to remove bone spurs from his right ankle and repair a stress fracture in his foot. Meanwhile, Martinez is working his way back from February surgery to repair torn meniscus in his left knee. Opening Day is still within reach for both of them.
Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy is suddenly at risk for beginning the season on the disabled list, as Marc Carig of Newsday reports that he has been shut down for the next week due to a right hamstring injury.
Murphy left Thursday’s Grapefruit League game after singling and scoring on a sacrifice fly in the first inning. An MRI confirmed the injury. The start of the season is a little over two weeks away, so he could be cutting it close.
Dilson Herrera was already optioned to the minors earlier this week, so he’s not a consideration for fill in for Murphy at this time. Instead, the Mets are giving Matt Reynolds and Daniel Muno looks at second base.
Murphy, who turns 30 in April, batted .289/.332/.403 with nine home runs, 57 RBI, and 13 stolen bases across 143 games last season.