Drew Smyly made it through a fourth rehab start Tuesday night at Triple-A Durham without feeling any abnormal discomfort in his throwing shoulder and could return to Tampa Bay’s starting rotation for Sunday’s series finale against the Rangers.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times says Smyly will travel with the Rays to Texas and throw a bullpen session in front of team management on Friday. If that goes well, an official go-ahead should follow.
Smyly has been on the disabled list since early May with a partially-torn labrum in his left shoulder. He had a 2.70 ERA in three starts before the injury and the 26-year-old boasts a 1.96 ERA in 10 total appearances (64 1/3 innings) with Tampa Bay dating back to last summer’s trade — a blockbuster swap that sent Smyly to Tampa Bay and David Price to Detroit.
Out since July 3 with a strained calf, Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera is scheduled to come off the disabled list and rejoin the active roster Friday.
It sounds like the Tigers may limit Cabrera’s workload early on, perhaps giving him a couple days off per week now that the playoffs are all but out of the question for the 54-59 team.
Cabrera was having another MVP-caliber season before the injury, hitting .350 with 15 homers and a 1.034 OPS in 77 games. This is the first disabled list stint of his 13-year career, as Cabrera averaged 157 games per season from 2004-2014.
Here’s an odd stat: Detroit’s lineup has averaged 4.3 runs per game in Cabrera’s absence. Prior to his injury Detroit’s lineup averaged 4.4 runs per game.
Veteran outfielder Chris Heisey has signed a minor-league contract with the Blue Jays after being released by the Dodgers last week.
Heisey has spent most of this season at Triple-A, but was a semi-regular for the Reds from 2010-2014 and hit .247 with 50 homers, 25 steals, and a .721 OPS in 543 games while seeing time in all three outfield spots.
Toronto has been very busy beefing up the roster, including big trades for Troy Tulowitzki and David Price, and now the Blue Jays are simply making sure they’re well-stocked with useful depth.
Miguel Cabrera cleared two major hurdles in his recovery from a Grade 3 calf strain on Tuesday evening, running the bases and taking live batting practice with teammates before the Tigers’ series opener at Kansas City’s Kauffman Stadium.
Tigers manager Brad Ausmus told MLB.com’s Jason Beck after the workout that everything went as planned and Cabrera could be cleared to return to the active roster this weekend in Houston. It sounds like the 32-year-old slugger is going to be allowed to skip a minor league rehab assignment.
Cabrera has been on the disabled list since July 4. In his absence, the Tigers have fallen out of contention in both the AL Central and Wild Card race. They were sellers at the July 31 trade deadline and cut ties with longtime GM Dave Dombrowski last week.
This is the first disabled list stint of Cabrera’s illustrious 13-year major league career.
Michael Cuddyer is back from the disabled list after missing the past three weeks with a bruised knee and the Mets have decided to keep rookie Michael Conforto around after initially calling him up to fill in for Cuddyer.
Conforto has hit just .222 with 11 strikeouts in 11 games, but the 22-year-old top prospect and former first-round draft pick has also drawn five walks and totaled four extra-base hits for a solid .714 OPS.
Cuddyer is 36 years old and managed a .683 OPS in 82 games before being shut down, so keeping him fresh with some days off while also giving Conforto enough starts to continue his development in the big leagues seems like the Mets’ plan for the third outfield spot alongside Yoenis Cespedes and Curtis Granderson.
Simply shifting Cuddyer into a part-time or bench role is also an option, although the Mets gave up a first-round draft pick to sign him this offseason and still owe him $12.5 million for 2016.