Alex Rodriguez to have surgically repaired hip “checked out”

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Marc Carig of the Newark Star Ledger reports that Alex Rodriguez will “have his surgically-repaired right hip checked out” after hitting coach Kevin Long noticed that he had difficulty making “a lower-body adjustment to bring balance back to his swing.”

Rodriguez told Carig that the hip isn’t causing any pain or discomfort, emphasizing that “it’s certainly no excuse for any poor performance.” There’s no date scheduled for the exam.

Instead he indicated that the Yankees simply want to be “very proactive” and stay “ahead of the curve” by having Rodriguez undergo semi-regularly checkups for the hip, on which he underwent surgery in 2009.

Rodriguez got off to a great start this season, went through an extended slump that dragged his batting average down to .242 and his OPS down to .781, and then followed up a two-homer game Tuesday with four hits yesterday to snap out of the funk in a big way.

Royals sign Drew Storen to minor league deal

Drew Storen
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The Royals are in agreement with right-handed reliever Drew Storen on a minor league deal, the team announced Friday. Per Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the deal is worth $1.25 million if the veteran righty breaks camp with the club this spring. Additional, albeit unspecified incentives will be included in the contract as well.

Storen, 31, is coming off of a protracted absence from any MLB duties. After inking a one-year deal with the Reds in 2017, he sustained a right elbow sprain toward the end of the year and underwent Tommy John surgery that October. He was effectively decommissioned for the club’s entire 2018 run and generated little interest around the league this winter, perhaps due in part to the uninspired 4.45 ERA, 3.8 BB/9, 7.9 SO/9, and career-low -0.2 fWAR he posted across 54 2/3 innings during his last healthy season.

While it’s not immediately clear what kind of performance the Royals can expect from Storen in spring training, they’re not exactly in a position to be choosy. Their bullpen ranked dead last among all MLB teams with a collective 5.04 ERA, 4.85 FIP, and -2.2 fWAR last year, and still appears to be in a state of flux as they approach Opening Day. Skipper Ned Yost told reporters Wednesday that he intends to eschew the traditional closer appointment in 2019 and will instead utilize a combination of right-handers Wily Peralta and Brad Boxberger, lefty Tim Hill, and various others as he tackles high-leverage situations in the future.