Shaun Marcum throws in minors, expects to avoid DL

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Last week there was some concern that Shaun Marcum would have to begin the season on the disabled list because of his shoulder problems, but today he threw two innings in a minor-league game and said afterward that he doesn’t expect to miss a start.

Adam McCalvy of MLB.com reports that Marcum threw 26 pitches and they were “mostly fastballs,” so he still has some hurdles to clear in terms of building up arm strength and pitch count.

Even if his shoulder soreness is no longer an issue Marcum’s health will be worth tracking early in the season, as he faded badly down the stretch last year and showed signs of wearing down.

Dodgers sign OF Jason Heyward to minor league deal

Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports
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LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Dodgers signed outfielder Jason Heyward to a minor league deal and invited him to spring training.

The 33-year-old was released by the Chicago Cubs earlier this offseason.

Heyward, who was injured at times last season, put up the worst offensive numbers of his career, batting .204 and with 10 RBIs and one home run in 137 plate appearances. However, he’s a valuable defender in the outfield.

The deal reunites Heyward with first baseman Freddie Freeman. They came up through the Atlanta Braves system and have remained friends ever since.

Heyward was a leader in the Cubs’ clubhouse, helping them win the 2016 World Series.