Mets outfielder Lucas Duda fractured his right wrist in early November while moving furniture and had a procedure a couple days later to repair the injury at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. But that should be a faint memory by Opening Day.
According to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York, Duda has experienced no setbacks thus far with his wrist and was recently cleared to begin hitting off a tee at his offseason home in southern California. “It’s going well, feels great,” Duda told Rubin on Sunday.
The 26-year-old batted .239/.329/.389 with 15 home runs, 15 doubles and 57 RBI across 459 plate appearances last summer for New York. He’s expected to serve as the Mets’ starting left fielder this season.
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.