Jered Weaver falls on left arm, leaves start

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Forced to dodge a Mitch Moreland liner back through the box, Jered Weaver twisted oddly and fell on his left (non-pitching) arm in Sunday’s game against the Rangers.

The Angels are calling the injury a strained left elbow. X-rays were negative. They won’t know about his availability for his next start for a couple of days yet.

Weaver immediately exited with the injury, but it’s possible he would have been done anyway after giving up his seventh hit of the evening. Weaver allowed four runs through five innings before Moreland led off the sixth with the single. The injury came on his 95th pitch.

Struggling to exceed 85-86 mph with his fastball, Weaver gave up homers to Lance Berkman and David Murphy consecutively in the first inning tonight. He allowed just one run between the second and fifth innings, but he certainly wasn’t overwhelming anyone. He finished the night with four walks and just two strikeouts.

Orioles sign Alcides Escobar

Alcides Escobar
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The Orioles have inked shortstop Alcides Escobar to a minor league contract, MLB.com’s Joe Trezza reported Saturday. The deal comes with an invitation to spring training and will allow Escobar to earn $700,000 in the majors if he breaks camp with the team (via Jon Heyman of MLB Network). The team has yet to formally announce the agreement.

Escobar, 32, completed an eight-year run with the Royals in 2018. No longer the .280-average, 3.0-fWAR player of seasons past, he hit several career lows after batting .231/.279/.313 with four home runs, eight stolen bases (in 10 chances), and a .593 OPS through 531 plate appearances last year. His defensive ratings also took a hit, and FanGraphs pegged him as the fourth-worst shortstop in the majors after he accumulated -12 DRS over the course of the season, only slightly higher than the Orioles/Dodgers’ Manny Machado, Mets’ Amed Rosario, and Red Sox’ Xander Bogaerts.

Still, Heyman holds that Escobar is being considered for the starting gig this spring and could yet prove an upgrade over top prospects and infield candidates Richie Martin and Drew Jackson. At the very least, the veteran shortstop figures to stabilize the position given Martin and Jackson’s relative inexperience, as both infielders played to varying results in Double-A Tulsa last year and have yet to break into the majors. Should either player earn consideration for the position in camp, however, Escobar might still work his way onto the Opening Day roster in a utility role as he saw some time at third base, second base, and center field in 2018.