Marco Scutaro receives injection in ailing back, considered “50-50” for Opening Day

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Giants second baseman Marco Scutaro has been limited to just one game this spring due to back soreness and now there’s a chance that he could begin the season on the disabled list.

According to Alex Pavlovic of the San Jose Mercury News, Scutaro received an epidural injection in his back after he felt lingering stiffness in recent days. It was actually the second injection he has received this spring, but the first one obviously didn’t work. Giants manager Bruce Bochy hasn’t ruled him out for the start of the season, but with the clock ticking, he considers him “50-50” for Opening Day.

“This is to try to get him over the hump,” Bochy said. “He’ll be down a couple of days but the hope is that he’ll be good to go.”

Scutaro, 38, hit .297/.357/.369 with two home runs, 31 RBI, and a 34/45 K/BB ratio over 127 games last season. If he starts the season on the disabled list, Joaquin Arias will likely fill in at second base.

Report: Astros, Alex Bregman agree to five-year, $100 million extension

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Fox 26’s Mark Berman reports that the Astros and third baseman Alex Bregman have agreed to $100 million contract extension. MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart confirms a deal has been reached and adds that the deal is actually for five years, beginning after the 2019 season. The contract will cover all three of Bregman’s arbitration years and two years of would-be free agency.

Bregman, who turns 25 years old later this month, has quickly become one of the best third basemen in baseball. Across parts of three seasons, he has hit .282/.366/.500 with 58 home runs, 208 RBI, 224 runs scored, and 29 stolen bases. FanGraphs credited him with 7.6 Wins Above Replacement, tied with Francisco Lindor and Christian Yelich for the fourth-best mark among position players in baseball, trailing only Mookie Betts (10.4), Mike Trout (9.8), and José Ramírez (8.0).

This is obviously a smart move for the Astros, as this contract extension will secure Bregman’s age 25-30 seasons. With second baseman José Altuve also locked up through 2024, and presumed extensions to come for Carlos Correa and possibly Gerrit Cole and George Springer, the Astros have a core that they can build around for years to come.