Giants expect Matt Cain to be ready for Opening Day after elbow and ankle surgeries

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Matt Cain is coming back from two injuries, undergoing elbow surgery in August followed by ankle surgery in September, but the Giants right-hander is making good progress in his recovery.

Chris Haft of MLB.com reports that Cain is throwing once every three days, including a session off the mound Friday, and “the Giants still believe that Cain will be physically ready to join their season-opening starting rotation.”

Cain struggled last year while trying to pitch through the elbow problems, posting a career-worst 4.18 ERA and career-worst strikeout rate along with his worst walk rate since 2008. He was finally shut down after logging a total of just 90 innings, snapping a streak of eight consecutive seasons with at least 180 innings.

At age 30 he’s owed $67.5 million for the next three years.

Phillies sign Drew Storen and Bud Norris to minor league deals

Drew Storen
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Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports reported this afternoon that the Phillies signed veteran reliever Drew Storen to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training. If Storen makes the major league roster, he will earn a $750,000 salary.

Storen, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2017 with the Reds. That year, he posted a 4.45 ERA with 48 strikeouts and 23 walks over 54 2/3 innings. Storen then underwent Tommy John surgery, which cost him the entire 2018 campaign. He inked a minor league deal with the Royals last year but struggled in nine appearances with Double-A Northwest Arkansas, resulting in his being released in June.

Robert Murray reports that the Phillies have also signed pitcher Bud Norris to a minor league contract. The right-hander, who turns 35 years old in March, missed the 2019 season due to a forearm injury. Norris was last seen in the majors in 2018 with the Cardinals, compiling a 3.59 ERA with 67 strikeouts and 21 walks over 57 2/3 innings of relief.

The Phillies had major bullpen problems last year and haven’t otherwise made any new additions so far this offseason. They’re hoping Storen and Norris have a little bit left in the tank.