Some items from around the AL East…
- Alex Rodriguez left the sixth inning of today’s game with left oblique stiffness, and a postgame MRI was negative, according to a Yankees media release. The veteran slugger will travel to Arlington with the rest of the team for a series with the Rangers, though it’s yet unknown if A-Rod will be able to play. Joe Girardi told reporters (including Josh Thomson of the LoHud Yankees blog) that if Rodriguez needs some time off, it could necessitate a DL move so the club wouldn’t be playing two men short. Aaron Hicks is resting a shoulder injury suffered on Friday and is expected to miss a few games after receiving a cortisone shot, so he could also be a DL candidate should the Yankees need to bolster their depth.
- Steven Wright has gone from injury fill-in to unexpected ace of the Red Sox staff in April after posting a 1.40 ERA over his first three starts. WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford talks to Boston scout John Lombardo, who saw potential in Wright as a knuckleballer back in 2011 when Wright was an Indians farmhand and pushed the Sox to make a trade.
- Drew Hutchison threw a solid outing for the Blue Jays today, and as MLB.com’s Alykhan Ravjiani notes, the right-hander could provide an important depth role for Toronto’s rotation. Hutchison lost his rotation spot due to a rough 2015 season and is now at Triple-A, though the Jays could call on him for spot outings to keep the rest of the rotation fresh. With Aaron Sanchez known to be eventually moving back to the bullpen to limit his innings, Hutchison could also boost his case for regular starts later in the season.
- There are some concerns within the Orioles organization about 2015 first-rounder DJ Stewart’s struggles both at the plate and in the field, MASNsports.com’s Roch Kubatko writes. In 285 professional plate appearances (and low-A and high-A ball), Stewart has managed only a .214/.303/.330 slash line. Obviously it’s still quite early in his career and Stewart is only 22 years old, though the O’s have thus far not seen much from the 25th overall pick in last year’s draft.