Braves center fielder Ender Inciarte left yesterday’s game against the Cardinals with hamstring tightness, as Michael Cunningham of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution notes. Inciarte, who missed time last year with hamstring trouble, says he’s hopeful he can return to the lineup soon. There are no indications yet that the injury is serious, but if Inciarte needs to head to the DL, the team could promote prospect Mallex Smith, as MLB.com’s Mark Bowman tweets. Smith, one of the players the Braves received when they traded Justin Upton to the Padres, has continued his trend of posting very high on-base percentages and stolen-base totals since establishing himself in the Braves system (although the former dipped somewhat last year once he headed from Double-A Mississippi to Triple-A Gwinnett). The 22-year-old has a career .293/.379/.385 minor-league line, with 225 stolen bases in 1,769 plate appearances. Here’s more from the East divisions.
- David Price says he understands the Blue Jays not extending him a contract offer this past winter, but feels they might have if Alex Anthopoulos had still been in charge, Alykhan Ravjiani of MLB.com writes. “I think if Alex would have still been here, then it might have been — not upsetting — but a little bit different,” he says. “But it’s a new front office, [there’s] a lot of new guys, and for them to not make that offer, I got it. I understood it.” Anthopoulos, of course, executed a series of high-profile acquisitions of stars like Price and Troy Tulowitzki, and the organization’s new front office headed by Mark Shapiro is perceived as being far less likely to make those sorts of decisive moves. Ravjiani notes, though, that the team already has fairly heavy payroll commitments, so it’s unclear if they would have made an offer even if Anthopoulos hadn’t left his post.
- Mets starter Jacob deGrom is dealing with a stiff lat muscle, as David Lennon of Newsday writes. The Mets removed him from yesterday’s game after just six innings and 76 pitches, and his velocity was off, at an average of 92.8 MPH after he averaged 94.9 last year. “We’ll be careful with it,” says Mets manager Terry Collins. “If he can’t throw his bullpen in a couple days, we’ll have to find someone to throw in his spot.” John Harper of the Daily News argues that the Mets should be cautious with deGrom, helping him avoid the fate of Steven Matz, who missed significant time last year due to a torn lat.