Blue Jays prospect Max Pentecost had a delayed start to his career after dealing with serious shoulder problems, but he’s getting back on track in 2016, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca writes. The 23-year-old backstop, a first-round selection in 2014, has already battled through three procedures. Though he still hasn’t been cleared to catch, Pentecost is back in action at the Class A level, where he owns a .262/.333/.317 batting line. Toronto director of player development Gil Kim says that the organization remains “confident that he’s got a chance to be a major-league catcher, and a pretty good one.”
Here’s more from the American League:
- Blue Jays GM Ross Atkins says that the club is most in need of pitching depth as the deadline approaches. (Video link via Sportsnet.ca.) Brett Cecil and Franklin Morales are filtering back toward the majors, he noted, but added that it’s impossible to assume that the roster will remain healthy once it gets those and other injured players back. “We’ll have to stay agile,” said Atkins, saying that “pitching will be the area we’ll look to improve.”
- Clay Buchholz will receive another start from the Red Sox, manager John Farrell told reporters including Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe (Twitter link). The veteran righty re-entered the rotation after a stint in the pen, and was greeted with a home run on his first pitch. Despite the shaky start, he ultimately allowed three earned runs on just four hits and a walk over five innings, while recording five strikeouts. Boston needs Buchholz at least to provide some solid innings for the time being, but will certainly hope that he can rediscover his form from 2015.
- As the Red Sox approach negotiations with first-round selection Jason Groome, Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald writes that it’ll require a careful approach to find agreement. The team has yet to make a specific offer to the touted high-school lefty, though it has opened talks. President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski struck a cautious but generally optimistic tone. “We’re hopeful to still sign him,” he said. “We went into there with open eyes. We know what his demands are from what his agent passed on to the clubs. We think we can sign him, but only time will tell.”
- Bruce Rondon is showing renewed life for the Tigers, who have held out hope for the fireballing reliever for some time. As Aaron McMann of the Detroit Free Press reports, manager Brad Ausmus says that reports have been positive for the oft-maligned 25-year-old. Improved attitude, a streamlined figure, and a refined delivery have brought promising results at Triple-A. Now, he’s back in the majors for another chance at making good on his talent.