Blue Jays lefty Aaron Loup has been shut down for two weeks after an MRI revealed a strained flexor in his left forearm, as Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet writes. While Loup remains optimistic that he’ll be ready for Opening Day, manager John Gibbons conceded that that’s not necessarily a reasonable expectation. “That’d be kind of tough,” Gibbons told Nicholson-Smith and others at Blue Jays camp in Dunedin, Fla. “I don’t want to say no, but it might be real tough. Really it’d be a rush job.” Loup is expected to slot in as a second lefty reliever behind Brett Cecil, but if he’s unable to break camp with the club, the Jays will look at the ambidextrous pitcher Pat Venditte and non-roster invitees Scott Diamond, Chad Girodo, Wade LeBlanc and Pat McCoy, per Nicholson-Smith.
Here’s more from the division…
- Mookie Betts tells Alex Speier of the Boston Globe that he’s yet to discuss a long-term deal with the Red Sox. “[A long-term deal] is not part of the discussion right now,” said Betts. “I’m just focused on going and playing this year. We’re going year-by-year [in contracts].” Betts expressed an appreciation that the Red Sox boosted his salary from $514,500 to $566K — a larger raise than many clubs give to pre-arbitration players — but stressed that his current emphasis is on establishing himself as a consistent player as opposed to worrying about his earning power.
- Right-hander Vance Worley finds himself in a familiar position this spring as he battles for a roster spot with the Orioles, writes Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun. “I feel like my whole career has always been about having to prove it again and again and again,” said Worley. “There’s always someone nipping at your heels, especially at this level. You’ve got the younger guys. This guy throws hard. This guy’s got this, he’s got that. I’m not that guy. I’ve never been that guy.” Worley admits that it was tough to lose his rotation spot with the Pirates last year upon Charlie Morton’s return from the DL, and it was more difficult to be designated for assignment and clear waivers despite posting a 3.00 ERA in 30 relief innings. “Any guy who has that situation where you clear waivers — that was my second time clearing — It’s about being mentally tough, because some guys crumble,” Worley continued. “Some guys just fall apart and they say, that’s it for the year. I know I’m a big leaguer and you have to have that mindset.” Worley is out of minor league options and will have to be exposed to waivers if the Orioles wish to send him to the minors.
- Encina also writes that Jimmy Paredes is likely to miss significant time after suffering a sprained left wrist in an attempt at a diving catch in yesterday’s Grapefruit League contest. Paredes said he knew the injury was serious because his wrist and hand immediately went numb, though he’s thankful to have avoided a fracture. Nonetheless, it’s a poor time for an injury, Encina notes, as the Orioles had hoped to evaluate him as an option in the outfield this spring. Now, he’s wearing a plastic cast on his left wrist to stabilize the joint, and it’s unclear specifically when he’ll be able to return to action. Like Worley, Paredes is out of options and entered camp battling for a roster spot. Paredes underwent an MRI this morning and was diagnosed with a bone bruise, tweets Rich Dubroff of CSN Midatlantic.