Reds catcher Devin Mesoraco’s spring debut will come later than expected due to a groin injury, MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon writes. Mesoraco missed most of last season due to hip trouble, and he characterizes his current injury as a minor and expected result of the rehabilitation process. “We had a very small minimal amount of groin and hip flexor tightness, soreness,” he says. “The doctor kind of said this was something that would probably happen once I got back into it. We just slowed things down but everything is feeling fine. I feel good now. It shouldn’t be too much longer.” The absence of Mesoraco, who batted .273/.359/.534 in his 2014 breakout, was one of many disappointments for the Reds last season. Here’s more from the Central divisions.
- The Tigers are hopeful Cameron Maybin will return by Opening Day and won’t be looking outside the organization for extra outfield help, tweets Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press. It was reported earlier this week that Maybin would miss four to six weeks due to a hairline fracture in his left hand. Of course, even the full six weeks would only cause Maybin to miss the first couple weeks of the season, hardly the kind of devastating blow that might require the Tigers to pursue an outfielder with any sort of urgency.
- Twins slugger Miguel Sano got to the big leagues and thrived in 2015 despite the loss of his daughter the previous offseason, Tyler Kepner of the New York Times writes. Sano’s daughter Angelica died in December 2014 due to a heart defect. “Last year in Double-A, I cried a lot,” says Sano. “I was really sad. I don’t concentrate too much on playing because I think a lot about my baby.” Sano struggled badly through April at Double-A Chattanooga, batting just .159/.303/.381. He turned his season around from there before his promotion to the bigs, culminating in a 20 at-bat stretch following the All-Star break in which he had seven extra-base hits. “He came back after the All-Star break, and it was just completely different,” says his Double-A manager, Doug Mientkiewicz. “He embarrassed Double-A baseball. I called Terry [Ryan], and I was like, ’I don’t know where he can go, but he needs to go somewhere, because it’s not normal what he’s doing to this league.'” The Twins, of course, promoted Sano to the Majors, where he hit 18 home runs in 80 games and finished third in AL Rookie of the Year balloting.