Athletics lefty Felix Doubront has suffered “fibrous tearing” in his pitching elbow, trainer Nick Paparesta tells Joe Stiglich of CSN Bay Area (Twitter links). A second opinion will still be needed before a course of treatment is determined, but a surgical option seems to be on the table. The 28-year-old southpaw had been lined up for fifth-starter duties, at least to open the year.
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- Angels left-hander C.J. Wilson is still waiting to be cleared to begin ramping up, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports. Wilson, 35, is building up strength in his balky shoulder, and says he expects to need a full month to get ready once he’s allowed to begin a throwing program. Los Angeles will need everything it can get from the veteran, but it remains unclear at present how long it will take for him to make it back to the big league rotation.
- Luke Gregerson will open the year as the Astros’ closer, manager A.J. Hinch announced and Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle reports. The 31-year-old will reprise his 9th-inning role of a year ago, beating out recent addition Ken Giles for the job, though certainly the young flamethrower will be knocking at the door if a need arises. For the time being, said Hinch, Giles will “pitch in a couple different roles, depending on what the highest leverage situation of the game would be” — including, perhaps, some save chances. Even the analytically-inclined Astros apparently believe that roles matter, though; as Hinch explained: “for the purposes of getting guys prepared, I think it’s important that they know sort of generally how they’re going to be used.”
- Meanwhile, the Astros don’t have interest in now-free agent first baseman James Loney, Jon Heyman of MLB Network reports on Twitter. Houston views that position as “set” with Spring Training in the books, he adds. Tyler White figures to get the first look, though players such as Marwin Gonzalez, Evan Gattis, Jon Singleton, and rising prospect A.J. Reed could factor into the picture as well.