The Mets placed right-hander Jacob deGrom on the MLB bereavement/family medical emergency list Saturday because of “complications” with his newborn son, and manager Terry Collins described it as a “real-life situation.” In an encouraging update, deGrom told Collins last night that the baby, Jaxon, is doing “better” (Twitter link via Mike Puma of the New York Post). deGrom, who’s on the mend from a lat issue, is now throwing a 40-pitch bullpen session in Port St. Lucie, per Adam Rubin of ESPN.com.
Here’s more from MLB’s East divisions:
- As a result of the 3-for-30 slump Yankees designated hitter Alex Rodriguez is mired in to start the season, Randy Miller of NJ.com wonders if the 40-year-old has finally hit the wall. If Rodriguez’s issues last into the summer, Miller wouldn’t be shocked to see the Yankees cut ties with the 21st-year man. Easier said than done, of course, as the Yankees would owe A-Rod the remaining $20MM of his contract for this year and a full $20MM in 2017. While writing off Rodriguez based on a small sample of April at-bats wouldn’t be wise after he hit a terrific .250/.356/.486 with 33 home runs last season, it’s at least mildly concerning that he hasn’t been able to catch up with fastballs thus far. Rodriguez has swung and missed on 16 of 81 fastballs this year, a nearly 20 percent rate that’s double his swinging strike percentage from 2015, according to Mark Simon of ESPN.com. For now, the Yankees will drop Rodriguez to sixth in the batting order Sunday, George A. King III of the New York Post tweets. Rodriguez was the Yankees’ No. 3 hitter in his first eight games of the season.
- A couple of anonymous AL executives gave conflicting answers to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe when he asked them to assess beleaguered Red Sox third baseman Pablo Sandoval’s trade value. “While everyone seems to have a decent third baseman, it’s the depth beyond that that’s hard to come by. So at some point, if a contending team loses a third baseman, then a proven veteran who might be available would be more attractive if the money situation can be worked out,” said the optimistic exec. The other told Cafardo that Sandoval has no value, which isn’t surprising when you consider the Panda’s terrible performance dating back to last season, his well-documented weight problem, current shoulder injury, and anvil of a contract. Sandoval is still owed $75MM on his deal, including a $5MM buyout in 2020, and might need shoulder surgery.
- Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski offered a lengthy explanation Friday on why the club chose to start outfielder Rusney Castillo in the majors instead of simply sending him to Triple-A (where he is now), saying in part, “We didn’t think it would hurt him to come up here, be part of what we had going on, and now we’re in a situation where we think, ’OK, let’s let him go out there and get some at-bats.’” On the contrary, the Red Sox’s handling of Castillo might have been harmful to him and the team, Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald argues. Castillo needs at-bats – which he wasn’t getting in Boston – and the team handicapped itself by essentially wasting a roster spot on him, Drellich writes. Castillo, 28, played in only one of the Red Sox’s 10 games before they optioned him to Pawtucket.