Longtime Yankees right-hander and pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre was “fighting for his life” earlier Saturday, but the 75-year-old is now “doing much better,” his wife, Jean, told John Harper of the New York Daily News. “We saw a big turnaround with Mel over the last 24 hours. He’s not in a life-threatening situation right now,” she continued. “It’s not the cancer. It was that he got sick from the chemo medicine. He was given anti-biotics to fight infection and he’s responded well.” Stottlemyre was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 1999, which he fought off before it returned in 2011. We at MLBTR will continue to hope for the best for the five-time All-Star and five-time World Series champion.
More from around the majors:
- It’s unknown whether the Rockies are interested in free agent catcher Matt Wieters, but Jim Bowden of ESPN (Insider required) argues that signing him could push the team into the playoffs. Meanwhile, for Wieters, taking a one-year deal with Colorado and playing half his games at hitter-friendly Coors Field would perhaps enable him to rebound offensively and score a richer contract next offseason, posits Bowden. Long a competent offensive catcher, Wieters batted just .243/.302/.409 in 464 plate appearances last season. The Rockies have far less proven catchers in Tony Wolters and Tom Murphy, though the former thrived as a pitch framer in 2016 (unlike Wieters) and the latter raked at the Triple-A level.
- If the Rangers’ quiet approach to free agency this winter continues, it could benefit center fielder Delino DeShields, writes T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com. After an encouraging rookie year in 2015, DeShields was a colossal disappointment last season (.209/.275/.313 in 203 PAs) and spent significant time at Triple-A Round Rock as a result. While Carlos Gomez is slated to start in center field for the Rangers next year, a strong spring showing from DeShields could change that, suggests Sullivan. If DeShields reclaims center, Gomez and Nomar Mazara would occupy the corners, and Shin-Soo Choo would become the team’s full-time designated hitter. “My offseason program last year was a little different than this year. This year I’m more focused on being more explosive and getting my mobility back,” DeShields revealed.
- The commissioner’s office announced drug-related suspensions for five minor leaguers earlier this week, according to Vince Lara-Cinisomo of Baseball America: Red Sox catcher Jake Romanski (amphetamine), Astros right-hander Brendan McCurry (methamphetamine), Indians righty Dakody Clemmer (drug of abuse), Royals righty Arnaldo Hernandez (methamphetamine) and free agent righty Mario Alcantara each received 50-game bans. Clemmer, a 19th-round selection last June, is the most recent draft pick of the group. Romanski (14th round, 2013) and McCurry (22nd round, 2014) were also major league picks. McCurry has reached the most advanced level of the quintet, as he threw 42 1/3 innings at Triple-A last season. The 24-year-old recorded a 3.83 ERA, 9.35 K/9 and 2.76 BB/9 during that stretch.