FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reported Saturday that Braves utilityman Sean Rodriguez will miss three to five months as a result of shoulder surgery stemming from a January car crash. But Atlanta expected Rodriguez to be ready for spring training as recently as Friday morning, according to MLB.com’s Mark Bowman, who notes that newfound concerns over his health helped lead to the team’s acquisition of second baseman Brandon Phillips (Twitter links). David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution classifies Rodriguez’s situation as “not good,” meanwhile, and backs up Rosenthal in reporting that he could sit out most or all of the season.
Now the latest from Boston:
- Along with Eduardo Rodriguez, Red Sox hurlers Steven Wright and Drew Pomeranz are set to vie for the fifth spot in the club’s rotation this spring, but it could be at least a week before the latter two are ready to throw off a mound, manager John Farrell revealed Sunday (via Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald). Wright still hasn’t returned to full strength since suffering a right shoulder injury as a pinch-runner last August, while Pomeranz received a stem cell injection on his ailing left elbow in October. Rodriguez hurt his right knee in December, but he got a clean bill of health in a recent checkup, per Ian Browne of MLB.com.
- On the offensive end, the Red Sox didn’t attempt to replace retired designated hitter David Ortiz with another big bat in the offseason. Farrell explained why Sunday, telling reporters – including Scott Lauber of ESPN.com – that the team didn’t want to make a long-term commitment to a right-handed-hitting veteran and block prospect Sam Travis. The Red Sox instead wanted a lefty-swinger, which led them to reel in Mitch Moreland on a one-year, $5.5MM deal. Moreland is no Ortiz, of course, but Farrell regards the longtime Ranger as an “ideal fit” for the Red Sox considering both his handedness and defensive prowess. Boston still feels it’ll have a high-end offense without Ortiz, so it prioritized upgrading its defense and went after Moreland.