Braves GM John Coppolella spoke with Bill Shanks of The Macon Telegraph in a wide-ranging interview (audio link) that has plenty of interesting info for Atlanta fans. For our purposes, the most notable segment involved the team’s addition of second baseman Brandon Phillips after the terrifying car crash involving recently added infielder Sean Rodriguez. Per Coppolella, the organization reignited prior talks with the Reds shortly after learning of the accident. It seems that Atlanta isn’t sure as yet just when Rodriguez will be able to join the organization. “We hope that Sean’s family can heal and get right,” said the GM. “… [W]e don’t know when Sean’s going to be back, it’s going to be a long time.”
Here are a host of other notes on injury situations around the National League as pitchers and catchers report:
- Mets third baseman David Wright has yet even to throw a baseball since his season-ending neck surgery, Marc Carig of Newsday reports on Twitter. Though the club has seemingly given some consideration to trying him out at first base this spring, it seems that there are plenty of prior hurdles to clear before any position change is attempted. It remains unclear just what kind of timeline the veteran will take this spring, or whether there’s a realistic chance he’ll be ready for Opening Day.
- Meanwhile, the Mets are hoping that bone chip surgery for righty Erik Goeddel could help him return to the solid former he showed as a rookie in 2015. As Anthony DiComo of MLB.com reports, the reliever feels healthy after recovering from the procedure, which was performed to help relieve aching that wouldn’t go away. He’ll compete for a pen role this spring.
- The Cubs are set to find out today whether slugger Kyle Schwarber will be cleared to get behind the plate, though the organization plans to be cautious regardless. As Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune tweets, president of baseball operations Theo Epstein put it in colorful terms, saying that “we’ll walk before we squat.” Regardless, Schwarber is expected to spend the bulk of his time in left field while serving as at most a third catcher, as Bob Nightengale of USA Today tweets.
- Cardinals non-roster camp invitee Kendry Flores is heading for an MRI after reporting shoulder discomfort, according to MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch (via Twitter). The 25-year-old was added on a minor-league deal over the winter, so was likely seen more as a depth piece than a key member of the staff. He owns a 3.78 ERA with 7.0 K/9 against 3.2 BB/9 in 150 career innings at Triple-A.