Matt Wieters’ deal with the Nationals became official this morning, and the veteran catcher provided some more details on the non-baseball injury that agent Scott Boras alluded to in recent weeks (Twitter links via Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post). Boras noted that Wieters suffered a laceration on his non-throwing arm that required stitches, and Wieters elaborated on the matter, explaining that he dropped a glass water jug on his left forearm/wrist area in early November. The injury held him out of any baseball activity for a sizable 10-week time frame, but it doesn’t seem as though there are any lingering effects.
A few more items pertaining to the NL East…
- Braves general manager John Coppolella sat down with Mark Bowman of MLB.com to discuss the team’s offseason and the GM’s early impressions from the first week of Spring Training. Coppolella noted that he feels the team has better bullpen depth than it’s had at any point in the past four to five years. He noted that if there’s one area that the Braves could still look to make a late addition, it’d be in the form of a bench bat. “That could be a trade or it could end up being somebody in camp right now,” said Coppolella. Notably, Atlanta has been connected to former Braves bench pieces Jeff Francoeur and Kelly Johnson in the past month, both of whom remain available.
- Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports that Marlins left-hander Jeff Locke underwent an MRI to examine his left shoulder, though the team is optimistic that there’s nothing seriously wrong with the southpaw. Manager Don Mattingly noted that Locke has been feeling better of late but “was still feeling something” when he played catch yesterday. Outfielder Marcell Ozuna is also nursing some shoulder discomfort, though his situation sounds less concerning; Mattingly said Ozuna is getting “an extra day” before jumping into Grapefruit League play.
- Spencer also notes that the Marlins are still keeping an eye on the market for unsigned starting pitchers, including Henderson Alvarez, Jake Peavy, Colby Lewis and Doug Fister. However, they’re doing so on an “in case of need” basis, suggesting that they won’t add a notable name without an injury or unforeseen issue with a current member of the starting rotation.
- Tim Healey of the South Florida Sun Sentinel writes that Marlins offseason signee Junichi Tazawa is happy to be reunited with Juan Nieves, his former Red Sox pitching coach who now occupies the same role in Miami. As Healey notes, Nieves was Tazawa’s pitching coach for the best two seasons of his career — the 2013 and 2014 seasons. During that time, the righty turned in a 3.02 ERA with 9.3 K/9 against 2.0 BB/9 over the life of 131 1/3 innings. Nieves observed that Tazawa’s arm angle has risen since the two worked together, which could have had an adverse effect on his performance.