Giants lefty Will Smith has been shut down for a week after experiencing inflammation in his pitching elbow, Andrew Baggarly of the Mercury News was among those to report (Twitter links). Fortunately, an MRI has already returned clean, so it seems there’s no worry of a major injury. But while it’s still early, San Francisco’s plan to get Smith ready for Opening Day is already on a tight timeline, Baggarly notes. So long as he can progress after his rest, Smith will be given six spring appearances in preparation for the season.
Here’s more from the National League:
- The Brewers, like the Rays, kept tabs on Matt Wieters up to his agreement with the Nationals, according to MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy. Though Milwaukee GM David Stearns wouldn’t acknowledge whether an offer was made, he acknowledged that there was contact. “I would say we have regular contact with many agents, including Scott,” Stearns explained. “So Matt’s name came up, and we made sure we understood where the market was for him and what the potential fits were. But nothing really beyond that.”
- Infielder Stephen Drew likely won’t see as much time with the Nationals as he could have elsewhere, but as Mark Zuckerman of MASNsports.com writes, he nevertheless chose to reprise his role as a key reserve in D.C. His comfort with the team came into play, along with family considerations. Drew also discussed his bout of vertigo last year, which occurred due to an ear infection. He dealt with symptoms through the postseason and into the offseason, but seems to be back to normal as camp opens.
- While Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco is entering only his second full season in the majors, there’s still plenty at stake, Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com writes. Refining his approach at the plate and work in the field certainly seem to be on the agenda, and whether he can successfully turn his talent into consistent productivity could have a major impact on the organization’s plans. Salisbury suggests that a player such as Manny Machado could become a serious consideration for the team — he’ll be a free agent after 2018 — depending upon how Franco progresses. While it’s obviously too soon to factor in players such as Machado in any meaningful way, as Salisbury acknowledges, Philadelphia is no doubt already thinking about where Franco will end up in the long run. It does seem worth noting that, even if he isn’t able to lock down the job at third for the foreseeable future, he could ultimately be a candidate to shift across the diamond to first base.