Indians outfielder Michael Brantley partook in a live batting practice session yesterday, which seems to have gone as hoped. The resulting optimism was still guarded, however, given his history. As Jordan Bastian of MLB.com tweets, skipper Terry Francona heaped praise upon Brantley while remaining wary of how things will proceed. “I mean, if this ends up where he’s not healthy, there is nothing more that he could have done,” said Francona. “He has worked his [tail] off. I’ve been proud of him. Now, I’m starting to get excited for him, because he’s getting closer. But, I think you have to temper it … .”
Here’s more from the central divisions:
- There was a bit of a scare for the Cardinals when righty Trevor Rosenthal went in for an MRI after experiencing discomfort in his shoulder and back, but as Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes, the news was good. The hope is he’ll be ready to begin throwing again by the end of the week, though GM John Mozeliak noted the hurler will begin “preventative care” right away. It’ll hopefully be little more than a blip, but the time off does impact Rosenthal’s effort to work as a starter in camp. Whether he’ll move back to relief work upon his return isn’t yet known.
- The Brewers are pushing their trio of catching competitors hard in camp, Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel writes. Manager Craig Counsell says that’s by design, as the club seeks to find out just what it has in backstops Manny Pina, Andrew Susac, and Jett Bandy. With the Brewers still haven’t tipped their hand as to which will make the roster and how the time will be shared, but Counsell says he’s pleased with how things have gone thus far. “As young players, we’re putting a lot of responsibility on them, also,” he said. “We’re all pleased with how they’ve accepted that responsibility.”
- Twins Rule 5 pick Justin Haley is impressing the organization with his attitude in camp, Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer-Press writes. Skipper Paul Molitor praised the righty’s quiet competitiveness, which seems to be by design. “I’ve definitely made it a point, to kind of put it crudely, to shut up and listen,” Haley explains. “I came over here with open eyes and open ears.” Haley will be looking to carve out a role in the pen, but could still factor as a starter if he’s able to stick on the roster. He split his time last year between Double-A and Triple-A, combining for 146 2/3 innings of 3.01 ERA ball with 7.7 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9.