Former big leaguer Alex Cintron has joined the Astros as an interpreter, as MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart reports. The nine-year veteran, who’s now 38, will primarily function as the club’s Spanish-language liaison while traveling with the team, though GM Jeff Luhnow says he’ll also provide some value “on the baseball operations side of things.” MLB and the player’s association installed a new rule last year requiring every club to carry such personnel, though it seems Houston has added a bit of a wrinkle by hiring a former big leaguer whose duties will extend further.
Here’s more from the AL West’s Texas contingent:
- Astros righty Collin McHugh is slated for a checkup after experiencing elbow and biceps tightness in his Triple-A rehab outing yesterday, as Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle reports. The medical evaluation will obviously dictate how things progress, but as Kaplan writes, Houston must now consider the possibility that McHugh won’t be back for a few more weeks. He had been expected to return to the majors in the next few days, but was only able to work one inning before he was pulled.
- Things seemingly went better for Rangers righty Tyson Ross, who worked three innings in extended spring action, as Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports on Twitter. Next up for Ross is a four-inning outing on April 12th. Obviously, it seems he’ll keep building up while working on a five-day schedule; given the progress thus far, perhaps he’ll be prepared to join the MLB roster in relatively short order. If and when he does, Ross will be throwing his first big league pitches since Opening Day of 2016.
- The Rangers’ decision to trade lefty Andrew Faulkner yesterday came about after he fell well shy of expectations this spring, as Grant explains. Faulkner, 24, seemed set to compete for a pen job in camp, but never ironed out his mechanics. As Grant details, he lost his feel for the zone so much that he was not even appearing in minor-league games after departing major league camp. The Orioles evidently see some hope still, so for now he’ll take a 40-man spot in Baltimore. Meanwhile, Grant explains, Texas appears likely to utilize the roster spot that was cleared to add another reserve infielder or reliever.