The White Sox will activate righty James Shields to make a start on Sunday, as JJ Stankevitz of CSN Chicago reports (Twitter links). That’ll leave plenty of time for the veteran to show not only that he’s back from a lat strain, but also that he still has some gas left in the tank. Shields, 35, turned in three solid starts to open the year after a terrible 2016 season. Possible trade suitors will be looking to see whether he can manage extended productivity between now and the deadline.
Here’s more on the injury front:
- Mets second baseman Neil Walker appeared to suffer a left hamstring injury while trying to leg out a bunt single in tonight’s game. The club did not reveal any details in an official announcement, though the team did state that Walker is already slated to undergo an MRI tomorrow. Not coincidentally, perhaps, infielder Gavin Cecchini was removed from the Triple-A Las Vegas lineup, as Betsy Helfand of the Las Vegas Review Journal tweets.
- There were also some fresh concerns on the pitching side of the equation for the Mets. Matt Harvey was hooked after four innings and 58 pitches, as David Lennon of Newsday reports (Twitter links). He’ll head in for a medical check tomorrow after what he called a “fatigued” outing in which his fastball velocity dropped as low as 87 mph — a level that, per Harvey, he hadn’t visited since he was a freshman in high school. Also, before the game, the Mets placed lefty Josh Smoker on the DL with a left shoulder strain. New York was forced to lean on the reliever for four innings and 81 pitches last night. Righty Rafael Montero will return to the majors in his stead.
- The Red Sox saw another starter leave with an injury tonight, as southpaw Brian Johnson exited with what the team is calling left shoulder discomfort, as Jen McCaffrey of MassLive.com reports. While all involved expressed hope that the issue wouldn’t turn out to be anything significant, Johnson will be given a full checkup in Boston tomorrow to be sure.
- The Cubs are weighing a DL move for Ben Zobrist, as Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune was among those to report. His left wrist isn’t healing up as hoped, so Zobrist will be looked at more closely tomorrow. If he’s not able to suit up, then a DL placement seems likely.
- There’s some positive news on Angels southpaw Tyler Skaggs. As Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register tweets, the 25-year-old is heading to the team’s spring complex with an eye on making back to the majors by early July. Hell be hoping to finally put an end to the string of injuries that have slowed his promising career. Skaggs is currently working back from an oblique strain.
- Also now looking toward a return is Rangers lefty Cole Hamels. As Stefan Stevenson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports, Hamels could take a rehab start on Friday — the same day that Tyson Ross is set to make his Rangers debut. That could potentially line Hamels up to return to the majors before month’s end. That’s promising news for a Texas team that is off to a middling start to the season. The Rangers are also likely to welcome back first baseman Mike Napoli and outfielder Carlos Gomez in the coming days.
- Things aren’t looking as promising for Padres righty Jarred Cosart. According to AJ Cassavell of MLB.com, on Twitter, Cosart has been diagnosed with a flexor strain. He’s not yet ready to begin throwing and will partake in some rehab efforts at the club’s spring facility.
- Finally, the Dodgers are holding their breath as prized young lefty Julio Urias reports to Dr. Neal ElAttrache for a look at his shoulder. As Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times reports (Twitter links), soreness in the joint has forced the 20-year-old to the DL at Triple-A. Things haven’t gone as hoped this year for Urias, who showed immense promise in 2016. He largely struggled in five MLB starts and was carrying higher-than-usual walk totals at Triple-A.