Mariners first baseman Dan Vogelbach was hit by a pitch in the right foot on Friday and is now in a walking boot, Greg Johns of MLB.com reports. Vogelbach is currently awaiting results of an MRI he underwent Saturday. A serious injury to Vogelbach would be another notable preseason blow at first for the Mariners, whose starter, Ryon Healy, underwent hand surgery earlier this month. Consequently, Vogelbach and Rule 5 pick Mike Ford had been the only healthy first basemen on the Mariners’ 40-man roster. Healy, meanwhile, is close to having the stitches removed from his hand and could start defensive work within the next week or so, but it’s not known he’ll be able to begin swinging a bat, Johns writes.
More from the game’s West divisions…
- Although Dodgers outfielder Trayce Thompson endured an unproductive, injury-shortened 2017, the team’s front office regards him as someone capable of being an everyday player, per Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register. However, because Thompson’s out of options and battling several other outfielders for a spot, it’s possible he’ll find himself on another team soon, as Plunkett notes. The biggest roadblock for Thompson may be fellow right-handed hitter Matt Kemp, whom the Dodgers haven’t been able to trade. If Kemp sticks around, it could help push Thompson out. Despite that, the soon-to-be 27-year-old Thompson has a high opinion of Kemp. “Matt is a guy I’ve always looked up to since I moved to California,” Thompson said. “It’s a privilege to have him here and kind of pick his brain. At one point, he was the best player in the game. He still can really hit and do a lot of things.”
- Rangers utiityman Jurickson Profar was the subject of trade rumors during the winter and is now out of options, which theoretically could put his future with the team in jeopardy. But there’s no doubt he’ll earn a roster spot this year with Texas, according to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. The question is whether Profar will garner enough playing time to produce, Grant writes. The former top prospect has seen time in the outfield, but he’s presently vying for a role in the infield, where Joey Gallo, Rougned Odor, Elvis Andrus and Adrian Beltre are dug in as starters.
- Athletics infielder/outfielder Renato Nunez suffered a strained left hamstring Saturday, which could negatively affect his chances of earning a roster spot, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle relays. Nunez said Saturday that the injury’s “not good,” and Slusser notes that hamstring strains typically require a two- to three-week recovery period. That would be especially problematic for the out-of-options Nunez. However, it could be a boon for Sheldon Neuse, who Slusser suggests will probably see most of the action at third base with both Nunez and starter Matt Chapman (right hand soreness) on the shelf.