It doesn’t look like Troy Tulowitzki will be in the Blue Jays’ lineup on Opening Day, as manager John Gibbons told reporters (including Sportsnet.ca’s Arden Zwelling) today. “I don’t expect he’ll be ready. But he’s moving in the right direction,” Gibbons said, referring to Tulowitzki’s rehab from a severe ankle injury suffered last July. Toronto made a point of acquiring infield depth this winter given the lengthy injury histories of both Tulowitzki and Devon Travis this winter, and thus Yangervis Solarte or Aledmys Diaz are now the top shortstop candidates with Tulowitzki likely to miss at least some time at the start of the season.
Here’s some more from around the AL East…
- The Orioles are “intrigued” by Neil Walker and some in the organization see him as a potential bargain signing, MASNsports.com’s Roch Kubatko writes. Walker has been linked to teams like the Royals, Yankees, Mets, Brewers, Angels, and Pirates over the course of the winter, though with many of those teams addressing their second base needs in other ways, Walker is still looking for a new home as we enter March. The O’s have Jonathan Schoop locked in at the keystone, of course, though Walker could be an intriguing add as a third baseman. Tim Beckham is currently slated to get the bulk of action at the hot corner, though Beckham is unproven as an everyday player and the Orioles might prefer using him in a super-utility role. If Walker was signed, the two players could form a third base platoon, as the switch-hitting Walker has struggled against left-handed pitching during his career.
- Walker is just one of the names that could still be considerations for the Orioles given the vast number of notable players still available in free agency. Kubatko notes that the O’s have had some internal discussions about Mark Reynolds simply “because, well, he’s out there,” despite Baltimore’s current depth at first base and designated hitter.
- Newly-signed Yankees first baseman Adam Lind was one of the many veterans caught up in the offseason free agent freeze, as he tells NJ.com’s Randy Miller that his only two offers of the entire winter (both minor league offers) came within the last week. A big asking price didn’t seem to be an issue (“I was just looking for a J-O-B,” Lind said) but the veteran was clearly frustrated at the lack of interest given his strong .303/.362/.512 slash line over 301 plate appearances with the Nationals last season. “I talked to my wife about it. I told her, ’What’s the point of doing well?’ What if I hit .280 this year? I probably won’t even get a big-league invite next year,” Lind said. “You think you’re a good player and then to have no one value you….it’s tough.”