There is “virtually no chance” Nationals second baseman Daniel Murphy will be ready for Opening Day, Mark Zuckerman of MASNsports.com writes. Murphy, who’s working his way back from the microfracture knee surgery he underwent last October, still hasn’t seen any game action this spring, notes Zuckerman, who expects Howie Kendrick to begin the season at the keystone for Washington. Wilmer Difo will back up Kendrick, and Zuckerman adds that Murphy’s unavailability could open the door for one of Matt Reynolds, Adrian Sanchez, Reid Brignac, Chris Dominguez, Andrew Stevenson, Moises Sierra or Ryan Raburn to be part of the Nats’ early season bench.
More on Washington and a division rival…
- The Phillies have made catcher Cameron Rupp available, Matt Gelb of The Athletic reports (subscription required). If they’re unable to find a taker for Rupp in a trade, the Phillies could end up cutting the 29-year-old and eating one-fourth of his $2.05MM salary, per Gelb. Rupp, who saw extensive action in Philadelphia in each of the previous three seasons, has hit .234/.298/.407 in 1,127 major league plate appearances and thrown out 31 percent of would-be base stealers (league average is 28 percent). He’s one of three catchers on Philly’s 40-man roster, along with starter Jorge Alfaro and Andrew Knapp, and has a pair of minor league options remaining.
- Phillies utilityman Jesmuel Valentin fell short of earning a roster spot in camp last year, but he may be playing his way to one this spring, Todd Zolecki of MLB.com observes. “The difference this year is more versatility. I’m playing more positions,” Valentin said. “I’ve played around 40 innings in the outfield. Last year, I did not do that. I’ve had more innings at third base, so I’m showing them that I am not only a second baseman and shortstop.” The 23-year-old Valentin, who hasn’t yet played in the majors, is one of five candidates for either two or three open bench spots, joining Roman Quinn, Pedro Florimon, Ryan Flaherty and Adam Rosales. He’s on the 40-man, as are Quinn and Florimon, which is an important advantage. Valentin, Quinn and Florimon are also switch-hitters.
- Back to the Nationals, with whom reliever Tim Collins is attempting to revive his career. Formerly an effective cog in Kansas City, Collins underwent back-to-back Tommy John surgeries in recent years, thus derailing his career. Now, he’s making a case to earn an Opening Day bullpen spot for the Nats, according to Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post. Both Collins and general manager Mike Rizzo have been pleased with the left-hander’s work, though he still hasn’t pitched back-to-back days since returning last season. Collins had a rough go in 2017 at the Double-A level, albeit over a mere 8 2/3 innings, as he allowed 14 earned runs on 12 hits and 10 walks, with eight strikeouts. He regarded the year as “a failure” at one point because he didn’t make it back to the majors, but a talk with team officials over the winter helped, which Castillo details in his piece.
I’ll actually be sad to see Rupp go. He’s not a great player but was a fan favorite and seemed to be kind of a leader in the clubhouse.
My hunch is that teams will just wait till he’s released.
Rupp to the Brewers makes sense right? He’s cheaper than Voigt and possibly an upgrade over him too, so they could cut ties with him.
Rupp has been serviceable over the past 3 seasons and would be a good backup catcher on almost all MLB teams, so I would think someone might try and trade for him (assuming the Phillies asking price isn’t high).
Why not send Rupp to the Minors? He has 2 options left. Plus, if Alfaro or Knapp get injured, he is already on the 40 man roster and can be called up to fill in.
My guess is they want the 40 man spot and he’s 3rd on the depth chart.
maybe they don’t want a $2M catcher in the minors
That’s not the issue. They’re still under $100 million in payroll and they’d probably give the other team his $2 million salary if it’d get them something.
I don’t understand what they’re doing with the 40-man. They only have 15 position players on it. So there’ll be 12 pitchers and 3 hitters who’ll be available in case of injury. That lives no room to make moves in case of injury. If they need a 40-man spot it’d make sense to drop a pitcher or two.
all they are saying is that they have made him available.
if a catcher gets hurt they will need to bring him up and put him on 40 man away, so i dont thats the issue.
may just be trying to do right by Rupp and find him a major league home and see if they can get something very small for him in the process.
I understand the wisdom of trading him. You give two good reasons. I don’t think the reason Matt Gelb gives, they need a 40-man roster spot, is a good one. The Phillies have 25 pitchers on their 40-man and almost all of them that won’t be in Philly have good potential. If they trade Rupp to clear a roster spot they’ll eventually have to dump some of those pitchers to get other position players on the Major League roster.
Howie shouldn’t be a back-up anyway. They need to trade him when Murphy gets back.
Tim Collins threw a no-hitter against Auburn High School in the district championship game of his Senior high school season. Collins would be an asset to any team.
because he did something or was ruled as being great forever ago he’ll be great now, yes.
Al Bundy scored 4 TD’s in a single game.
Rupp might be a good backup for Molina. I don’t know who is better though Francisco Pena or Cameron Rupp? Pena had 10 AB last year with the orioles and had 5 hits and 2 of them were homeruns. Rupp had 295 AB last year and hit .217 with 14 homeruns. If there are any Orioles fans that read this is Pena a good backup?
Well he never could beat out Caleb Joseph for the #2 spot on the O’s.
Cards have a backup catcher in Kelly !
But they just optioned him
Phillies need to be done with Quinn. Never played for than 88 games. Speedster with constant leg injuries
Dude’s healthy right now and looks to be a versatile utility guy (if the infield experiments work out).. Why would they be done with a guy that’s still talented and isn’t hindering anyone from being on the 40man? I’m not as high on him but no reason to ‘be done’ with him at this point.
Rupp to the Rangers. They need a good backup catcher and he is from Texas.