Catcher Gary Sanchez may be in line to rejoin the Yankees on Sept. 3, when they start what could be a crucial series in Oakland, per George A. King III of the New York Post. Sanchez, out since July 24 with a groin injury, began a rehab assignment at the rookie level Saturday and will eventually progress to Triple-A before returning to the majors. This has been a surprisingly rough year for Sanchez, a star from 2016-17 who has endured two DL stints and slashed a disappointing .188/.283/.416 in 279 plate appearances. Nevertheless, Sanchez’s return will be a welcome one for New York, which has seen backup catcher Austin Romine plummet to earth offensively after a terrific first half of the season.
Here’s more from the East Coast:
- Left knee problems have limited Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia to 13 PAs this season and shelved him since May 31, though there is optimism he’ll return in 2018, according to manager Alex Cora (via Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald). “We don’t have anything set as far as timetables, but we’re feeling good with the progress,” Cora said of Pedroia, adding that the 35-year-old will “contribute here in the dugout” even if he’s unable to play again this season. The Pedroia-less Red Sox haven’t gotten much production from any of their second base options this year, evidenced in part by their minus-0.2 fWAR at the position, though the team has still managed easily the majors’ best record (90-40).
- The Mets may promote one of their top prospects, first baseman Peter Alonso, when rosters expand next month, manager Mickey Callaway told Brian Heyman of MLB.com and other reporters on Saturday. The 23-year-old Alonso, whom Baseball America, MLB.com and FanGraphs regard as a top-75 prospect, has slashed .243/.345/.545 with 17 home runs in the hitter-friendly environs of Triple-A Las Vegas this season. In the process, Alonso has overtaken the struggling Dominic Smith as the Mets’ best first base prospect. Smith earned his first promotion last August, when multiple outlets viewed him as a top-50 prospect, but his stock has plunged since then. The Mets, despite being well out of contention, demoted him to Las Vegas on Friday in order to give veteran outfielder Jay Bruce an extended look at first.
- The NL East-leading Braves expect to get closer Arodys Vizcaino and fellow relievers Shane Carle, Brandon McCarthy and Peter Moylan back by mid-September, perhaps “much sooner” in some cases, Gabe Burns of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes. The two most effective members of that group this season have been Vizcaino and Carle, though both have battled shoulder issues. McCarthy has been on the shelf since June 24 because of knee troubles, meanwhile, and he’ll be pitching the final innings of his career when he does come back. The 34-year-old announced earlier this month that he’s going to retire at season’s end.