Giants reliever Tony Watson has been dealing with shoulder tightness this spring, but the left-hander said Monday (via John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle), “It’s nothing I’m concerned about.” Watson, who threw his second bullpen session in three days on Monday, expects he’ll be set to go for the beginning of the regular season. However, it’s unknown when he’ll be ready to appear in a spring training game. The 34-year-old’s the elder statesman in a bullpen that has undergone significant changes since last season, when the normally reliable Watson turned in a career-worst campaign. Watson wound up with a 4.17 ERA/4.81 FIP and 6.83 K/9 against 2.0 BB/9 over 54 innings, but the Giants still brought him back on a reasonably priced guarantee ($3MM).
Let’s check in on a few more health situations from around the National League…
- Cardinals southpaw Andrew Miller is having difficulty “getting a feel for the ball,” Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. Nothing “physically hurts,” according to Miller, but Goold writes that he’ll undergo a “battery of exams” to determine what’s troubling him. That’s not the type of news he or the Cardinals wanted entering the second season of a two-year, $25MM contract. The 34-year-old didn’t deliver as hoped in Year 1, as he posted a 4.45 ERA/5.19 FIP with 11.52 K/9, 4.45 BB/9 and a 37.2 percent grounder rate in 54 2/3 innings. Miller pitched in 73 games, and with 37 more appearances this year (110 from 2019-20), his $12MM vesting option for 2021 will become guaranteed.
- Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman has battled some discomfort in his surgically repaired right elbow, but as expected, he appears to be fine. After sitting out of action last week, Freeman returned Monday, saying (per David O’Brien of The Athletic, via Instagram), “I feel great,” and added that he’s not facing any restrictions. That’s excellent for Atlanta, which will likely need yet another outstanding season from Freeman if it’s going to rule the National League East for the third year in a row.
- The Dodgers have temporarily shut down infield prospect Omar Estevez as a result of soreness in his right (throwing) shoulder, Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register tweets. Estevez has been in camp this spring as a non-roster invitee. It’s unclear how much time he’ll miss, but it’s the latest injury for a player who sat out roughly two months last season with a hamstring strain. When healthy in 2019, though, Estevez put up nice production in his Double-A debut, batting .291/.352/.431 in 336 plate appearances. He now ranks as Baseball America’s 16th-best Dodgers prospect.