Yet another Yankees star is dealing with an injury, as Gary Sanchez has missed the last two days of Spring Training action due to back soreness. Yankees manager Aaron Boone told reporters (including George A. King III of the New York Post) that Sanchez will also sit out Monday’s game before hopefully returning to the field on Tuesday, though “we will kind of see how he responds.” Sanchez said his back was already feeling improved after a day off, so there doesn’t appear to be any reason for serious concern at this point, despite Sanchez’s already rather checkered health history (plus the seemingly never-ending string of injuries to afflict the Yankees over the last year).
More from around the baseball world….
- Oscar Mercado had an injury scare of his own when he left Thursday’s game after hurting his wrist diving for a ball in center field. The Indians outfielder was diagnosed with a sprain, but “thankfully it was nothing” serious, Mercado told MLB.com’s Mandy Bell and other reporters this afternoon. Mercado has already discarded the wrap that he had around his wrist for the last two days, and is now “getting better every day” after some initial discomfort. “I’ve dove for balls, caught my wrist and stuff, it’s never hurt….That was one where I dove and I knew it was awkward, but the pain was pretty big, so I got scared,” Mercado said. Given the positive early reports, Mercado might be on pace to achieve his goal of playing in Cleveland’s Opening Day lineup.
- The Royals continue to look at top prospect Brady Singer in big league camp, and there’s still a chance Singer could fill the fifth starter role, MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan writes. Singer has a 4.76 ERA over 5 2/3 spring innings, striking out six batters and walking four. Given that Singer has never even pitched at the Triple-A level yet, it would be a surprise to see him in the majors quite so soon, though Kansas City is clearly intrigued by the 23-year-old. Selected 18th overall in the 2018 draft, Singer posted a 2.85 ERA, 8.4 K/9, and 3.54 K/BB rate over 148 1/3 combined innings at the high-A and Double-A levels, and is cited on the current top-100 prospect lists posted by MLB.com (59th) and Baseball Prospectus (64th). There isn’t necessarily any urgency about the Opening Day roster, as since the Royals won’t need a fifth starter until April 8, Singer could continue to work out at extended Spring Training. If not Singer, K.C. could use Jorge Lopez as a fifth starter, or perhaps use an opener rather than a traditional starter to handle the rotation spot.
- Javy Guerra has recorded five strikeouts over 5 1/3 scoreless Spring Training innings, and is looking like a realistic candidate to make the Padres’ Opening Day bullpen, Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune writes. Guerra (not to be confused with longtime veteran reliever Javy Guerra, who pitches for the Nationals) was once a highly-regarded shortstop prospect coming up in the Padres’ farm system, but his progress stalled after three lackluster years at the plate. He converted to pitching at the end of last year’s Spring Training in an effort to revive his career, and the early returns have been very impressive — Guerra posted a 3.38 ERA, 12.7 K/9, and 3.00 K/BB rate over 21 1/3 combined innings at high-A and Double-A ball last season before getting an eight-game audition in San Diego’s bullpen last season. Now, the out-of-options Guerra is throwing his fastball at 99mph and, according to manager Jayce Tingler, could be in line for a multi-inning relief role. “I’ve never seen somebody in (11) months go from shortstop to do what he’s done on the mound,” Tingler said. “I’ve seen guys converted. I’ve never seen such easy strikes with such premier velocity with movement and the ability to throw a secondary pitch. Then having a shortstop background, somebody who can bounce off and make…plays, it’s like having a fifth infielder out there.”