Rays left-hander Blake Snell, the recipient of a cortisone shot in his elbow last week, threw 20 fastballs on flat ground Tuesday and came out of it “fine,” according to manager Kevin Cash (via Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times). Snell’s slated to continue working back this week, but even if things go well, it does seem the former Cy Young winner will miss at least the opening week of the regular season, Topkin suggests. Snell’s elbow issues date back to last season, as he underwent an arthroscopic procedure in late July that shelved him for almost two months.
- Nationals outfielder Adam Eaton left the team’s game after the first inning Tuesday with a tweaked left hamstring, manager Dave Martinez told Sam Fortier of the Washington Post and other reporters. The Nationals don’t regard it as a serious injury, however, as Martinez noted that Eaton likely would have stayed in had it been a regular-season game. Meanwhile, fellow Nats outfielder Victor Robles has been battling a sore left side since last week, but he also seems to be OK. If he gets through the next few days without issue, Robles could return to the team’s lineup during the upcoming weekend, per Pete Kerzel of MASNsports.com.
- It remains unclear how the Cubs will distribute playing time at second base this season, Jordan Bastian of MLB.com writes. Minor league pickup Jason Kipnis has been fighting for the starting job with holdovers Nico Hoerner, David Bote and Daniel Descalso this spring. “It really is a wait and see,” manager David Ross said of the four-way competition. A former All-Star with the Indians, Kipnis possesses the longest track record of the quartet, but his offensive production declined to a noticeable extent from 2017-19, thus stopping him from landing a guaranteed contract.
- Sticking with the Cubs, flamethrowing pitching prospect Manuel Rodriguez is down for the time being with a Grade 2 biceps strain, Bastian tweets. Rodriguez, 23, hasn’t pitched above the High-A level to this point, but the Cubs are believers in his potential. They added Rodriguez to their 40-man roster last November to prevent another team from grabbing him in the Rule 5 Draft.
Let Nico play himself in or out of 2nd base. He needs to start the season in the show
IMO, Nico will have to absolutely destroy ST in order to make the team… He barely played at the AA level and skipped AAA… The league exposed some weaknesses after his hot start.
Starting at AAA is the safer play here and it also gives Bote a chance to establish himself… I mean, the Cubs did extend him.
agreed, i also think that unless Kipnis is absolutely brutal in ST, he will be the opening day 2B
Agree. I see Bote/Kipnis as a platoon. Delasco is trash.
“Delasco?” I know who you mean, but c’mon, get the name right if you’re gonna trash someone, rukish546.
Because that worked for KB in 2015…
no way, no how does Hoerner break camp with the big club. Kipnis will have until June 1st, with Gpa Rossy playing the match up game and subbing in Bote.
He needs to be in AAA. He is the only one with options left and until today he has not hit.
Am I the only one that just doesn’t see it with Kipnis? Seen a bunch of his ABs this spring, and meh. I’d be getting Happ some playing time at 2B to see if that’s a possibility. A lineup with him and Souza in it sounds like our best option at this point.
It’s a minor league deal. Low risk, high reward. Plus he has ties to the Cubs being a fan and all.
I think Souza makes the team but I think happ will play a lot of outfield this season, whoever wins the 2nd base job is just a place holder until nico is ready for it everyday, I think nico starts at triple a regardless of anything this spring, and Kipnis is his place holder, for the love of god cut descalso, he’s unwatchable at the plate, id much rather watch robel Garcia try to hit a homer every pitch and play terrible defense than watch descalso puke on himself and groundout
I counted down the days to the expiration (buyout) of Kipnis’ contract 2 years out. His skillset is extraordinarily limited – can only play 2B, weak arm, doesn’t hit LHP, hits into the shift like its his job, etc. At best he’d be a placeholder until someone – anyone – steps up and claims the position.
Give Nico more seasoning in AAA and give the job to Kipnis. Descalso should be DFA and he can his astounding .173 BA with him
Astros are cheating scum bags, Red Sox too. Manfred is a joke. MLB sucks.
Thank you troll
Asuaje should win the 2nd base job for Cubs.
Hoerner had a good game today got three hits up until then he was batting he was hitting like 173. I agree give it to Bote or Happ. This keeps hat fresh. But definitely give Kipnis a shot to. I am not sold on Garcia and just cut this descalso already just a waste of a roster spot. They use the ankle as an excuse but he’s batting like 71 with 14 at bats.
Having both Robles and Eaton down with bad wheels is a little concerning. I understand the Nats desire to move Turner down in the order more to take advantage of his emerging pop, but if that is what happens that increases the importance of Eaton and Robles. One of them needs to be at the top and one at the bottom to turn the order over.
All that being said I feel like there will be several leadoff hitters this year depending on health and matchups. Personally I still Turner Eaton at the top.
Turner, Eaton, Castro, Soto, Thames/Zim, Robles, Cabrera/Keiboom, Gomes/Suzuki, P. I can live with that
Zimmerman can no longer hit 3/4 he is a double play machine. He needs to hit 5 at best and realistically 6. Castro at 3 meh I suppose but that’s only if Robles is down in order. I would hit cabrera 5 again or 6 over zimmerman to be honest unless somehow zimmerman is playing every day and back to being healthy. I don’t think Kieboom makes the team unless somehow something drastically changes. His defense is garbage. His future very well could be in LF.
The Offensive lineup
Soto gets more ABs batting third protected by Kendrick who now has his recent numbers to further intimidate opposing pitchers
Robles at the bottom gets both catchers better pitches to hit.
Cubs will finish in fourth in the central and the fire sale will begin in July.
He said fire sale… lol. Yea, OK.
Great news for the Rays, Bring Snell back slowly since we have 7 strong starters presently.. Choose between B McCay, T Richards,, A Banda or J Beeks to fill in the first couple of weeks.
Not really. A cortisone shot just masks a bigger problem.
While I understand everyone’s reasons for wanting nico to play some AAA ball..nothing should be defined yet, he is there best option let him play the spring out if he is decent he should get a shot to open the season prove he can do it or not..plus I like kip as a vet bench bat maybe in a role like that he can find his swing..lil less pressure then starting everyday and yes plzzz cut descalso
MLBTR, you have the wrong link for Manuel Rodriguez. The link in the article takes you to Manuel Rodriguez of the Marlins. Correct link should be https://www.baseball-reference.com/register/player.fcgi?id=rodrig015man
Remember Descalso had an awful ST last year too before he started out pretty, stabilized, then played through the injury. I’m not sure where he actually fits on the roster but cut the guy some slack. We did the same thing to Almora even to the point where the consensus was he’d be non-tendered.
Almora is a great and underrated CF. Maddon never have him a real chance. They should have him in center and Happ and Kipnis at 2nd. Whe almora gets a day off put happ in center and Kipnis or Bote at 2nd. Nico can get called up I’m May or June when Descalso gets hurt.