The Angels aren’t sure whether third baseman and top winter acquisition Anthony Rendon will be ready when they open their season Friday, Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com relays. Rendon, a former Nationals star whom the Angels signed to a seven-year, $245MM contract in free agency, has been dealing with oblique soreness since last week. If he’s not able to take the field in a few days, the Angels are expected to use David Fletcher and Matt Thaiss at the hot corner, per Bollinger. The Angels’ infield could also be missing Luis Rengifo, who Bollinger writes stands a “strong chance” of sitting out the opener on account of hamstring soreness.
- Astros second baseman Jose Altuve left the team’s preseason game against the Royals on Tuesday with a left leg contusion, Brian McTaggart of MLB.com reports. There’s now some question as to whether the former MVP will be healthy enough to go when the Astros’ season starts. “We’re hopeful he’ll be ready on Friday,” manager Dusty Baker said. “We’ll analyze him tomorrow and see where he is in the morning. Usually the day after that, you’re pretty sore.”
- “It’s going to be a while” before left-hander Cole Hamels debuts in 2020, Braves manager Brian Snitker said Tuesday (via Mark Bowman of MLB.com). Hamels dealt with shoulder inflammation during spring training and has recently battled triceps tendinitis, thereby preventing him from facing live hitters over the past several months. Considering how short this season will be, the Braves may have trouble getting much bang for their buck out of Hamels. They inked the longtime workhorse to a one-year, $18MM contract over the winter. That guarantee turned into approximately a prorated $7MM when the season went from 162 games to 60.
- Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo, who has been fighting rib and back issues, seems to be progressing. Manager David Ross said Tuesday (via Jordan Bastian of MLB.com) that it “looks like all thumbs up from today” in regards to Rizzo. He’s slated to start the team’s exhibition game against Minnesota on Wednesday. Meanwhile, southpaw Jose Quintana – who underwent surgery on his left thumb three weeks ago – issued an encouraging update on his status (per Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune), saying he’s not feeling any pain. It remains unclear when he’ll be able to take the mound this season, though.
- Orioles left-hander John Means will miss Opening Day because of arm fatigue, Joe Trezza of MLB.com tweets. As a result, offseason minor league signing and fellow southpaw Tommy Milone will start the Orioles’ opener against Boston on Friday. It’s not known when Means will be able to debut in 2020, but the Orioles are surely hoping it will be sooner than later. The 27-year-old Means was one of the few bright spots on Baltimore’s talent-deprived roster last season, after all, as he logged a 3.60 ERA/4.41 FIP with 7.03 K/9 and 2.21 BB/9 across 155 innings.