Here’s the latest from the majors’ East divisions:
- Blue Jays center fielder George Springer took live batting practice Tuesday and seems to be on track to make his season debut Thursday, Scott Mitchell of TSN tweets. The Jays signed the former Astros star to a six-year, $150MM contract in the offseason, but they have been without Springer so far because of a Grade 2 oblique strain. Toronto nonetheless entered Tuesday with a 3-1 record, though, and has received tremendous production from center field fill-in Randal Grichuk in the early going.
- The Phillies re-signed Didi Gregorius to a two-year, $28MM contract in free agency, but he wasn’t the team’s preferred option at the position. Rather, the Phillies were hoping to sign Andrelton Simmons, and they believed in January that they had a legitimate chance to bring him aboard, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports. Simmons wound up signing a one-year, $10.5MM pact with the Twins late that month – just a few days before Gregorius agreed to remain in Philadelphia. While Gregorius is the more threatening hitter, the Phillies were interested in switching to Simmons because he’s the better defender, according to Rosenthal.
- Red Sox left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez will make his first start since 2019 on Thursday in a matchup against Baltimore, Chris Cotillo of MassLive.com writes. Elbow inflammation forced Rodriguez to the injured list to begin this season, which was especially disappointing after he missed all of last year because of issues relating to COVID-19 and myocarditis. Fortunately, it looks as if Rodriguez dodged a significant injury. This will be an important season for Rodriguez, 27, as he’s due to become a free agent next winter. During his most recent action, he posted a 3.81 ERA with a solid 24.8 percent strikeout rate in 203 1/3 innings.
- Marlins righty Elieser Hernandez will undergo an MRI on Tuesday evening, manager Don Mattingly said (via Christina De Nicola of MLB.com). It seems to be a precautionary measure on the Marlins’ part, as Mattingly suggested Hernandez is making progress since he went on the IL on Monday with right biceps inflammation. Hernandez performed brilliantly during an abbreviated 2020, helping the Marlins to the playoffs with a 3.16 ERA/3.17 SIERA and elite strikeout (32.1) and walk (4.7) percentages across 25 2/3 frames, but had a more difficult time in his first start of this year last Saturday. In a win over the Rays, Hernandez gave up two earned runs in 2 1/3 innings before exiting.