The Giants provided updates on some veteran names who have yet to appear in Spring Training games, though Brandon Belt and Evan Longoria are both expected to be ready for Opening Day, manager Gabe Kapler told MLB.com’s Maria Guardado and other reporters. Longoria has been dealing with right index finger tendinitis, while Belt has inflammation in his right knee. The latter issue might be the bigger problem on paper, given Belt’s history of knee injuries, but Kapler said “We don’t really have concerns. It’s just going to be a later start for Brandon.”
Tommy La Stella has also yet to take the field this spring, but is running the bases and taking part in other baseball activities. After undergoing Achilles surgery in October, La Stella is now “getting very close to being ready,” Kapler said, and “Tommy has shared strongly that he wants the opportunity to be ahead of schedule and be ready for Opening Day.” The final call will be up to La Stella and the team’s training staff, but even if La Stella isn’t quite ready to go when San Francisco begins play, Kapler intimated that the infielder wouldn’t miss too much time.
Some other injury notes from around the National League…
- Dylan Floro has yet to pitch during Spring Training, as the right-hander is dealing with some arm soreness. Marlins manager Don Mattingly was non-committal about Floro’s readiness for the Opening Day roster, telling MLB.com’s Christina De Nicola and other reporters that “We’ll just have to see how that goes,” though Mattingly did note that Floro worked through some similar issues last year with no ill effects during the season. One of baseball’s more underrated relievers of the last four seasons, Floro posted a 2.81 ERA over 64 innings in 2021, his first year in Miami. This performance had put Floro in line for perhaps the majority of ninth-inning work for the Marlins this season, though Mattingly said “I think we’re going to be more of a mix-and-match club” for save situations. Some new faces could also be joining the bullpen, as GM Kim Ng has stated the Marlins are exploring the relief market.
- Nick Ahmed’s bothersome right shoulder is “good enough” for the Diamondbacks shortstop “to be out there right now,” but Ahmed told The Arizona Republic’s Nick Piecoro that his shoulder still isn’t 100 percent after almost two years of intermittent soreness. Even after receiving two injections in his shoulder this past offseason, Ahmed said the treatment “didn’t go great, how I wanted them to go. I just ended up rehabbing it most of the offseason.” Surgery doesn’t appear to be an option at this point, as Ahmed said he has been working out a training regiment to help keep his shoulder strong and capable of holding up over 162 games. Between his nagging shoulder injury and a knee problem, Ahmed admitted that injuries played a big part in his steep dropoff at the plate, as the shortstop batted only .221/.280/.339 in 473 plate appearances in 2021. On the plus side, Ahmed’s health didn’t hamper his fielding, as he was still one of the game’s better defensive shortstops.
- Speaking of Gold Glove shortstops, Andrelton Simmons is also dealing with some right shoulder soreness, Cubs manager told reporters (including The Chicago Tribune’s Meghan Montemurro). Simmons hasn’t played the last two days and was in Thursday’s lineup only as the DH. Simmons joined the Cubs on a one-year, $4MM deal soon after the lockout ended.