With spring baseball now in full swing, here are three things we’ll be keeping an eye on around the baseball world throughout the day today:
1. Suzuki injury update today
Following multiple reports (including from MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian) that Cubs right fielder Seiya Suzuki underwent an MRI yesterday to examine an oblique issue that has kept him out of the lineup in Cactus League play so far this spring, more details on the injury and Suzuki’s situation going forward are expected sometime today. Aside from being the everyday right fielder and one of the most important bats on the north side of Chicago, Suzuki is also currently slated to partake in the World Baseball Classic, suiting up for Japan. Any injury of significance the MRI reveals would likely endanger Suzuki’s participation in the WBC, even if he could still ultimately be expected to be ready for Opening Day. Should Suzuki miss time in the regular season, Trey Mancini and Christopher Morel seem likely to see time in the outfield, or perhaps Nelson Velazquez could get an extended run in the outfield after debuting in 2022.
2. What’s going on with Yordan?
Astros slugger Yordan Alvarez is still not swinging a bat, manager Dusty Baker told reporters Sunday (including Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle). This comes nearly a week after it was reported that Alvarez was suffering from soreness in his left hand, and on the heels of a 2022 season where the slugger dealt with soreness in both hands multiple times throughout the year. Initial reports suggested that Alvarez would begin swinging the bat in the following days, but clearly that did not come to fruition.
Little information has been provided about the situation, with both Baker and Alvarez himself downplaying the issue but also repeatedly declining to get into specifics. Given the Astros have not provided a timeline for Alvarez’s return to action, it’s hard to say to what level this issue will impact the slugger’s ramp up for Opening Day. Still just 25 years old, Alvarez was among the best hitters in baseball last season. He slashed .306/.406/.613 in 2022, good for a 185 wRC+ that was second only to Aaron Judge among qualified MLB players.
3. Jazz’s debut in center
Marlins star Jazz Chisholm Jr. made his debut in center field yesterday against the Cardinals. Chisholm had spent the entirety of his career to this point as a middle infielder, but following offseason deals to bring former Twins hitter Luis Arraez and free agent infielder Jean Segura to Miami, the Marlins decided to try Chisholm in center. While unorthodox, the move is not unprecedented, as Padres superstar Fernando Tatis Jr. is expected to move from his native shortstop to the outfield this season in deference to newly acquired Xander Bogaerts. The Mariners tried a similar switch with Dee Strange-Gordon back in 2018, which didn’t pan out well.
Chisholm will be learning to play center field on the fly throughout the spring. Should the experiment work, it’d give the Marlins a multi-year option in center — Chisholm is controllable through 2026 — after spending years trying to piece things together at the position. In 2022, they cobbled together production from Jesus Sanchez, JJ Bleday, and Bryan De La Cruz, each of whom is better suited for an outfield corner. Bleday has since been traded to the A’s.
How did Jazz look in CF?
I believe he was slated to partake of CF duties.They only need Rock to partake of LF, and Roll in RF, with Rythm and Blues as back up’s.
Lets Go DBacks
I’d have tried with Funk and Indie. Just seems more creative and sound more like possible baseball players.
But I hope others chime in here with there own creative names.
they should have never dealt Pop.
They did trade for a pu(n)k in the bullpen.
This is music to my ears!
Rock Raines, Damian Rolls, and Will Rhymes have all been added to the roster
The boys (To Men) had some bebop in their bats out of hell so there were lots of flyballs (and fly girls) to track down but Jazz stayed cool. Not sure if we can trumpet his abilities there yet but he is on the right 4-track.
The Big Yo
Bleday gonna be a very good player for Oakland but Puk might be a better long reliever for the Marlins
I’d like it if Jazz came to the Padres to compete with Trent Grisham and Adam Engel for the starting Center job. I like all three, but that would make for an interesting battle for Center for our Friars.
There is zero incentive for the Marlins to trade Chisholm.
Steve Cohen Owns You
Give it another year of being on that pitiful team and he’ll probably request a trade.
Headline in 2050: “Yordan still day-to-day with sore hands”
Look, given his importance to the lineup, you would have thought they would have addressed this off-season.
Just for clarity, I’m referring to Yordan and not Seiyu.
Hand soreness is as weird as joe mauers bilateral leg weakness. Might he have arthritis or tendinitis maybe?
If he is out for an extended period that would be a huge blow to Cubs chances.
The Cubs chances at what, possibly contending for 2nd place in Div?? Let’s be real here the Cubs are not contenders, they have bigger name underperforming bats like Bellinger, Happ, Mancini, and Hosmer. They have a few intriguing bats like Hierner, Swanson, and Suzuki. Then they have a very suspect rotation, they are not viable contenders they are a hodgepodge roster built around marketability not performance. There are pieces to build around but best case scenario Happ keeps his BA up and Bellinger rebounds a bit so they can b flipped to expedite rebuild.
Tigers… At least wait til the season gets going before you trot out the “underperforming” chestnut. And if you can get past your Cub bias you’ll see that their starters had the third lowest ERA in baseball after the all star break last year. They don’t have a #1 but their rotation is solid and they have some depth.
Cubs have many options to fill RF if he’s out. We saw this during his slump last year. They will be fine.
Being fine still makes Cubs a non contender. They just are not that good.
Players like Jazz moving fr SS to Cf & Tatis moving fr SS to CF are rare occurrences. Players playing multiple positions happen every year. There’s probably an entire generation who don’t realize that HOF’er Craig Biggio was an All-Star catcher, An All-Star 2B,and a very good center fielder.
Dale Murphy was a catcher, and then a first baseman, before finding a home in center field. His arm was strong, but his accuracy was horrible in the infield. They finally moved him to center field around 1980 and it worked out great. His long throws from the outfield were much more accurate than from the infield.
Pete Rose was pretty versatile defensively: 500+ career games at five different positions.
Steve Cohen Owns You
Sure – “versatile” at being a below average fielder everywhere except LF according to Total Zone Fielding Runs Above Avg. He was particularly awful at 1B, 2B and 3B. If only there was an NL DH back then.
Good stuff for fantasy players. I have both Chisholm & Suzuki on the same team, so I can pretty much guess my opening day changes.