The start of spring training always brings plenty of reports of players experiencing ’tightness’ or ’discomfort’, and while many of those wind up being rather minor, the Rangers in particular are dealing with plenty of seemingly minor ailments this spring, as Levi Weaver of The Athletic reports.
Star winter signing Jacob deGrom was experiencing left-side tightness early in camp, but is scheduled to now throw his first live bullpen session on Wednesday, as Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports. Fellow off-season recruit Nathan Eovaldi is also experiencing some left-side tightness, and is taking a few days off. Jon Gray was a late scratch from Friday’s spring game with back tightness, while Jake Odorizzi is dealing with arm fatigue and is a bit behind in his schedule. It doesn’t stop there, as Jose LeClerc and Owen White are both feeling neck tightness.
There doesn’t appear to be a great deal of concern within the Rangers, and instead it seems the team is just being extra cautious so early in the spring. “When we started spring, in addressing the pitchers especially, we said, ‘Hey, in the early part here, let us know. Anything going on, we don’t want any major setbacks. We can back off at this time.’ Spring training can be pretty long, so in the early part, you’re going to be a little bit more cautious,” manager Bruce Bochy said Friday.
Here’s some more bits and pieces from around baseball:
- Austin Slater had an MRI on his elbow but it came back clear, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. The Giants announced during the week that Slater would rest for a week with elbow neuritis. The news that the MRI is clear is certainly a positive one for Slater, and it seems it won’t be long before he’s able to make his spring debut for the team. Slater hit .242/.337/.392 with seven home runs across 259 plate appearances for San Francisco last season, and looks set to serve as a bench bat for the Giants with Joc Pederson, Mitch Haniger, Michael Conforto and Mike Yastrzemski to get the bulk of the outfield reps.
- The Marlins are giving youngster Jordan Groshans time at first base this spring, as Jordan McPherson of the Miami Herald reports. Groshans typically handled the other infield spots coming up through the minors, and spent just 40 previous innings at first. Groshans is on the fringes of cracking Miami’s opening day roster, but if he can show he can handle first adequately it would certainly provide a boost to his chances. A first round pick by the Blue Jays in 2018, Groshans came over to the Marlins in the Anthony Bass deal last year. He got a brief cup of coffee in the big leagues, hitting .262/.308/.311 across 65 plate appearances. With Garrett Cooper, Joey Wendle, Luis Arraez and Jean Segura fairly well locked in as Miami’s infield starters, there’s no obvious path to a starting job there but the Marlins bench is a lot less certain, providing Groshans with a solid chance to stick on the active roster to begin the season.
- Speaking of positional changes, the Yankees are planning to give Oswaldo Cabrera some time in center field this spring, Aaron Boone told the YES Network’s broadcast during today’s game against the Rays. Cabrera impressed during his rookie year, posting a respectable .247/.312/.429 line with six home runs across 171 plate appearances. Yet it was his defense that really stood out, as Cabrera, an infielder for almost all of his career, took to the outfield extremely well, earning nine Defensive Runs Saved for his work on the grass. That’s put him firmly in the race with Aaron Hicks, Estevan Florial and Rafael Ortega to be the Yankees’ opening day left fielder. It does seem more likely he winds up in a utility role though, covering the infield, corner outfield spots, and now, perhaps, center field.
Don’t know where Simon gets his info on “bench bat” Slater and Joc playing outfield. Pretty much goes against what I have heard in many other places.
Hello, gfan. I am taking your comment that Pederson and Slater are forming a primary DH platoon? I can see that for Pederson with Haniger and Conforto.
Slater will platoon with Yaz in center. Plenty of other DH options, not many guys that can play a good defensive CF.
Hopefully Peterson is not used anywhere but DH. Slater is the fourth outfielder like you indicated.
You’re correct gfan. Pederson is expected to see VERY little, if any, outfield time. And yes, Slater and Yaz will platoon in center. Pederson is full time DH vs righties. But this writer isn’t the only one that says this. So I cut him some slack
Gfan, Im not a Giants fan, so all I can do is look at the major sources of baseball information. Here is what I could find.
Joc in OF as part of a platoon.
Joc in OF.
Checked CBS and MLB.com. Same
Slusser in the Chronicle and Bisbee in the Athletic in recent articles. Same.
So where are you getting your information?
Roster Resource (the first source you provided) has Joc listed as DH, and Conforto, Yaz, and Haniger as the starting OF.
All the talk in the bay area is that Joc will (and should) be spending most of the time off the field. Zaidi has specifically stated that his defense needs to improve if he’s going to get time in the OF, and that was even before signing Conforto and Haniger. Now the talk, is pretty much only about DH, and possibly filling in at 1B, where he’s been getting some spring training reps.
I wish we could post screenshots here sometimes because for me it says LF.
The defense would improve with Conforto out there? He was never a good defender and not being able to throw now will make him worse.
Pretty sure that unless he starts playing the OF in spring training that he will continue to be the DH
lol. You got to love the stoic nature of people.
Ok. Conforto “can’t throw” and will be the DH. Screenshot taken.
Baseball, look for the screenshot that show Pederson was lowest rated leftfield in 22. Even if conforto is not ready for lf (btw, 4 weeks from now does not equal today), pederson will not play lf.
Poster formerly unknown as . . .
This is from Fangraphs:
• Joc Pederson is taking reps at first base.
“I think with Belt leaving and then you have LaMonte, we’re just a little shorter on depth at first than in the outfield. I’m not going to be the starting first baseman, by any means. It’s more so just a utility, depth type of role, from my understanding.”
Kapler, for his part, believes Pederson has the ability to develop into a serviceable first-base option for the Giants if necessary.
Nobody does research these days, all cut & paste
Nobody does research these days, all cut and paste
Joc is a terrible defensive outfielder. Hopefully only a DH.
I don’t know what about the article has you so upset, the terminology of “bench bat”?
Conforto, Haniger and Pederson will get the bulk of the playing time in the outfield. Even though Pederson is going to DH primarily, he will still pull innings because any semi-intelligent manager will attempt to limit Conforto’s innings in the outfield given that his arm isn’t up to par yet and he missed all of last season. Yaz will get the bulk of play in center due to Slater being the right side of a platoon.
Seems to me it’s silly to get upset over a “splitting hairs” comment between the difference of “bench bat” and “platoon”.
Not “so upset “at all.
Just noting that author is suspect with his info. Yours is too. Wade will see outfield time before Joc will. That’s why he’s being tried out at first base now in ST. Comforto is fine.
gfan, it cracks me up when YOU disagree with a comment in an article and people say you’re upset/angry. They disagree with you but they’re NOT upset/angry? BTW, “bench bat” is NOT the same as a platoon. And baseballlife must be reading things differently. He’s not a Sf fan but obviously you and I are Sf fans. We read EVERYTHING re Giants. Probably anal about it. And SF has little to no desire to put one of the worst defensive outfielders in left field. And as you said, pederson is getting first base time for that reason and would rather have Wade in outfield if it comes to that. piscotty has a better chance to make team primarily because there’s little desire for Pederson in the outfield. I read Brisbee and he’s never stated Pederson will get much outfield time. MLB.com? That’s Guardado and she says the same thing. The only thing you and I would be upset over is not what’s written here but if in fact Joc gets outfield time. Heck, Estrada and maybe Sabol have better chances of playing outfield.
Okay. I don’t fear the rangers. It’s a two way race for the al west between the mariners and the astros.
deGrom Texas Ranger
Obviously, the Rangers aren’t a threat to the Astros, but even then, a few extra precautionary delays didn’t change that. Even as an optimist, I never thought they were. I’d say 85 wins before Will Smith and 86 (+/- 3) after him would have been a median outcome, and the top 5 percentile outcome for Texas and bottom 20 percentile outcome for Houston would be needed for them to even come close to taking the AL West. The WC is a realistic goal right now, but the AL West Will come in due time with farm development, trades, etc.
You’re right. It is a two team race between the Astros and the Astros.
Don’t forget Houston. They have a shot.
Astros are a lock unless they get hit with the worst luck possible and the IL gets loaded up. Mariners and Rangers are going to be battling it out until the end of the season. The Mariners are a bit better but not by a lot. JROD gets injured and it’s game over for them. Rangers have a wonky outfield but great pitching depth along with a really solid infield. I’d bet big bucks on Corey Seager and Marcus improving offensively this year along with above average production from Nate Lowe and a lot of promise surrounding Jung.
Don’t players work out in the off-season anymore? If they did, there wouldn’t be so many pulled muscles or oblique strains or tightness in forearms and elbows and shoulders.
Right! So many early camp injuries – what the hell did they do for the last 3 months?
Couple the “not a serious injury, so we’ll hold him back” with the “we’re just extra cautious” once the season starts and these guys will at best pitch 4 innings before being pulled. Only to get hurt next outing because he knows they pull him early, so empty the tank in 2nd inning and strain something because he didn’t ramp up properly and stretch out in ST.
Just didn’t seem like the 90s had a lot of ticky-tack injuries these guys do now.
Of course these guys work out in the off-season. This isn’t the 1960’s where the players had to get jobs during the winter to supplement their salaries. And no, there weren’t any fewer injuries in the ’90’s. That’s just your perception.
It also isn’t the 60’s in that, for the most part, nobody pitches through “discomfort” anymore. Denny McLain, Bob Gibson, Fergie Jenkins and others of that generation most definitely did.
Of course players work out in the offseason. The issue is that it is very hard to replicate the drastic stop/start nature of playing baseball. You go from a dead stop to ‘full speed’ in 3 steps and then have to stop on a dime too. Even if you do wind sprints and shuttles in the offseason, it really can’t replicate actual game conditions, so it’s one of the main reasons they have such a long spring training. It allows the body to adjust to actual game speed/conditions even if that means a strain or a muscle pull while doing so.
As an Astros fan, I would take the Rangers and Angels talent over the Mariners, but the Mariners have good team mojo (except when playing the Astros). Rangers and Angels are a mish-mash (mostly) of guys from other teams where the parts haven’t exactly fit and just haven’t had that team togetherness. That may change with Bochy in Texas and Nevis for a full season with the Angels. Stros are the best team in the division, in the AL and baseball. Only injuries can prevent them from a second consecutive World Championship.
Team mojo is pretty meaningless in baseball. Other than the relationship between the catcher and pitchers, it doesn’t really matter. Baseball is about individual contributions being added together toward team success. The left fielder and second baseman can hate each other, for example, and it isn’t really going to affect the team’s record.
I just don’t see the excitement of these flamethrowers (not pitchers). Sure, they light up the radar gun but when they’re always on the IL each year, they’re not contributing to the game. I truly miss actual pitchers like Maddex.
Flamethrowers miss bats, and that’s the best way to prevent runs. It doesn’t really matter if you see the excitement in them or not. They are more effective pitchers, in general, than the Marco Gonzales’ of the world.
How do you miss bats when you’re on tbe IL every year?
deGrom Texas Ranger
You can’t give up contact while on the IL.
You can’t help your team to prevent hitson the IL.
Especially now with the shift limitations. Keeping the ball out of play is more valuable than it’s ever been.
deGrom Texas Ranger
That’s why I love the Rangers getting 3 guys with K/BB ratios over 5 last year, including one whose was over 12 each of the last 2 seasons. Eovaldi has had the 2nd lowest walk rate the last 3 years and has been above 5 regularly of late.
Those numbers on Slaters slash line from last year are wrong
Florial is a DFA walking right now.
On the other hand, Chapparo, Sweeney, Volpe, Cabrera, & Peraza have looked great.
Motor City Beach Bum
I couldn’t believe no one snagged Chaparro in the Rule V draft. Like that kid.
deGrom Texas Ranger
I wonder why guys like him and Blaine Crim are undervalued. Sure, relatively old first baseman who can hit aren’t too rare, but power and plate discipline are quite valuable.
Motor City Beach Bum
If someone can hit they should get a shot somewhere. I liked the Tigers choosing Englert after I read up a bit on him but I really liked the looks of Chaparro and hoped they’d take a flier. I guess they felt they needed the roster spot to evaluate their in house guys. Only so much room on a roster!
deGrom Texas Ranger
Speaking of claims, have you heard any rumors about the Tigers or any other team being interested in Mark Mathias? I’d strongly prefer a trade over a claim.
Motor City Beach Bum
Crickets. Scott Harris seems to play things close to the vest. I don’t know that I’ve heard any Tigers rumors this year that actually came true.
Still, first basemen are almost never taken in the Rule 5 draft. Ryan Noda was the first 1B taken in the R5 draft since Mike Ford in 2017 by the Seattle Mariners. Even then, Noda is more of a 1B/OF than a pure 1B. Only 5 1Bs have been taken in the R5 draft since the turn of the 2010s.
degrom clown ranger: I definitely take about 2-3 games off the win total for the Rangers after signing Will Smith. Thinking he adds wins is clueless
You don’t understand that all this information is gathered from all of the information from Yesterdays spring training games. They are not making this up. This is coming right from managers on what their players are going to do. Doesn’t mean it’s gonna come into fruition. These are just thoughts. If you watch any of these games pertaining to any of this news, this is coming right from managers, pitching, coaches, etc.
OK, I’ll address the Marlins stuff.
Let me get this straight. Groshans, who is right now one of the best two options for playing SS, is now being tried at 1B. Our other good choice for SS is playing CF. The best choice for 3B (Wendle), who is also a solid choice for 2B and perhaps a decent choice for 1B and one of the worst choices for SS is playing SS. Our best choice for 2B (Segura), who is mystery meat for 3B is playing 3B. Our worst defensive choice for 2B (Arraez) and SS and 3B, who would be a stable force at 1B due to health, is playing 2B. And our professional Injury Lists participant, Garrett Cooper, has job security at 1B.
Am I getting this right? Am I the only one that is thinking that Kim Ng is reinventing the wheel with square and triangular parts…and in one case, depending on damaged goods to not be damaged?
And this is before I get into the OF craziness with our best all-around position player playing CF, when we have Bryan De La Cruz who can hold his own there. And we try to play Jorge Soler in LF a bit instead of DH while we have De La Cruz and Jesus Sanchez,
Dear goodness, if our defense fails now, and our bullpen continues to blow every lead the SPs hand to them, and our offense continues to struggle, Marlins are going to lose 100 games no matter how good their SPs are. Sheesh, it could be like the 1991 Angels…except with 100 losses instead of a .500 season or a Closer that can hold leads (which would account for the Marlins losing 100 games). For those wondering what I’m talking about in that comparison, go look at the Angels 1991 season (81-81) and look at the stats of Mark Langston, Jim Abbott, Chuck Finley and Bryan Harvey.
Motor City Beach Bum
Isn’t Grishans a 3B? He was with the Jays
He played 3B for us, but he is also a SS.
Would be a darn shame if Texas delayed deGrom’s first start to the 2nd series!
There has been some minor references to JOC playing the field and it has been primarily because Conforto may not be ready to play the field on opening day, along with slater maybe needing some time for his elbow to heal since he hasn’t played this spring. Not to mention something could happen in the rest of spring training and WBC. Not the biggest JOC fan here especially if he’s playing the field as I’ve not been impressed by what I’ve seen from him defensively. His best value is at DH anything else IMO loses him value, unless he’s in great shape and put in work to improve. The giants have a lot of parts and are trying to get away from platooning every position which is contradictory to what is written here, but there’s possibility he’s plays the field he is a big leaguer with a tagged position of the outfield. They have also been working him out at first, there’s an interview asking him about it and he said he played first one time as a dodger and it was bad.
“platooning every position”? Stunt, you read that where? Only positions currently discussed for platooning are cf and first base and dh. Villar may not be ready for full time at 3rd and conforto may not be fully recovered for lf, but sitting them occasionally would not equal platooning. And JOC won’t play first base until Sf feels he can be good there. It’s known about his struggles there in LA but he wasn’t prepared for it then. And if Sf feels he’ll struggle still he won’t play there. Platooning is essentially defined by playing against opposite side pitching as I believe everyone knows. Lh hitters/rh pitchers and vice versa. CF FIRSTBASE DH are 3 of 9 positions and not “every” position
DeGrom has pitched several bullpens. His first game against hitters will be Wednesday.
“We need stability at SP. Let’s sign three super injury prone high risk high reward guys”
Jake? Not feeling well? What a surprise! Get used to it Rangers fans! Lol