The latest from around the AL East…
- Blake Snell continues to be on pace for a quick return from the 10-day IL, as the Cy Young Award winner told reporters (including Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times) that he felt good following a bullpen session on Saturday. A fractured toe sent Snell to the injured list last week, though the southpaw could potentially be pitch on Wednesday, his first eligible day to be activated. Since the Rays have an off-day on Thursday, however, the team could also wait until Friday to activate Snell, just to make sure the ace is entirely recovered and ready to go. More details could be known on Monday, as manager Kevin Cash said Snell could throw another bullpen that day.
- Dustin Pedroia is also hopeful of a minimum IL stint as he recovers from his latest knee problem, telling media (including Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald) that his injury was “just a weird freak thing” rather than a more serious setback. The Red Sox second baseman explained that his cleat caught in the dirt while he was swinging during Wednesday’s game, leading to an ominous-sounding popping feeling in his knee when it failed to turn along with the rest of his body. Given that knee injuries have limited to Pedroia to just nine games since the start of the 2018 season, he admitted that the pop “more kind of scared me than anything….We’re going to let it calm down for a few days and it should be all right. It just twisted the wrong way.” Given Pedroia’s recent injury history, it wouldn’t be surprising if the Sox wait beyond the 10-day minimum to activate him from the IL. In the opinion of Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe, the team should give Pedroia more minor league rehab time before his return, as Pedroia had only a four-day stay in the minors during his first rehab stint this season and looked shaky at the plate once he reached Boston’s MLB roster.
- Speculation continues to swirl over when Vladimir Guerrero Jr. will be promoted to the Blue Jays’ roster, now that more than enough days have elapsed on the service-time calendar for the Jays to gain an extra year of control over the star prospect. Guerrero was slowed by an oblique injury suffered during Spring Training, though he hasn’t looked any worse for wear in his return to the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons, posting a whopping 1.324 OPS over his first 20 plate appearances. The Jays would like to see Guerrero play in three consecutive games as part of his recovery process, though as MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm notes, this has yet to happen due to multiple rainouts on Buffalo’s schedule. Assuming the Bisons get some good weather on their four-game series in Syracuse this week, Chisholm speculates that April 26 would seem to be the earliest potential date for Guerrero’s Toronto debut, when the Blue Jays begin a series against the Athletics at Rogers Centre.