Angels starting pitcher Jered Weaver has been diagnosed with mild degenerative changes in his cervical spine, tweets Mike Digiovanna of the L.A. Times. The cervical portion of the spine includes the upper back and neck. Weaver will still be bumped from his next scheduled start, but he’s not expected to be shut down (tweet). The soft-tossing righty averaged just 83 mph with his fastball last season and was throwing even softer in his spring work. He’s scheduled to see a spine specialist to decide next steps.
Here’s more from the AL West:
- An MRI has revealed no damage in Lance McCullers sore right shoulder, writes Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the Houston Chronicle. The Astros’ starter threw a career high 164 innings last season, and the club has plans to limit his innings. Carefully addressing this current injury seems like a good way to manage McCuller innings while looking after his health. As such, he may not open the season on the big league roster.
- “Everyone” inquired about Athletics ace Sonny Gray this winter, tweets Jon Heyman of MLB Network. The Red Sox were apparently the first to pick up the phones on the day after the World Series ended. No deals were close per Heyman. Oakland leadership has been vocal about holding onto Gray, although the club is also known to be very open minded about looking for roster upgrades.
- While there is a gap in talks between the Rangers and Adrian Beltre, it’s thought that the two sides are motivated to find a middle ground, tweets Heyman. Beltre, soon-to-be 37, is in the final year of his current contract with Texas. Heyman speculates that the Angels could be a top suitor for Beltre if he reaches the open market. If an extension isn’t reached soon, Beltre’s performance this season could be the difference between a moderate one-year deal and a sizable multi-year offer.
- The Rangers tried to sign Austin Jackson for about $4MM before pivoting to Ian Desmond, tweets Heyman. Texas’ need was in left field with Jackson preferring to remain an up-the-middle player. He ultimately signed with the White Sox for $5MM.
- Slugger Prince Fielder has been diagnosed with sleep apnea, writes Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News. He will use a mask and breathing apparatus to combat the disorder. The player and club are hopeful that better rest will translate to a more successful season. Fielder does not plan to undergo the painful and complicated jaw reconstructive surgery used to cure sleep apnea. Mike Napoli underwent that particular procedure prior to the 2015 season.