Veteran right-hander Jhoulys Chacin had to settle for a minor league contract with the Twins at the outset of the month, but he may be impressing the club enough to end up on its season-opening roster. Manager Rocco Baldelli said (via the Star Tribune) that Chacin has “done everything he can to this point to put himself in position to eventually win a spot.” As MLBTR’s Steve Adams explored earlier this week, the 32-year-old Chacin is one of a few candidates in the running. Lefty Lewis Thorpe is also in the mix, but he tweeted Tuesday: “I’ve left camp for a week or 2 for personal matters. I’m healthy and excited for this year. I’ll be back shortly.” Baldelli wasn’t willing to divulge why Thorpe’s taking a leave of absence. However, he noted that the Twins do believe Thorpe will return “at some point during camp, [but I] can’t tell you when that’s going to be” (via Dawn Klemish of MLB.com).
- The Mets reportedly aren’t sure how the No. 5 spot in their rotation will look this year, but righty Michael Wacha made a strong case for the job Tuesday, as Mike Puma of the New York Post writes. Wacha’s fastball ranged from 94 to 96 mph during his outing. “They told me I am a starter, so that is what I am here for,” Wacha said. The former Cardinal, 28, has worked almost exclusively as a starter to this point, but he did yo-yo between St. Louis’ rotation and bullpen during a rough 2019 campaign. The Mets then added Wacha for a $3MM guarantee in free agency, and he’s now competing against lefty Steven Matz for the last place in their starting staff.
- Mariners righty Kendall Graveman has made good progress in his recovery from July 2018 Tommy John surgery, as Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times details. Graveman was with Oakland when he underwent the procedure, but he hooked on with the Cubs as a free agent for 2019 and didn’t end up pitching for the club. Now healthy, the 29-year-old Graveman – whom the Mariners signed for $2MM in November – figures to begin 2020 in the M’s rotation. It has been quite some time since Graveman turned in a full, effective season; at his best, he totaled 186 innings of 4.11 ERA/4.39 FIP ball with a 5.23 K/9, 2.27 BB/9 and a 52.1 percent groundball rate in 2016.
- Athletics righty Daulton Jefferies is dealing with a biceps strain and will undergo an MRI later this week, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle tweets. However, manager Bob Melvin suggested it’s not an especially serious injury. The 24-year-old Jefferies, who originally joined the Athletics as the 37th overall pick in 2016, was a standout in Double-A ball last season. In his first experience at the level, he posted a 3.66 ERA/3.19 FIP with 10.13 K/9 and 0.98 BB/9 in 64 innings.