Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic breaks down the race for some open spots in the Diamondbacks’ bullpen, noting that minor league signee Fernando Salas has outperformed the rest of the competition in terms of pure results. The eight-year veteran has tossed 6 2/3 shutout frames with a 6-to-1 K/BB ratio this spring, though competitors Neftali Feliz, Michael Blazek and Rule 5 pickup Albert Suarez (from the Giants) have all pitched well. Piecoro notes that there appear to be two or three spots up for grabs due to the fact that right-hander Randall Delgado is likely ticketed for the disabled list to open the year because of a left oblique injury. Piecoro also checks in on injured righty Shelby Miller, who had positive reports following a bullpen session and could return from Tommy John surgery in June or July.
One more item of note from Piecoro is that because Suarez has been previously outrighted off a 40-man roster in his career, the D-backs wouldn’t have to offer him back to the Giants if he clears waivers; he could instead elect free agency.
- Andrew Baggarly of The Athletic reports that Giants outfield prospect Gustavo Cabrera has elected to retire (Twitter links). As Baggarly chronicled in a harrowing story for the San Jose Mercury News in March 2016, Cabrera could have lost his right hand at 17. Then a vaunted prospect who had received a $1.3MM signing bonus a year prior, Cabrera was simply bracing his hand on a glass table as he bent to pick up a spilled glass of water, but he slipped on the wet floor and sent his arm crashing through the table, severing nerves and causing catastrophic damage. Baggarly details the frantic process of saving Cabrera’s limb and his ultimate return to the baseball field in a must-read story. As for Cabrera’s decision to retire, Baggarly notes that the physical challenges simply became too much for his reconstructed wrist/hand. He adds that while the Giants do have a recourse to claim a portion of that $1.3MM bonus due to Cabrera’s early retirement, the organization has no plans to do so. Best wishes to Cabrera in his post-playing days.