Red Sox lefty Eduardo Rodriguez was cleared for his first pen session of the spring after suffering a minor knee injury in winter ball action, as Jen McCaffrey of MassLive.com reports. There was added concern given the trouble Rodriguez experienced with the same joint last year, but he was able to throw 40 pitches without incident today. Boston has some depth in the staff, with Rodriguez slated to compete with Drew Pomeranz and Steven Wright for the final two rotation jobs, though maintaining that depth will hinge in no small part upon the ability of the 24-year-old to stay healthy throughout the coming season.
Here are a few more notes from the American League:
- The Athletics may not go with a single closer in 2017, skipper Bob Melvin told reporters including MLB.com’s Jane Lee (Twitter link). Lefty Sean Doolittle and righty Ryan Madson have both handled the job in the recent past for Oakland, while the just-signed Santiago Casilla did the same for the cross-town Giants in recent years and John Axford also has spent plenty of time in the late innings. It’s perhaps imaginable that the less-experienced Ryan Dull could see some chances after a strong 2016.
- There was some good health news out of Athletics camp, as catcher Josh Phegley was cleared for full duty behind the plate, as Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Phegley had struggled with knee inflammation after undergoing surgery, causing him to miss the second half of the 2016 season, but a change in his stance will hopefully resolve that issue. Oakland is counting on a bounceback campaign from the 29-year-old.
- Righty Nate Adcock will not join Orioles camp as expected, Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com was among those to report on Twitter. The 28-year-old righty was hoping to make it back from Tommy John surgery, but now it’s unclear what his next steps will be.
- Meanwhile, the Orioles are still on the market for lefty relief help, Kubatko also tweets. At present, the team’s top two southpaw relievers (outside of closer Zach Britton) are Donnie Hart and T.J. McFarland. With the best remaining free agents all recently leaving the board, only two southpaws (Chris Capuano and Charlie Furbush) remain available among players who qualified for MLBTR’s list of available free agents.
- The Royals’ signing of lefty Travis Wood was due in part to the unfortunate injury suffered by southpaw Brian Flynn, with GM Dayton Moore telling Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star (Twitter link) that club owner Dan Glass authorizing a payroll bump to make it happen. From Wood’s perspective, the chance to compete for a starting job played a big role in his decision to sign with Kansas City, MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan reports via Twitter.