As we conclude the second week of Spring Training games, here’s a roundup of the latest injury news around the Cactus and Grapefruit Leagues:
Mike Trout, Angels
The Angels suffered another injury scare Sunday, as their star center fielder was hit on the helmet by a pitch from Erik Goeddel in the sixth inning of the club’s game against the Rangers at Tempe Diablo Stadium.
Trout seemed to be OK, immediately putting his helmet back on and jogging to first base before being lifted for a pinch-runner. The Angels did not call for a trainer to examine him before he left the game.
Matt Carpenter, Cardinals
Cardinals fans will finally get to see Carpenter in action Tuesday, when he will serve as the team’s designated hitter for their Grapefruit League matchup against the Marlins.
Carpenter has been dealing with tightness in his back since the start of Spring Training, but took a few swings during an intra-squad game on Sunday morning. He is projected as the Cardinals’ starting first baseman and could also see time at third base as he looks to rebound from a career-low .241 batting average in 2017.
“Obviously, we’d like to see Matt involved,” said Cardinals manager Mike Matheny. “I wouldn’t hesitate to put him anywhere [in the lineup].” More >
J.T. Realmuto, Marlins
It’s been a bruising week for the Marlins’ talented catcher, as Realmuto suffered a lower back contusion Sunday — three days after he fouled a ball off his left knee.
Realmuto appeared to be shaken up after tumbling over Yankees second baseman Gleyber Torres after he was picked off by catcher Gary Sanchez in Grapefruit League action Sunday. He was assisted off the field by Marlins assistant trainer Mike Kozak and replaced behind the plate by Tomas Telis. Realmuto had sat out of games on Friday and Saturday after bruising his knee against the Cardinals on Thursday. More >
Robinson Cano, Mariners
Injuries were a killer to a Mariners club that missed out on an American League Wild Card spot last season, and so all eyes are on Cano after the star second baseman left Sunday’s game against the Reds in the second inning. The team announced Cano was experiencing tightness in his left hamstring, and there is currently no timetable for his return.
The 35-year-old Cano slashed .280/.338/.453 while belting 23 home runs over 150 games for the Mariners in 2017. He is entering the fifth season of the 10-year, $240 million deal he signed with Seattle in December 2013, and he is owed a $24 million salary in 2018. More >
Felix Hernandez, Mariners
Hernandez is working as hard as he can to return to action after taking a line drive off his right forearm in his Spring Training debut on Feb. 26. While James Paxton appears to be in line to be Seattle’s Opening Day starter, manager Scott Servais has not completely ruled out Hernandez’s chances to start the opener for a 10th consecutive season.
Hernandez extended his throwing session to 120 feet on Saturday and told MLB.com that his forearm is “getting better every day.” The Mariners now hope Hernandez can log a pair of bullpen sessions and make at least two Spring Training starts before the regular season begins. The most realistic timetable would appear to have Hernandez starting one of the final games of the Mariners’ opening series against the Indians on either March 31 or April 1. More >
Adam Eaton, Nationals
The Nationals traded top pitching prospects Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez for Eaton in December 2016 with the belief that he could be a difference-maker at the top of their lineup, and he was just that for the first month of 2017 before a torn ACL knocked him out of action. Washington could soon have their table-setter back, as Eaton told MLB.com on Sunday that he feels good after participating in Minor League games this spring.
Eaton slashed .297/.393/.462 in 24 games with the Nationals last season before needing to undergo surgery to repair his left ACL and meniscus. He is expected to be ready by Opening Day. More >
Anthony DeSclafani, Reds
The 2018 season was supposed to be a bounce-back year for DeSclafani after injuries derailed his ’17 campaign, but the righty has hit another setback. Reds manager Bryan Price revealed to reporters Sunday prior to the Reds’ game against the Mariners in Peoria that DeSclafani has a left oblique strain, which he suffered in his last outing. A timetable has not been set for his return.
“The first thing will be to get the soreness out,” said Price. “I’m sure there will be regular MRIs or ultrasounds to see how the healing is going before he returns to baseball activity. It’s one of those things that can be exacerbated if you don’t give it enough time.”
DeSclafani was projected to be in the Reds’ starting rotation after missing much of 2017 with elbow issues. The right-hander first alerted the team’s training staff of the oblique issue on Friday, according to Price, after he pitched three scoreless innings against the Rangers. Cincinnati suffered another apparent setback Sunday when left-hander Brandon Finnegan exited his start with an undisclosed injury after just 12 pitches. More >
Daniel Murphy, Nationals
Murphy took batting practice on the field for the first time this spring on Saturday, an encouraging step forward for the second baseman.
Recovering from knee surgery he underwent last October, Murphy had only been hitting off a tee or during soft toss before Saturday.
“It’s the first time I’ve seen overhand pitching,” Murphy said. “So you want to reinforce that I can take it and there’s not going to be any discomfort, which there wasn’t. So I think first and foremost that was a really positive sign. Then I wanted to try to hit it over the fence.”
Murphy also did some limited work in the field, taking 15-20 grounders with first base coach Tim Bogar. However, the balls were hit directly at him, so he has yet to practice lateral movements.
The goal for Murphy remains to be ready by Opening Day, but that seems like a difficult timetable to achieve despite his step forward Saturday. The 32-year-old still hasn’t appeared in any Grapefruit League games and his running is limited to a treadmill. More >
Josh Donaldson, Blue Jays
Toronto announced its star third baseman exited Saturday’s Grapefruit League game against the Tigers on account of dehydration.
Donaldson has been working through a sore right shoulder this spring, and he appeared to be in discomfort after making an awkward throw across the diamond during the first inning Saturday.
Donaldson has made three starts at third base for the Blue Jays. Teammate Steve Pearce also left a game this spring due to dehydration.
Kenley Jansen, Dodgers
Jansen’s long-delayed Cactus League debut was put on hold a little longer Friday when the premier closer was scratched from a scheduled one-inning outing against the Royals with a tight hamstring.
“It’s upper [right] hamstring,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “When he was getting ready today, his pregame stuff, getting his legs loose and running, it tightened up. At that point in time, had the trainers look at him and it just made sense to not throw him today.”
Roberts said no tests were taken and the new plan is to have Jansen pitch in a “B” game on Monday and then debut Thursday against the Royals at Camelback Ranch. More >
Javier Baez, Cubs
Baez was forced from Thursday’s game against the Padres with tightness in his left hamstring, an injury likely caused by dehydration.
Baez was still being evaluated Saturday and not expected to play in a game.
“It’s still there, it’s still bothering him a bit,” manager Joe Maddon said. “We’re trying to figure out exactly what’s going on.”
Baez smacked an RBI double off San Diego’s Jordan Lyles in the second inning and came up limping as he headed toward second base.
“I felt a cramp,” Baez said. “After I passed first base, [my leg] went back to normal. When I stopped, I felt the cramp. Obviously, [Maddon] didn’t want me to stay in the game. I’m completely fine, 100 percent. I got some treatment. The [athletic] trainers were all over it, and everything is fine.”
Baez, who batted .273/.317/.480 with 23 home runs and 75 RBIs in 145 games for Chicago last season, was not scheduled to play Friday.
The 25-year-old infielder does not believe the ailment to be serious, but with about three weeks until Opening Day, he says he may need to start drinking more water.
“I haven’t been drinking a lot of water,” Baez said. “I drink water during the workouts, but outside of the workout, it’s also important, and I haven’t been drinking a lot of water.”
Luis Robert, White Sox
White Sox general manager Rick Hahn told reporters Saturday that Robert, the club’s No. 3 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, is expected to miss at least 10 weeks with a sprained left thumb.
Robert injured his thumb while sliding into second base in a game Wednesday against the Reds. He stayed in the game and later hit a grand slam, but did not participate in baseball activities Friday. Robert is expected to wear a cast for at least six weeks while his Grade 2 sprain heals.
Robert, 20, agreed to a $26 million signing bonus in May and has yet to appear in a Minor League game for Chicago. The outfielder slashed .310/.491/.536 in Dominican Summer League action last year, and is known for a lightning-fast bat to go with above-average power at the plate.
Mark Trumbo, Orioles
The Orioles are hopeful Trumbo can return to action soon after the slugger aggravated his quad Tuesday in a game against the Twins.
“It’s shown some really good improvement,” Trumbo told MLB.com. “I like where we’re going. I think it should be a few more days. It feels quite a bit better than it did.” More >
Andrelton Simmons, Angels
The brief scare Simmons gave the Angels thankfully turned out to be just that and nothing more. After rolling awkwardly on his left shoulder Thursday while diving for a ball, Simmons said Friday that he feels fine and doesn’t expect to be sidelined for long.
“I’m ready to go today if they let me,” said Simmons, who was listed as day-to-day with a shoulder strain. More >
Tyler Wade, Yankees
The Yankees received a scare of their own when Wade, considered one of the frontrunners for the team’s second base job on Opening Day, had to leave Saturday’s game after appearing to injure his left wrist. Luckily for Wade and New York, the young infielder said he simply rolled the wrist and should be fine to play moving forward.
Joe Musgrove, Pirates
Musgrove made his first appearance on a mound since the World Series on Friday, throwing 31 pitches against a squad of Pirates Minor Leaguers.
Musgrove’s Spring Training regimen was delayed by right shoulder soreness in February, but he seems to be getting back on track. Musgrove focused on fastballs Friday, but still used his entire arsenal of pitches over two innings of work.
“Ultimately, I was hoping to come out of this thing feeling healthy, and feeling like I gained a little progress on some of my pitches. I feel like I did that.” Musgrove said. “I wish I could have had another inning to work with because I felt like I finally fell into that groove of where I wanted to be.”
Aiming to make the Pirates’ rotation out of camp, Musgrove said he plans to still pitch every fifth day, but the Pirates are being cautious with the right-hander acquired in the Gerrit Cole deal. Fortunately, Pittsburgh doesn’t need a fifth starter until April 8 due to scheduling. More >
Buster Posey, Giants
Posey returned to action from a left ankle injury in the Giants’ 10-7 win over the Mariners in Scottsdale, Ariz. He played five innings and went 3-for-3 in his first Cactus League appearance since Feb. 25. It remains to be seen how frequently the Giants star can perform behind the plate during the regular season.
“I’ve always gone into it with an open mind that I could see more time at first,” Posey said. “My mindset is to prepare myself to catch every day and adjust from there.” More >
Marcus Stroman, Blue Jays
The Blue Jays’ ace took a big first step in his recovery from right shoulder inflammation as he played catch on Thursday after taking 10 days off to rest.
Stroman remains unlikely to be ready for the start of the season, although an MRI exam ruled out structural damage in his throwing shoulder. The Blue Jays do not have a set schedule for his recovery after his light throwing session, but he will likely throw a bullpen session and batting practice before seeing game action.
“He’s feeling good,” Blue Jays pitching coach Pete Walker said on Wednesday. “He’s champing at the bit to get going. We shut him down for a little bit, but he’s ready to go. Get out there, play catch … and we’ll go from there.”
Should Stroman not be healthy by Opening Day, the Blue Jays would turn to Joe Biagini as their fifth starter. Biagini split his second full season, 2017, between starting and relief, and he was tied for fourth on the team with 18 starts in 2017.
Zach Britton, Orioles
Britton, Baltimore’s closer, is progressing more quickly than originally expected. Initially given a six-month timetable after rupturing his right Achilles during an offseason workout, Britton is hoping to return in late May.
The left-handed reliever, who is currently on the 60-day disabled list, has started running on an underwater treadmill and has begun throwing while wearing a protective boot.
Britton, 30, is scheduled to increase the intensity of his rehab toward the end of next week, which will mark three months since he underwent surgery.
“You can’t really do too much more than what I’m doing,” Britton said. “I would think when I start throwing [without] the boot, and I feel good out of that, and long toss, then it starts meaning more — maybe I’ll get on the mound a little sooner. … Come May, we can start pushing the envelope a little bit if everything is going well.”
Drew Pomeranz, Red Sox
Less than a week after sustaining a mild flexor strain in his left forearm, the Boston left-hander is making progress and has an outside chance of returning by Opening Day.
Pomeranz threw from 90 feet on Friday and felt “no pain,” according to manager Alex Cora. However, the team is in no rush to have him ready for the start of the season, which is less than three weeks away.
“We’re going to have to wait and see how he reacts to what he’s going through right now,” Cora said prior to Friday’s game against the Cardinals in Jupiter, Fla.
The back of the Red Sox’s rotation is in flux with left-handed starter Eduardo Rodriguez possibly ready to face hitters for the first time next week as he recovers from offseason knee surgery. Right-hander Steven Wright has also yet to face hitters after battling knee injuries in 2017.
Pomeranz, 29, posted a 3.32 ERA for the second straight season last year and set a career high with 173 2/3 innings. He was expected to battle for the club’s No. 3 starter role with Rick Porcello this spring and is set to hit free agency next offseason.
Zach Davies, Brewers
Davies, who led the Major Leagues in games started in 2017, is back on schedule after getting through a bullpen session on Friday with no setbacks to his left oblique injury. The Milwaukee right-hander missed one Cactus League start earlier in the week, a precautionary measure, before receiving treatment for what Milwaukee dubbed a “mild strain.”
“I’m ready to go,” Davies said. “I feel good. I feel ready for game action on Monday. I figured that was the way it was going to go. It was a little bit of a relief that I don’t have to miss any more time, but just how it was progressing. … It felt normal. I just had to go step by step.”
The 25-year-old hurler is expected to face hitters on Monday, likely at Minor League camp, as he gets back up to game speed. If he can make that step, he should rejoin the Brewers’ Cactus League rotation five days later and return to his initial Spring Training schedule.
Luiz Gohara, Braves
Gohara appears to have put the left groin strain that delayed his normal Spring Training routine behind him.
The young hurler completed a pain-free batting-practice session on Thursday morning, one of the final recovery tests he needed to pass in order to make his inaugural Spring Training appearance in 2018.
If he doesn’t have any setbacks prior to Sunday, Gohara could make his spring debut that day.
“It felt really good, and my stuff was working really well, too,” Gohara said. “I think after this, I’m just ready to go out and pitch in games.”
Atlanta lists veteran Brandon McCarthy as its scheduled starter for Sunday, so it’s possible Gohara could throw an inning or two against some Minor League players in that final game for the Braves over the weekend.
The 21-year-old looks to be on track to be ready when the Braves first need to carry five starting pitchers on April 10.