Giants outfielder Hunter Pence has suffered a non-displaced ulnar fracture and will be sidelined for 6-8 weeks, the team announced. Pence suffered the injury earlier today when he was hit by a pitch from Cubs righty Corey Black during a Spring Training game. The fracture occurred just above Pence’s left wrist, so he was at least fortunate to avoid what could’ve been a more serious injury. That said, Pence’s absence for some or all of April is clearly a setback for the Giants lineup. Given how Pence’s time on the DL is expected to be relatively short, San Francisco will likely just use internal options like Gregor Blanco, Gary Brown or Justin Maxwell to fill Pence’s spot in right field. (Or, one of those players could play in left, shifting Nori Aoki to RF.) On the other hand, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale tweets that the Giants are “now looking for outfielders” and, in an earlier tweet, suggested that Allen Craig of the Red Sox could be “the perfect fit.” I’m not sure if Craig, in particular, is a fit given his high salary and the fact that the Giants wouldn’t have a regular role for him once Pence returned.
The Orioles got a visit on Thursday from Hall of Famer Cal Ripken, Jr., who threw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to the Grapefruit League game against the Blue Jays. Ripken also signed copies of his new children’s book, “Out At Home.”
6:17pm: Olivera’s representatives were surprised by the report, MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez tweets. To their knowledge, Olivera didn’t have any UCL damage and he “feels fine.” 6:08pm: Hector Olivera may have a damaged UCL in his throwing arm, sources tell Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan. The extent of the damage is not known, but should Olivera have to undergo Tommy John surgery, the Cuban infielder would need six to nine months of recovery time, in all likelihood sidelining him for the entire 2015 season. Olivera’s throwing arm didn’t raise any concerns during workouts for teams, Passan notes, though clubs were already conducting physicals on the infielder in order to be prepared for his eventual free agent clearance by Major League Baseball. Olivera was reportedly looking for a six-year contract in the $70MM range from MLB teams, and at least five team executives told Peter Gammons that this was a realistic asking price. Passan reports that Olivera had received at least one offer already that was north of $50MM.
A’s comeback hopeful Barry Zito was one pitch away from tucking two scoreless innings in his pocket. But even that one, a low changeup the Cubs’ Mike Olt belted for a two-run homer Thursday, couldn’t dampen an otherwise encouraging day for the adrenaline-fueled southpaw.
A’s first baseman Nate Freiman could miss up to two weeks of spring action because of a muscle strain in his back sustained from workouts, manager Bob Melvin said Thursday.
Reds star Joey Votto, who missed 100 games last season because of a distal strain of his left quadriceps, was not in the lineup for the first three spring games vs. the Indians. However, manager Bryan Price said Thursday that Votto’s will soon see game action.
After missing roughly a year following Tommy John surgery on his right elbow, prospect Miguel Sano made his return to game action against the University of Minnesota on Wednesday night at Hammond Stadium.
For a moment during the Nationals’ workout Wednesday morning, Field 4 was the center of attention. Stephen Strasburg was one of the pitchers who had requested to throw a second live batting-practice session in advance of facing hitters in Spring Training games. The first hitter to step into the batter’s box against Strasburg? Bryce Harper.
Jace Peterson has impressed early in Spring Training and wants to prove he is more than a simple throw-in from the Justin Upton trade.
Jose Quintana endured a lot of tough luck on the mound last season, but he simply remained focused on trying to help the White Sox win games. This year, he’s hopeful an improved offense will help even out his fortunes.