It’s hard to imagine Taijuan Walker pitching much better or doing much more to impress in his battle for the Mariners’ fifth-starter position, but the 22-year-old insists there’s more in the tank even after running his scoreless streak to 18 innings this spring in Wednesday night’s 3-2 victory over the Cubs.
Cubs top prospect Kris Bryant will get to play the outfield on Thursday. Bryant has played third base and was the designated hitter while limited because of fatigue in his right shoulder in Cactus League games so far. He’s been doing outfield drills this week with bench coach Dave Martinez, and Cubs manager Joe Maddon said Wednesday that the plan is to have Bryant try left field.
The Angels aren’t preparing for life after Josh Hamilton. Thanks to Matt Joyce, they’re feeling as good as they can while facing an uncertain situation, writes columnist Phil Rogers.
Here are today’s minor moves from around the league. The Orioles have acquired first baseman Mike McDade from the Rangers for future considerations, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News tweets. The Rangers signed McDade to a minor-league deal in January after he hit .242/.298/.349 in 326 plate appearances, most of them spent with Double-A New Hampshire in the Blue Jays system. The 25-year-old Triple-A veteran has been on the 40-man rosters of the Blue Jays, Indians and White Sox, but he will likely provide minor-league depth for the Orioles.
The Angels’ fifth starter to begin the season could either be Andrew Heaney, or Nick Tropeano, or one of the less-heralded players remaining in camp, or nobody.
Opening Day starter Johnny Cueto’s extended leave from camp for a family issue appears to be near its end, after the Reds ace left the team last week to go home to the Dominican Republic for an unspecified emergency.
Luke Hochevar had Tommy John surgery a year ago but stayed with the Royals all season during his rehab. And Hochevar was there in Chicago in late September when the Royals clinched a playoff spot, and he joined in on the celebration. Tim Collins just had Tommy John surgery earlier this month, and hopes to experience the same scenario.
Starlin Castro was back in the Cubs’ lineup Wednesday after missing five days because of tightness in his right groin, and the shortstop is eager to play 162 games this season.
Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully will make his lone Arizona appearance of Spring Training when he does play-by-play of Friday night’s Dodgers-Giants game from Camelback Ranch on SportsNet LA.