TODAY: Matz has undergone a PRP injection and will not throw for at least three weeks, Marc Carig of Newsday reports (Twitter links). While there’s still no apparent structural concern, that course of treatment seems likely to portend a fairly lengthy absence. Once Matz is able to resume throwing, he’ll still need to build back his arm strength and perhaps progress through a rehab stint. YESTERDAY: Mets lefty Steven Matz isn’t likely to be ready for the Opening Day roster, skipper Terry Collins told reporters including MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo (Twitter links). The southpaw has been dealing with elbow soreness and is headed for an examination — likely an MRI, per the manager — to further determine the root of the problem. At last check, reports on Matz indicated that there’s no ligament damage in his elbow. Regardless of the upcoming test’s outcome, Matz is a candidate to require at least a short stint on the DL to begin the season
The Twins issued something of a surprise decision today when The Twins have decided against adding Byung Ho Park to the Opening Day roster, leaving him destined for Triple-A, as LaVelle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune reports on Twitter. Lefty Adalberto Mejia — picked up in last summer’s Eduardo Nunez deal — has earned the club’s fifth starter job, Neal further tweets, seemingly bumping Tyler Duffey back to the pen. Right-handers Zack Wheeler and Robert Gsellman will fill out the Mets’ rotation to to open the year, Marc Carig of Newsday was among those to report on Twitter. It wasn’t clear for much of the spring whether Wheeler would be ready to go at the start of the year, but he showed well late in camp and will now attempt to regain the form that once made him one of the organization’s core players. That leaves Seth Lugo and Rafael Montero fighting for the final bullpen spot, with the other likely to report to Triple-A to stay stretched out in case a need arises. Yankees righty Luis Severino will take the club’s final open starting job, as Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports tweets. He will look to regain the momentum he had as a rookie and leave a disappointing sophomore campaign in the rearview mirror.
Right-hander Dillon Gee has utilized the opt-out provision in his minor league deal with the Rangers, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter). Texas will have 48 hours to add Gee to its 40-man roster. If the Rangers decide against adding Gee to the roster, he’ll become a free agent that can sign with any club. Gee, 30, reeled off six shutout innings against his former Royals teammates today, yielding just two hits and racking up nine strikeouts to put an exclamation point on a solid Spring Training with the Rangers. In 19 2/3 innings during Major League camp, Gee logged a 3.20 ERA with a stellar 18-to-3 K/BB ratio. While he’s been tagged for 25 hits, only one of those has left the yard for a home run. The Rangers signed Gee to a minor league deal this offseason as the right-hander sought to work his way back from surgery to alleviate thoracic outlet syndrome, which he underwent last October
Mets lefty Steven Matz isn’t likely to be ready for the Opening Day roster, skipper Terry Collins told reporters including MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo (Twitter links). The southpaw has been dealing with elbow soreness and is headed for an examination — likely an MRI, per the manager — to further determine the root of the problem. At last check, reports on Matz indicated that there’s no ligament damage in his elbow. Regardless of the upcoming test’s outcome, Matz is a candidate to require at least a short stint on the DL to begin the season. While New York certainly doesn’t lack for depth options, it is obviously concerning to see Matz again dealing with health issues. Elbow and shoulder problems have limited him of late, with both being addressed (bone spur surgery for the former; a PRP injection for the latter) over the offseason.
Mets reliever Jeurys Familia will receive a 15-game suspension under the league’s domestic violence policy, Billy Witz of the New York Times reports on Twitter. It is not immediately clear whether Familia has agreed to accept those terms or if he is still weighing an appeal.
Mets reliever Jeurys Familia will receive a 15-game suspension under the league’s domestic violence policy, as Billy Witz of the New York Times first reported (links to Twitter). Familia has agreed to accept those terms, per the league’s announcement. The decision comes after months of speculation. Familia was arrested last fall on charges of assaulting his wife, but the charges were dropped upon his wife’s request. That did not preclude action under the domestic violence policy, however, which oes not require arrest, charges, or a conviction for the commissioner to impose a suspension. In addition to the lost time, Familia has agreed to make a charitable donation and speak with league rookies. He already completed a dozen counseling sessions over the offseason. The suspension will cost Familia at least $730K, per Witz, based upon his $7.425MM arbitration salary
With the 2017 season about to begin, consider this our effort to get those of you who slept through the Hot Stove season caught up on all the big things you missed. Here are 20 key plot points from what was a typically wild offseason in MLB.
In this Opening Day lead-up, let’s talk about lineups. Following Tuesday’s ranking of the top five rotations in the game at the start of 2017, we move on now to the offensive outlooks.
The Tigers appear to be waving the white flag with a pair of longtime starters set to rake in sizable paydays this year. Right-hander Anibal Sanchez will open the season as a long reliever, according to Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press. Meanwhile, the team is shopping fellow righty Mike Pelfrey, and it’s willing to eat his $8MM salary, tweets Fenech. Sanchez is entering what should be the last year of his contract, though the Tigers will still have to pay a $5MM buyout for 2018 if they don’t exercise his $16MM club option. In 2017, the 33-year-old will collect $16MM as part of the five-year, $80MM deal the Tigers awarded him in 2012. Sanchez had established himself as a terrific starter at that time, as he combined for a 3.75 ERA, 7.59 K/9, 3.31 BB/9 and a 44.5 percent ground-ball rate over 869 innings with the Marlins and Tigers. While his quality pitching continued through 2014, he has since posted a 5.42 ERA in 310 1/3 frames. A bloated home run-to-fly ball rate and drops in grounders, velocity and swinging strikes are among the prime culprits for Sanchez’s recent decline. To his credit, he did generate infield pop-ups at a 14.2 percent rate the past two years and log decent strikeout and walk rates of 7.92 and 2.96 per nine.
The Yankees are bringing back left-hander Jon Niese on a minor league contract, reports George A. King III of the New York Post (Twitter link). New York released Niese on Sunday, but the expectation was that he’d quickly rejoin the organization if he couldn’t land a major league deal elsewhere. Niese’s new pact comes with the same salary figures as the minor league accord he signed with the Yankees in February, as he’ll earn a $1.25MM base salary and could make $750K in incentives if he cracks the majors, per Chris Cotillo of SB Nation. The agreement also comes with a May 15 opt-out (Twitter links). The 30-year-old Niese had been working to earn a bullpen role with the Yankees prior to Sunday, and it stands to reason he’ll resume those efforts