The Tigers have placed lefty Daniel Stumpf on waivers, the pitcher himself told reporters including Evan Woodberry of MLive.com (via Twitter). He was taken in the Rule 5 draft last winter from the Royals. Because Stumpf was previously taken in the Rule 5 draft and returned to K.C. — last summer, he was shipped back from the Phillies — he’s in something of a unique situation, as Woodberry notes. If he clears waivers, Stumpf would have the right to reject an assignment with the Royals and instead take free agency.
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
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.
Jon Lester tuned up for Opening Night against the team the Cubs beat in the last game of the 2016 season.
Today’s spring slate features a slew of starting pitchers making their final tuneups before Opening Day starts, including Dallas Keuchel, Zack Greinke, Felix Hernandez, Chris Archer, Corey Kluber, Junior Guerra, Edinson Volquez and Masahiro Tanaka.
A number of Royals moves on Monday moved the team closer to setting their 25-man roster for the start of the season, as Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star and other reporters have noted. Here’s the breakdown of where the Royals’ roster stands: First, the team optioned lefty Scott Alexander and outfielders Billy Burns and Peter O’Brien to Triple-A Omaha and assigned catcher Zane Evans, infielder Humberto Arteaga and relievers Yender Caramo, Eric Stout, Al Alburquerque and Malcom Culver to minor-league camp. The moves left veteran righty Peter Moylan as the Royals’ clear choice for the last spot in their bullpen. (Another veteran, Seth Maness, remains in camp, but he is recovering from injury and will not be ready for Opening Day.) Moylan’s minor-league deal with the Royals contains an opt-out clause tomorrow, so the team seems likely to place him on their 40-man roster shortly. Moylan allowed just one run in eight Spring Training innings, striking out six and walking one. Royals manager Ned Yost also announced that Raul Mondesi would serve as the team’s starting second baseman, beating Whit Merrifield, Christian Colon and Cheslor Cuthbert. Cuthbert will make the team, while Merrifield and Colon are still competing for a bench job. The 21-year-old Mondesi was the surprise winner of the job after batting just .185/.231/.281 in 149 plate appearances in his rookie season in 2016, but he was previously a top prospect and had a very strong spring, batting .378/.391/.623. Finally, Jorge Soler, who had been projected to start in right field, suffered a sustained oblique this weekend and appears likely to begin the season on the disabled list.
Dodgers starter Scott Kazmir will begin the season on the disabled list, Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times tweets. “It’s something with the hip,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts told McCullough. Kazmir has dealt with hip tightness this spring, and his velocity was in the 82-84 MPH range less than two weeks ago. He pitched yesterday against Texas and struggled, allowing three runs, five walks and two hit batsmen over three innings. The Dodgers have two open spots in their rotation behind Clayton Kershaw, Kenta Maeda and Rich Hill. Even with Kazmir on the shelf, there’s plenty of competition for those two spots — Brandon McCarthy, Hyun-jin Ryu and Alex Wood, all veterans with successful big-league seasons under their belts, are all in the running. Ryu has missed much of the past two seasons to injury, but has impressed observers in camp. Top young lefty Julio Urias appears set to begin the season in the minors as the Dodgers monitor his workload.
When they signed Jason Heyward, the Cubs and club president Theo Epstein — who are supposed to be as sober and analytical as any organization in baseball — bet on something that sober and analytical organizations are not supposed to bet on. They bet on Heyward’s intangibles, or the stuff that we used to call intangibles anyway.
It’s the final week of Spring Training, and there are eight Grapefruit and Cactus League games that can be seen today and tonight on MLB.TV.