MLB Player News
Christian Vazquez (elbow) has been throwing to bases at Boston's spring-training facility in Fort Myers (Fla.), the Boston Globe reports. "He's probably at about 90 percent," manager John Farrell said. "But it's there. You can see that. He'll only get better."
Prior to undergoing Tommy John surgery, Vazquez was known for his arm strength and his ability to control the running game. As such, the Boston Red Sox are closely monitoring his velocity and accuracy. On Friday, Vazquez showed off the accuracy in what was another productive day in his return from the injury. Despite what has been an encouraging rehab, Vazquez is expected to start the season at Triple-A Pawtucket where he can get some game experience before joining the major-league roster.
Michael Brantley (shoulder) is expected to return from labrum surgery sometime in late April or early May, but the projection is admittedly hazy, Paul Hoynes of Cleveland.com reports.
Hoynes reports that the Cleveland Indians have been encouraged by Brantley's recovery, but the uncertainty surrounding when he can begin his rehab isn't exactly reassuring. Any extended absence will have to be covered by Rajai Davis and Collin Cowgill in left field. What's also worrying is that Brantley apparently enjoys swinging in the offseason, which could potentially lead to a slow start. "In the offseason people know I love to hit," said Brantley. "I hit a lot. It's just been a change in my timetable."
David Wright will be limited to a maximum of 130 games this season, the NY Post reports.
GM Sandy Alderson revealed that number in a wide-ranging interview with the paper. Wright, who is dealing with spinal stenosis, will require periodic rest to keep him fresh and available for the season. Keep this number in mind when determining where to draft Wright in your leagues.
Billy Butler is due to play a more limited role with the acquisition of Khris Davis, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
Butler, who served in a DH role in 136 games last year for the A's, is likely to see that number drop this year. If newly acquired Khris Davis moves into the everyday left field role for the A's as expected, Coco Crisp would get a lot of starts at DH, which would severely cut into Butler's at-bats. Given his limited upside, Butler would need a full-time role to be useful in most formats, and that no longer looks like it will be the case in 2016.
Crisp will see some time at designated hitter this season, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
The acquisition of Khris Davis on Friday gives the A's plenty of flexibility in the outfield and will force Coco Crisp out of a starting role in left field. Davis played almost entirely in left during his tenure with the Brewers so it seems probable he would make a smooth transition there for the A's. If Davis does in fact claim the starting role in left, Slusser notes that Crisp would get a lot of at-bats at DH. Crisp, now 36 years old and coming off a 2015 season in which he played in only 44 games due to injury, is due to play a more limited role in 2016, which limits his value to deeper leagues.
Madison Bumgarner has been named the team's Opening Day starter by manager Bruce Bochy, Andrew Baggarly of CSN Bay Area reports.
This comes as no surprise to anyone, as the left-hander turned in his best statistical season last year. He'll face a rebuilding Brewers squad to open up the 2016 campaign.
Joe Panik (back) says he is "100 percent" and was cleared by team doctors in mid-December, Alex Pavlovic of CSN Bay Area reports.
Panik was already considered good to go for spring training, but this should confirm his health for 2016. The 25-year-old will be trying to match a career season in which he hit .312/.378/.455 while striking out in less than 10 percent of plate appearances.
Domingo Santana is the leading candidate to take over left field following the Khris Davis trade, Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.
With the Milwaukee Brewers still rebuilding, giving a well-regarded prospect playing time is a logical outcome and should boost Santana's value in both the short and long term. In 145 plate appearances last season, the 22-year-old Santana hit .231/.345/.421 with six home runs.
Frankie Montas is out 2-4 months after rib surgery, Ken Gurnick of MLB.com reports.
Montas made his MLB debut in 2015 with the White Sox as both a starter and reliever and was expected to have a shot at the Los Angeles Dodgers ' 25-man roster out of spring training. Given his potential as both a starter and reliever, his role in 2016 could be dictated by need when he recovers. This shouldn't affect the 22-year-old's future potential too much, but it's an ailment that could nag even after he returns.
Khris Davis was traded to the Oakland Athletics on Friday for two prospects.
Davis should land firmly as Oakland's everyday left fielder, pushing the combination of Coco Crisp, Sam Fuld, and Mark Canha further down the depth chart. However, the 28-year-old figures to see a significant drop in home runs, as he's going from the most homer-friendly park in the majors to the fourth worst, according to MLB park factors. That shouldn't take too much from his offensive potential though; he'll be hitting in the middle of the order given Oakland's lack of reliable power hitters.