MLB Player News
May's main competition for the Opening Day center field job, Peter Bourjos, was traded to the Rays on Monday, Dan Hayes of CSN Chicago reports.
An injury to Charlie Tilson opened the door for May to start the season in center for the White Sox, and May has burst right through it. May has raked in spring training, as he owns a .339 batting average and .886 OPS in 59 spring at-bats. May hasn't shown much power in the minors, but he is a stolen base machine, as he needed just 83 games to rack up 19 steals last season and has tallied as many as 37 in a single minor league campaign. Whether or not May maintains playing time after Charlie Tilson returns from a foot injury (expected in late May) remains to be seen, but for now, the out-of-nowhere outfielder should be watched as a sneaky source of speed.
Hughes gave up four runs on six hits and two home runs with one strikeout in Monday's spring training loss to Pittsburgh. His spring ERA increased to 6.55.
Hughes gave up home runs to two of the first three batters he faced and then settled down. He's had a rocky spring training, but he's healthy after after an injury-plagued 2016 season, which is likely more important than his spring stats. (He had season-ending surgery in July to relieve thoracic outlet syndrome where part of his rib was removed to relieve nerve pressure on his shoulder.) He'll likely start Minnesota's fourth game of the regular season against the White Sox.
The White Sox have a promising young outfielder in Jacob May, and a groin injury to Colby Rasmus leaves the Rays in need of another body early in the season. Bourjos is one of the fastest players in the league and is a plus defender at all three outfield positions, so the Rays can find a use for him despite his brutal .232/.292/.362 batting line over the past three seasons.
Frazier went 2-for-4 with a home run, a double and two runs scored in Monday's game against the Dodgers, Dan Hayes of CSN Chicago reports.
Frazier got off to a slow start with an oblique injury that robbed him of about a week of practice time and then another week of at-bats. He feels he's getting close to where he needs to be, but is batting just .200 (7-for-35) this spring. The 31-year-old thinks his spring numbers are the result of his efforts to use all fields following a 2016 season when he got pull happy and hit fewer line drives. His 40 homers last year were nice, but he dragged an anchor of a career-low .225 batting average.
Holland allowed two runs on five hits and two walks while striking out one over six innings in Monday's game against the Dodgers.
This was easily his best outing of four spring starts, but his overall Grapefruit League numbers don't scream "bounce back candidate." He had a 5.74 ERA and allowed 24 baserunners (14 hits, 10 walks) in 15.2 innings. He'll start the season in the rotation but as soon as one of those young prospects pitching for Triple-A Charlotte is ready, Holland might be the first veteran dropped from the rotation. James Shields and Miguel Gonzalez are the others who shouldn't be making long-term plans in Chicago.
McHugh (arm) allowed three runs on five hits and one walk while striking out two over 1.2 innings in Monday's game against the Cardinals, Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle reports.
McHugh was making his first start in a Grapefruit League game after being delayed by the injury and needed 47 pitches to get his five outs. He had been scheduled to throw three of four innings. Three consecutive singles led to a first-inning run, then a walk and two extra-base hits chased him in the second. The results probably get magnified coming so close to the regular season, but McHugh is still getting his velocity up and working on secondary pitches. The Astros planned to placing him on the 10-day disabled list to start the season and have him ready for the second turn of the rotation. That notion may left town Monday. McHugh might need to skip a couple of turns through the rotation to get ready.
Aoki is expected to play only against right-handers, Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle reports.
Aoki wasn't very good against left-handers in 2016, hitting just .227 off of them, but that looks like the outlier. Over five MLB seasons, he's a career .308-hitter against southpaws. The plan is to give Carlos Beltran between 30 and 40 starts in the field, allowing manager A.J. Hinch to be flexible in his use of the designated hitter.
Beltran started in left field and went 1-for-3 with an RBI in Monday's game against St. Louis, Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle reports.
This was Beltran's first time playing in the field, and he'll do so again Thursday in an exhibition against the Cubs. He'll also get a start in the field during the first week of the regular season. Manager A.J. Hinch said that he'd like to see Beltran play 30 to 40 games in left field this season, but the 40-year-old is expected to spend most of his time at designated hitter.
Sanchez popped a blister in Monday's spring start, John Lott of the National Post reports.
The Blue Jays are already planning on pushing Sanchez's debut back to April 11, so it shouldn't cause Sanchez to miss any time. We'll keep an eye on his status as spring draws to a close, but since Toronto was planning on giving him a light workload this spring anyway, the injury shouldn't have much impact.
Travis (knee) will stay and work out in Florida, missing the upcoming weekend trip to Montreal because the team doesn't want the second baseman playing on the turf at Olympic Stadium, Mark Zwolinski of the Toronto Star reports.
After spending most of spring training rehabbing and strengthening his right knee, the Jays will play it safe with their leadoff man in the final weekend of Grapefruit League games. However, the club will have to expose Travis to the turf soon enough, as its home ballpark, the Rogers Centre, is one of only two remaining venues in MLB using artificial turf. The other is Tampa's Tropicana Field, where the Jays play their third regular-season game on April 6 versus the Rays. Placing Travis on the DL to open the year is still an option, but as of now, he's expected to be ready to take the field in the 2017 opener in Baltimore on April 3.