Espinoza (forearm tightness) recently started playing catch again in Arizona and could be pitching in games in late July if he does not encounter further setbacks, Kyle Glaser of Baseball America reports.
As Glaser termed it, Espinoza is essentially at the beginning stages of spring training for his season due to all the missed time. The 19-year-old righty was shut down with forearm tightness after he reported to High-A Lake Elsinore in early April. After two weeks off, he still had lingering soreness, and his throwing program was halted after one session, Jeff Sanders of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. General manager A.J. Preller said an MRI did not reveal any damage in Espinoza's UCL, but the team is preaching patience and caution regarding his activity this season, as he would still be young for High-A even if he has to return to the level next year. While this situation is obviously concerning and frustrating for dynasty league owners, Espinoza should still be treated like one of the best pitching prospects in the minors, as few pitchers can match his long-term upside.