Cubs pitching coach Tommy Hottovy said Thursday that it might be "ambitious" to expect Rowan Wick (intercostal) to be ready for the start of the 2021 season.
Wick finished the 2020 campaign on the injured list because of an intercostal/oblique issue that has also limited his activity at the start of Cubs camp. It usually doesn't take too long for relievers to get geared up in spring training, but there will need to be some signs of progress here soon. The 28-year-old right-hander is slated for a prominent setup role this season in Chicago behind closer Craig Kimbrel.
Anthony Alford (elbow) has been limited defensively so far in Pirates camp.
Alford needed surgery to repair a fractured right elbow after crashing hard into the outfield wall at PNC Park last September 5, and he's apparently still in rehab mode to some degree. "He is having a little bit of challenges with the throwing, just to get more velocity on the balls and to continue to gain confidence," said Pirates head trainer Todd Tomczyk, "but we believe that we’re taking nice strides in regards to his throwing."
Shao-Ching Chiang has agreed to a deal with the Fubon Guardians of the Chinese Professional Baseball League.
Chiang signed with the Indians as a teenager back in 2012 and worked at the Tigers' alternate training site in 2020, but he'll head back to his native Taiwan having never reached the MLB level. The now-27-year-old right-hander registered a 4.30 ERA, 1.248 WHIP, and 6.3 K/9 across 663 2/3 total minor league innings.
Andrew Kittredge (elbow) threw live batting practice in Rays camp on Wednesday.
Kittredge sprained the UCL in his right elbow while serving as an opener for Tampa Bay last August 11 and missed the remainder of the 2020 season, but he successfully rehabbed the injury and is now back in Rays camp on a minor league deal. "It’s very encouraging the work that he’s put in," manager Kevin Cash told reporters following Wednesday's throwing session. "He definitely looked normal from my eyes, my point of view." The 30-year-old reliever owns a career 4.93 ERA in 93 total major league appearances.
Indians claimed OF Harold Ramirez off waivers from the Marlins.
Ramirez was designated for assignment by Miami last week to clear out a roster spot for reliever John Curtiss. The 26-year-old outfielder holds a career .274/.311/.411 batting line in 122 major league games.
Indians designated RHP Jordan Humphreys for assignment.
This move frees up a 40-man roster spot for outfielder Harold Ramirez, who was claimed off waivers from the Marlins on Wednesday. Humphreys, 24, has yet to appear in a game at the major league level.
Ka'ai Tom is battling an oblique injury in Athletics camp.
A's manager Bob Melvin told reporters on Wednesday afternoon that the injury might keep Tom out of the first week of Cactus League play but shouldn't be a big issue in the long run. Oakland selected the 26-year-old outfielder from the Indians with the No. 16 overall pick in this past December's Rule 5 Draft.
Braves designated INF Jack Mayfield for assignment.
This move clears out a 40-man roster spot for outfielder Guillermo Heredia, who was claimed off waivers from the Mets on Wednesday. Mayfield, 30, owns a weak .170/.198/.283 career major league slash line.
Giants signed RHP Jeremy Walker to a minor league contract.
Walker was released by the Braves a couple weeks ago but has found a new home. The 25-year-old dealt with shoulder problems in 2020 but pitched well in 2019 in his first year as a full-time reliever.
Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said Wednesday that the club hopes Daz Cameron (elbow) can taking batting practice "in the coming days."
Cameron is slightly behind at the beginning of spring training after he had to leave his winter ball team early due to a sore right elbow. However, Hinch noted that the outfielder is "increasing his activities" and he shouldn't need much time to catch back up. Cameron is likely to begin 2021 back in the minors after the Tigers brought in Robbie Grossman and Nomar Mazara.
Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic reports that the Pirates have acquired Dustin Fowler from the Athletics for cash considerations.
Fowler had been designated for assignment by the A's earlier this week. The 26-year-old is a worthy roll of the dice for a Pirates club with razor-thin outfield depth, as Fowler is a former top-100 prospect and is still pretty young. He batted .277/.333/.477 with 25 home runs and 12 stolen bases at the Triple-A level in 2019, although he did play at a launching pad of a home park in Las Vegas. Still, Fowler might actually have a shot to take on some deep league fantasy relevance.
Red Sox designated RHP Marcus Walden for assignment.
The move clears a spot on the 40-man roster for Marwin Gonzalez. Walden really struggled in 2020, but he held a 3.81 ERA with 76 strikeouts in 78 innings in 2019, so there could be some interest in him on waivers.
Pirates placed LHP Austin Davis on the 60-day injured list with a sprained left elbow.
The move clears a spot on the 40-man roster for Dustin Fowler. The end result of an elbow sprain is often Tommy John surgery, although it's not clear at this point whether Davis is headed down that road.
Alex Bregman (hamstring) tweeted Wednesday that, "if the season started today I’d be good to go."
He was replying to a tweet by Brian McTaggart of MLB.com, who had written a story about the third baseman's hamstring injury. Bregman dealt with a right hamstring injury last season and tweaked it again while working out this offseason, so the Astros haven't let him work out on the field during spring training yet. However, it doesn't sound like this is a long-term concern at this point.
Braves claimed OF Guillermo Heredia off waivers from the Mets.
Heredia had been designated for assignment by New York on Sunday. The 30-year-old might have a decent shot at claiming an Opening Day roster spot in Atlanta given his ability to serve as a backup at all three outfield spots. That said, he's a career .239/.316/.344 hitter at the MLB level and holds no fantasy relevance.
DJ Snelten will be shut down for the next six weeks due to a left elbow injury.
Snelten signed a minor league contract with the Cubs back in December. He hasn't made an appearance at the MLB level since 2018, when he allowed six runs -- five earned -- in 4 1/3 innings with the Giants.
Randy Arozarena noted in Rays camp Wednesday that his offseason legal issue is settled.
Arozarena was briefly detained in Mexico back in November on allegations that he tried to take his young daughter from her mother, but he explained Wednesday that it was a "miscommunication" with the mother's family and that "nothing bad came of it." No official charges of any kind were ever filed. The soon-to-be 26-year-old outfielder is being selected around the 55th overall pick right now in the average Yahoo draft after his unbelievable finish to the 2020 regular season and postseason.
Freddy Peralta will be stretched out during spring training, according to Brewers manager Craig Counsell.
Peralta may pitch more innings in 2021 than he has in the past as Milwaukee looks to navigate their pitchers' overall workloads in the upcoming season. Many expect Peralta to fill a swingman-type role for the Brewers, and with so many teams considering a six-man rotation, this is a situation worth monitoring. The 24-year-old had a strong, albeit brief, 2020 season, posting a 3.99 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, and 14.4 K/9 over 29 1/3 innings.
Angels manager Joe Maddon stated Wednesday that he thinks Ty Buttrey has the potential to be one of the best relievers "in the American League and in baseball."
That is high praise from the Angels skipper. Buttrey is coming off a rough 2020 campaign in which he held a 5.81 ERA and 1.40 WHIP over 26 1/3 innings. However, the 27-year-old has shown flashes in the past of being an effective high leverage relief pitcher, posting an 11.0 K/9 and 10.5 K/9 over the two previous seasons. Impressive numbers for a groundball pitcher who has shown the ability to limit the long ball. Buttrey will work in a set-up role behind Angels' closer Raisel Iglesias this season.
Matt Strahm is unlikely to be ready for Opening Day as he recovers from the right patellar tendon knee surgery he underwent in October.
Strahm is not expected to throw a bullpen session until at least next week, and he stated that may be "wishful thinking." After pitching most of 2018 with discomfort while recovering from the same patellar tendon surgery on his opposite knee, Strahm pitched almost all of 2020 in pain before having surgery on his right knee in October. The 29-year-old stated that while he wants to be ready for the season, he "ultimately" wants to be healthy and around for the postseason. Strahm was one of San Diego's most effective relievers last season, posting a 2.66 ERA and 1.02 WHIP, so they will be eager to have him back.