Cubs closer Strop to sit out a week (hamstring)

Chicago Cubs reliever Pedro Strop will sit out at least a week of spring games after straining his right hamstring on his final pitch against the Los Angeles Angels on Saturday.china nike nfl jerseys cheap

“According to the MRI, it was barely noticeable,” manager Joe Maddon said on Tuesday. “So we don’t think it’s going to be anything horribly long but we don’t know for sure. We’d like to think we’ll be able to get him ready for the beginning of the season.”

Strop, 33, has no doubt.12

“I’ll be ready for Day 1, 100 percent,” he said Wednesday. “I’m not even limited in doing anything.”

Strop is the Cubs’ de facto closer as Brandon Morrow is on the mend after minor elbow surgery this past winter.

The team stressed the injury to Strop was minor enough that he can keep throwing, but the Cubs won’t risk him causing more damage to himself in a game.cheap nfl nike jerseys from china

Strop injured his left hamstring late last season while running to first on a ground ball during a rare plate appearance.

He saved 13 games last year, in place of Morrow, who missed the entire second half. Morrow is expected to miss the first month of this season and if Strop is out as well, the Cubs are likely to turn to Carl Edwards Jr, Steve Cishek and Brandon Kintzler to close games. The latter two have ninth-inning experience.


Sabathia throws first BP session since procedure

Yankees left-hander CC Sabathia threw 20 pitches Tuesday during his first batting practice session since a heart procedure in December.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

Sabathia, expected to miss his first two or three regular-season starts, is slated to throw a simulated game Saturday.

The 38-year-old, who is retiring after the season, had a stent inserted Dec. 11 after a blockage was found in an artery from his heart. He has had chronic right knee problems that required several operations.11

“He’s really responded well to everything,” Yankee manager Aaron Boone said. “He’s doing well.”

Sabathia also is suspended for five games for hitting Tampa Bay’s catcher Jesus Sucre with a pitch on Sept. 27.

The 2007 AL Cy Young Award winner with Cleveland, Sabathia is 246-153 with a 3.70 ERA and 2,986 strikeouts in 18 major league seasons. He was 9-7 with a 3.65 ERA in 29 starts last season. This will be his 11th year with the Yankees.

Center fielder Aaron Hicks, who hurt his back during batting practice March 1, got a cortisone shot Monday. Boone said there is still enough time for Hicks to be ready for Opening Day.china nike nfl jerseys cheap

“There’s a level of concern but I’m not too worried about it,” Boone said.

Acquired from Minnesota in November 2015, Hicks has been on the disabled list in all six of his big league seasons, nine trips in all for hamstring strains (three times), oblique strains (twice), shoulder, forearm and intercostal strains, and a concussion.


Cooking too long gives Dodgers’ Kelly sore back

Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said hard-throwing right-hander Joe Kelly, who was scratched from his scheduled appearance Wednesday night, will throw lightly on Friday and hopes to get in a game in a couple of days.

Kelly felt tightness in his back on Wednesday. Roberts said Kelly told him he hurt his back when he stood too long cooking Cajun food.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

Roberts said the injury was not expected to be serious.12

In December, the team signed the reliever, who spent the last four seasons with the Boston Red Sox, to a three-year, $25 million free-agent contract.

He has made two appearances. In his debut, he allowed two walks, two hits and one run in an inning, but on March 3 allowed just one hit in a scoreless inning against the Texas Rangers.china nike nfl jerseys cheap

Roberts said that catcher Russell Martin, who has also been sidelined with a back issue, could play Sunday.


Rangers name LHP Minor Opening Day starter

The Texas Rangers on Sunday named Mike Minor their Opening Day starter against the Chicago Cubs on March 28.

“He’s earned it. Obviously, the way he pitched last year, the way he came to camp as a No. 1 guy, his arm feels great and he’s ready to go,” manager Chris Woodward said, according to the Dallas Morning News. “Mike’s got a different way about him. He’s almost possessed.”nfl nike jersey cheap

The left-hander finished 12-8 with a 4.18 ERA in 28 starts for the Rangers last season, his first with the team.11

He signed a three-year contract with Rangers after the 2017 season when he pitched exclusively in relief for the Kansas City Royals, finishing with a 2.55 ERA in 65 appearances. He began his career as a starter with the Atlanta Braves, going 38-36 in 110 starts from 2010-14 but had shoulder surgery in 2015 and didn’t pitch that season or in 2016.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

“I’ve always been labeled a No. 5 or a 3 or a 4. I believe I can be an ace,” Minor told reporters Sunday, according to the News.


Donaldson set for exhibition debut with Braves

Josh Donaldson plans to play in his first spring training game for the Atlanta Braves on Friday night against Philadelphia.

After being slowed by injuries for two seasons, the 33-year-old third baseman signed a $23 million, one-year contract with the Braves and spent the first two weeks of the exhibition season strengthening his legs, feet and toes. He also tried to “to clean up some running technique issues that I’ve had in the past.”cheap nike nfl jerseys china

“It’s been awesome to come out here every day and to be able put some quality work in, and not have to tend to the calf,” he said. “Last year I had some shoulder issues to where I wasn’t really going into the season feeling right.”12

The 2015 AL MVP award winner with Toronto, Donaldson was limited to 113 games in 2017 and 52 games last season, when he was traded from the Blue Jays to Cleveland on Aug. 31.

Donaldson likely will get two plate appearances Friday, then not play Saturday. He doesn’t have a set number of plate appearances in mind for spring training.nike nfl jerseys cheap paypal

“The last week or so I’ve been kind of chomping at the bit,” he said. “We’ve had a lot of conversations and we’re just trying to be smart about everything, check all the boxes off. I’m looking forward to be being able to go out there and play.”


Judge, Gardner: Yanks will break team HR record

Asked whether he agreed with Gardner’s emphatic statement, Judge doubled down.

“Oh definitely. You get this whole team healthy, we’re going to crush the record that we set last year,” Judge said. “We’ve got a good team, a lot of guys that could make a lot of solid contact, and a lot of big boys that when they make contact, man, it goes. We’re a team that’s primed and ready to do that.”

The 267 homers the Bronx Bombers slugged last season — Gleyber Torres’ record-setting blast was crushed at Fenway Park late last September — outpaced the 264 the 1997 Seattle Mariners had hit.nike nfl jerseys for cheap

The Yankees’ record-breaking season came during a year that was fraught with injuries to key power hitters. Judge was out for two months with a broken wrist. Groin strains sent Gary Sanchez to the disabled list twice. An early-season ankle surgery slowed Greg Bird and may have led to a general lack of production from him late in the year.11

Two of those hitters had homer drop-offs from their 2017 seasons. Judge went from 52 home runs in his Rookie of the Year campaign in 2017 to 27 last year. Sanchez fell from 33 to 18.

“So far in camp, everybody’s healthy, everybody’s hungry and working hard,” Gardner said. “Yeah, I expect us to have a better year, collectively, and not just me, or Giancarlo [Stanton] or Bird or whoever. But collectively as a unit, I expect us to be a better offense and score more runs.”

The 5-foot-11 Gardner said he has joked often with the hulking Stanton and Judge about them individually posting massive homer totals.cheap nike nfl jerseys china

“I tell them, anybody can hit 50,” Gardner said, drawing laughter from reporters. “I know I run my mouth a lot to everybody … [but] we’ll see. Whether it’s 42 or 62 or something in between, we all know what they’re capable of and how much raw power they have. It’s a lot of fun to watch. Seems like every day or every other day I still get amazed by what they’re able to do.


Trout: ‘Haven’t even thought about’ contract

Mike Trout says he is only concentrating on one thing regarding his future — the upcoming season.

The Los Angeles Angels star said he is happy for Bryce Harper, who has agreed to a $330 million, 13-year contract with the Philadelphia Phillies, but that he hasn’t considered how Harper’s deal will set the stage for his own negotiations.

Trout can become a free agent after the 2020 season. He is owed $33.25 million in each of the next two seasons, completing a $144.5 million, six-year contract.cheap nfl nike jerseys china

“I haven’t even thought about it,” Trout told reporters before a spring training game Friday against the Kansas City Royals. “Obviously, you guys bring it up a lot and I appreciate you asking me all these questions, but right now is not the time to think about it. I still have a couple more years.”12

Angels owner Arte Moreno reiterated last month at the start of spring training that re-signing Trout is at the top of the franchise’s priority list.

“One of the last interviews I gave, I said it’s not in the back of our mind but in the front of our minds,” Moreno said. “I think it also depends a little bit upon the agent and the player. It’s not like it’s just us.”cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

Trout is a two-time American League MVP who has finished in the top two in voting six of the past seven years. He led the majors last season in on-base percentage (.460) while hitting .312 with 39 home runs and 79 RBIs.

Trout, who said he called Harper to congratulate him on the contract, mentioned that he also followed the recent deals involving Nolan Arenado and Manny Machado. Arenado agreed to an eight-year, $260 million deal with the Colorado Rockies while the San Diego Padres signed Machado to a $300 million, 10-year deal earlier in spring training.

“It took longer than people expected,” Trout said. “You look at the health of the player. The first couple weeks you are not used to that baseball conditioning. But now they are going to be ready for opening day.”


Altuve set for return to 2B; Bregman ready, too

Jose Altuve struck out three times in his second game since offseason knee surgery and will return to second base for the Houston Astros on Saturday.

Altuve had surgery just after last season ended to repair a broken right kneecap and had two plate appearances in his spring training debut Monday.

“He wasn’t too far off,” Astros manager AJ Hinch said after a 7-5 win over the Marlins on Thursday. “It’s very rare for him to swing and miss on the strike threes. But he’s in a really good place physically and even timing-wise, right on time.”

The 2017 American League MVP and six-time All-Star will play the field for the first time this year when the Astros visit the New York Mets in Port St. Lucie.

“I have no concerns with him, it’s just a matter of repetition,” Hinch said. “It’s the first time post-surgery but I’m not apprehensive about putting him out there … based on how he’s worked on the back fields with the defensive work we’ve done he’s more than ready.”cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

All-Star third baseman Alex Bregman will play for the first time this year on Saturday, starting at third. Bregman was limited after minor elbow surgery in January.11

Hinch is also encouraged by the progress of shortstop Carlos Correa, who is looking to bounce back after an ailing back led to a tough 2018. The 2015 AL Rookie of the Year got his first hit of spring training — an RBI double — in the first inning Thursday.

“Both swings were really good and more so because his body was under control, it was in a good posture,” Hinch said.

This veteran team has very few questions to answer this spring, but is working to determine who will be the fifth starter, behind Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole, Wade Miley and Collin McHugh. On Thursday the Astros got a look at one of the players vying for the position when Brad Peacock made his first start.cheap nfl nike jerseys china

The 31-year-old struck out two in two perfect innings, making a good early impression as he looks to outdo rookie Framber Valdez and return to the rotation after pitching almost exclusively in relief last season.

Hinch said the performance was “exactly” what the team wanted to see. And though the easygoing Peacock insists he’ll be ready for whatever role he gets, he admitted that he does prefer being in the rotation.

“I do like starting,” he said. “I did it my whole career pretty much and I’m just more comfortable starting. So we’ll see. I love the bullpen, too.”


Cardinals sign OF Jose Martinez through 2020

The St. Louis Cardinals have signed outfielder Jose Martinez to a new two-year contract, the team announced Saturday.

Financial terms were not disclosed, but Martinez said he would send some of the money to relatives in his native Venezuela, which has been plagued by food and medical shortages and a political crisis.china nike nfl jerseys cheap

“It’s not even for me, just for my family,” Martinez said. “It’s a tough situation there. You have a little incentive for sure.”

Martinez led the Cardinals with a .305 batting average and 163 hits last season. He was also second on the team with 83 RBIs.

The 30-year-old Martinez, who can also play first base, will compete with Dexter Fowler and Tyler O’Neill this spring for the right-field job. He could also back up Marcell Ozuna in left.

“Jose is going to get at-bats somewhere this year,” general manager Mike Girsch said. “We just don’t know how it’s going to work out. And I’m sure he’ll continue to hit.”12
Martinez would have been eligible for arbitration after the season. He won’t be eligible for free agency until after the 2022 season.

He played 887 games in the minors before finally reaching the big leagues but has hit .309 over parts of three seasons since arriving.

“He has had a unique career path and has been a huge part of our team the last couple of years,” Girsch said. “We felt the right thing to do was to give him some certainty.”cheap nfl nike jerseys from china

The Cardinals also announced that right-hander Miles Mikolas will start Opening Day at Milwaukee on March 28. Mikolas returned to the major leagues last year after three seasons in Japan, became a first-time All-Star and went 18-4.

“A year ago, saying Miles would be our Opening Day starter this year would have been a shock to everyone,” Girsch said. “He pitched amazing last year.”


Jose Martinez can earn $1 million in bonuses with Cardinals

Jose Martinez can earn $1 million in performance bonuses for plate appearances in the second season of his contract with the St. Louis Cardinals.nike nfl jerseys cheap china

Martinez agreed Saturday to a $3.25 million, two-year deal that calls for a $250,000 signing bonus within 30 days of the contract’s approval by the commissioner’s office and salaries of $1 million this year and $2 million in 2020.11

The 30-year-old first baseman and outfielder would get $100,000 each in 2020 for 250, 300, 350 and 400 plate appearances, and $200,000 apiece for 450, 500 and 550.

He would have been eligible for salary arbitration for the first time after next season.china nike nfl jerseys cheap

Martinez led the Cardinals with a .305 average last year and had 17 homers and 83 RBI. He played 887 games in the minors before reaching the big leagues, and has since hit .309 over parts of three seasons.