Notes from the Grapefruit and Cactus leagues...
Results from an MRI conducted on David Price were inconclusive. As a result, the Red Sox have scratched him from his scheduled Grapefruit League debut Sunday. Price is going to be examined in Indianapolis by Dr. James Andrews and Dr. Neil ElAttrache. Usually, you hear about athletes traveling to Birmingham to see Dr. Andrews, but both doctors are at the NFL Combine. Price has been suffering from forearm soreness but there are concerns about his elbow causing it.
Jung Ho Kang received an 8-month sentence for his third DUI in his native Korea. The sentence was suspended for two years, however, so he is able to come to spring training. If Kang is able to avoid trouble for those two years he will not have to serve his sentence. Whether the Pirates or MLB will impose their own penalty is up in the air right now.
Last week, Adam Wainwright was looking at a "How to throw a perfect curve" tutorial he did for MLB Network in 2013. As he watched, he realized that he no longer used the same grip he had back then. Wainwright had changed it when he returned from his Achilles injury. Yesterday was the first chance he had to put what he taught himself into practice. His results from the outing against Atlanta were mixed, but the curves he threw were sharp. Watch his outings this season to see if he becomes a candidate to bounce back from a disappointing 2016.
Aroldis Chapman didn't look anything like the tired pitcher he was when last seen in game 7 of the World Series. He was hitting triple digits on the radar gun and struck out 2 of the 3 Orioles he faced in his inning of work yesterday.
Clayton Kershaw posted a 1.29 ERA in the last month of the season after coming off the DL. He picked up right where he left off by throwing 2 perfect IP in his cactus League game yesterday. Kershaw only struck out one batter, but it's early and this was an encouraging outing.
Johnny Cueto will reportedly not be pitching for the Dominican Republic in the first round of the World Baseball Classic. He may not appear for them at all as he still hasn't made it to the Giant's camp in Arizona as he is dealing with health issues with his father. San Francisco is saying that the late start shouldn't affect Cueto's readiness for the start of the regular season. We'll have to see if that is so if his appearance in Scottsdale gets delayed much longer.
Shelby Miller is making an early case for a strong comeback. He allowed 1 hit in 3 IP in his second Cactus League start. Miller struck out 6 Cubs in the outing. This follows his first effort in which he struck out 3 batters in 2 IP. If Miller continues to pitch well and look like he will be closer to the pitcher he was from 2013-15 than the train wreck of last season his draft position will climb significantly.
Buster Posey was out of action again yesterday. It was the second straight day he got treatment for a sore neck. The Giants are hoping he will play today and then will take tomorrow off. If the injury persists much longer it could put his spot on Team USA for the WBC in jeopardy but isn't expected to impact his availability at the start of the regular season.
Jackie Bradley, Jr. slugged 2 homers and drove in 5 of Boston's 19 runs in Grapefruit League play yesterday. That's a promising performance from the outfielder who had a breakout year in 2016, belting 26 homers and collecting 94 RBI. Bradley tends to be streaky and when he's on a good one it's really good.
David Wright is at least 2 weeks away from returning to full baseball activities as he works to recover form an impingement in his shoulder. That makes the odds of him being ready for Opening Day rather slim. Wright has only had one season of 600+ PAs since 2010, so dealing with injuries is his norm. This one isn't as serious as the neck issues that ended his 2016 season in May and ended up requiring surgery.