MLB Player News
Angels' Griffin Canning: Dealing with groin injury
Angels manager Phil Nevin told reporters after Saturday's game that Canning is dealing with a groin injury, Sarah Valenzuela of the Los Angeles Times reports.
Nevin announced that Tucker Davidson has made the club after Saturday's exhibition game against the Dodgers, and that Canning has been dealing with something in his groin since Monday. Nevin doesn't believe the injury will require a stint on the injured list, and said that while the injury isn't alarming, the right-hander will be evaluated Wednesday. Canning still has a chance to be the sixth starter for the Angels, but because of off days that won't be necessary until the middle of April.
Angels' Tucker Davidson: Makes Opening Day roster
Angels manager Phil Nevin announced after Saturday's exhibition game against the Dodgers that Davidson will be a part of the Opening Day roster, Sarah Valenzuela of the Los Angeles Times reports.
Davidson will pitch out of the bullpen to begin the year, but also could be the sixth starter for the club when that becomes necessary. The left-hander is going to be part of the squad at least in part because Griffin Canning is battling a groin injury. Davidson struggled mightily in his limited time with both Atlanta and Los Angeles in 2022 -- the latter appearances coming after he was dealt for Raisel Iglesias at the deadline -- but he will have a chance to stick with the Los Angeles staff to begin 2023.
Dodgers' Jimmy Nelson: Fires scoreless inning
Nelson (elbow) threw a scoreless inning with a strikeout during Tuesday's exhibition game against the Angels, Jack Harris of the Los Angeles Times reports.
The strikeout was the first that Nelson has picked up this spring. The right-hander is going to open the 2023 season on the injured list, but it's encouraging to see him pitch well after struggling for most of the Cactus League. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts told reporters they'll evaluate Nelson on a week-to-week basis, so there's no timetable for when he'll be ready to contribute to the Dodgers' bullpen.
Athletics' Chad Smith: Optioned to Triple-A
Smith was optioned to Triple-A Las Vegas by the Athletics on Tuesday.
Smith got off to a rough start in the Cactus League, but the right-hander was solid to end the spring season to finish with a 3.12 ERA and 1.04 WHIP over 8.2 innings. The 27-year-old will likely be an up-and-down depth option for the Oakland bullpen throughout 2023.
Astros' Lance McCullers: Could begin year on 60-day IL
Astros general manager Dana Brown told reporters Tuesday that he was unsure if McCullers (forearm) would begin the year on the 60-day injured list, Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reports.
The Astros are going to have to make some roster moves in order to get both Cesar Salazar and Corey Julks on the Opening Day roster, as both are not currently on the 40-man at this point. McCullers is dealing with a low grade strain and isn't expected to be ready until May at the earliest, and if the club believes it will be closer to June they could put the right-hander on the 60-day IL to open space. One way or another, managers shouldn't expect to see McCullers making starts for Houston in the month of April.
Astros' Jose Urquidy: Confirmed for Saturday start
Urquidy will start Saturday's game against the White Sox, Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reports.
As expected, Framber Valdez and Cristian Javier will get the ball for the first two games of the series, and Urquidy will start Saturday with Luis Garcia pitching the series finale against Chicago. The right-hander finished 2022 with a 13-8 record, 3.94 ERA and 134 strikeouts over 164.1 innings with a 1.17 WHIP over 29 appearances. Urquidy won't miss enough bats to be a stalwart, but he should throw enough strikes while limiting hard contact to be a solid option for 2023.
Phillies' T.J. Zeuch: Traded to PHI
The Phillies acquired Zeuch in a trade with the Rockies.
Zeuch was reassigned to minor-league camp by the Rockies in the middle of March, and the right-hander now will be a part of the Philadelphia organization. The 2016 first-round pick allowed seven earned runs while giving up three homers in the Cactus League before the reassignment. Zeuch provides depth for the Phillies, and be it with Philadelphia or Triple-A Lehigh Valley he isn't likely to provide high-leverage innings in 2023 or any other year.
Red Sox's Ceddanne Rafaela: Will begin season in Double-A
Rafaela will begin the 2023 season with Double-A Portland, Gabrielle Starr of the Boston Herald reports.
Many expected Rafaela to open in Triple-A after finishing the 2022 campaign with the Sea Dogs, but the 22-year-old will get more action in the Eastern League before moving onto Triple-A. A source tells Starr that the organization wants the right-handed hitter to work on his approach at the plate without having to adjust to the higher level. Even with the outfielder opening the season in Double-A, there's a very good chance Rafaela could spend time with the major-league club before the season comes to a close.
Cubs' Keegan Thompson: Finishes spring flawless
Thompson did not allow a run across seven Cactus League innings. He gave up two hits and two walks, while striking out seven.
Thompson looked good this spring as he geared up for a role in Chicago's bullpen this season. The righty made 17 starts for the Cubs in 2022, but the team will use him as a reliever after adding Jameson Taillon in the offseason and inserting Hayden Wesneski into the rotation to start the year as well. Thompson may pick up some spot starts here and there, though his fantasy value is limited for now in a long relief role.
Cubs' Drew Smyly: Struggles in final spring start
Smyly allowed five runs (four earned) on 10 hits across four innings in Tuesday's Cactus League game against the White Sox. He walked one and struck out three.
Smyly was hit hard in his last spring tune-up, which raised his Cactus League ERA to 6.06. That doesn't give the veteran lefty a ton of momentum heading into the regular season, though his track record suggests he should rebound, particularly after posting a 3.47 ERA for the Cubs across 106.1 innings last year. Smyly lines up to make his 2023 debut Monday against the Reds.