Adrian Gonzalez (elbow) expects to play in Friday's Cactus League game against the Diamondbacks.
Gonzalez hasn't been in the lineup since Sunday when he tweaked his elbow on a check swing. Between injuries and a brief stint at the World Baseball Classic, Gonzalez has been limited to just four Cactus League appearances this spring. Luckily he still has a week and a half to dust off the cobwebs before the regular season starts.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports the Blue Jays and Phillies have shown interest in free agent Angel Pagan.
Pagan had a deal fall through with Baltimore after failing a physical this month, but looked healthy in the World Baseball Classic, hitting .286 in eight games for runner-up Puerto Rico. The 35-year-old has received minor league offers but is reportedly holding out for a major league deal in the range of $5 million. His market should pick up as we near Opening Day.
According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, the Yankees were "a bit dismayed" at how Didi Gregorius (shoulder) was used in the World Baseball Classic.
Gregorius strained his right shoulder Saturday while playing in an exhibition game for Team Netherlands. Per Heyman, the Yankees are upset that Gregorius got hurt playing second base, a position he hasn't played since 2014. "It is what it is," said manager Joe Girardi. "He’s hurt. There’s nothing you can do about it." Ronald Torreyes and Tyler Wade are the most likely candidates to fill in at shortstop during his absence.
Trevor Plouffe went 2-for-3 with a solo homer and three runs scored against the Brewers on Thursday.
He now owns a .361 batting average in Cactus League play. Plouffe joined the Athletics as a free agent over the winter after spending his entire seven-year career with the Twins. He battled through an injury-plagued campaign last year, playing in only 84 games while batting .260/.303/.420 with 12 home runs and 47 RBI. Throughout his career he has been a jack-of-all-trades-and-master-of-none. The sort of guy who does a little bit of everything but not quite well enough to be a coveted fantasy asset. He is slated to serve as the Athletics' regular third baseman this season.
Yonder Alonso went 2-for-3 with two home runs, three RBI and three runs scored as the Athletics trounced the Brewers 15-5 on Thursday.
He drilled a two-run shot off Brewers ace Junior Guerra in the second inning, then took him yard again with a solo blast in the third frame. Alonso is now batting .382 with four homers and 11 RBI in 34 at-bats. He figures to split time at first base and designated hitter this season. He has an unappealing .253/.316/.367 career slash line with a paltry 39 home runs in 2343 plate appearances spread over 664 games.
Chris Archer has been announced as the Rays' Opening Day starter.
He'll get the nod at home April 2 against the Yankees. This will be Archer's third straight Opening Day start. The rest of Tampa Bay's rotation will follow in this order: Jake Odorizzi, Alex Cobb, Blake Snell and Matt Andriese. Even in a down year, Archer still finished second in the AL with 233 strikeouts last season. Look for him to bounce back in 2017.
Junior Guerra was plastered for 12 runs -- seven earned -- in 3 2/3 innings against the Athletics on Thursday.
He gave up 10 hits and watched in shock as four of them flew over the outfield wall. It was just one of those days where nothing worked. Prior to today Guerra had allowed just two runs in 10 innings. He was the biggest surprise breakout of the 2016 season, turning in a 2.81 ERA in 20 starts as a 31-year-old rookie. Despite today's beatdown he will likely take the hill on Opening Day for the Brewers.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports the Rays remain interested in free agent Derek Norris but are likely "on the outside looking in."
Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports reported last week that as many as six teams were in on Norris with Tampa Bay being one of them. The Cardinals and Rockies are also known to have interest. The Rays will be without Wilson Ramos for at least the first month and a half, which gives them some incentive to add a catcher. Norris matched a career-high with 14 homers last year but did it while hitting just .186 with 139 strikeouts in 415 at-bats.