Rangers released LHP Rafael Perez.
Perez, 31, posted a 7.36 ERA over his first four relief appearances at Triple-A Round Rock. He was once a pretty nice reliever for the Indians but has battled shoulder issues in recent years. Still, someone will give him a shot.
Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reports that Doug Fister (lat) is on pace to make his debut for the Nationals on May 7.
It's possible the exact date will be altered a bit, but that's the day that looks to make the most sense right now. Fister threw two innings Thursday in an extended spring training game and had "no issues," according to manager Matt Williams. "He felt good about it," Williams added. "Reports are his first inning was better than his second inning, which is a good sign." Fister will begin a once-every-five-days schedule and is on pace to make his season debut in three weeks.
Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said Thursday that Carlos Martinez could become an option to replace Joe Kelly (hamstring) in the rotation if it turns out Kelly needs an extended absence.
The Cards will go with Tyler Lyons as Kelly's replacement for now, keeping Martinez in a bullpen role. It makes sense that they wouldn't want to shuttle Martinez back-and-forth between roles when he might only be needed for a couple starts. If it turns out Kelly's hamstring strain is severe, then the young fireballer could get a shot.
Cardinals manager Mike Matheny indicated Thursday that the team is likely to being up a pitcher from Triple-A Memphis to start on Monday in place of the injured Joe Kelly (hamstring).
That almost surely means it will be Tyler Lyons that gets the call. Matheny did add that if it looks like Kelly will be sidelined for a while, Carlos Martinez would then become an option. For now, though, they're leaving Martinez in the bullpen. Lyons is a fine stop-gap option, having put up a 4.75 ERA (3.73 FIP) in 12 appearances -- eight starts -- for the Cardinals in 2013, striking out 43 batters in 53 innings.
Royals recalled LHP Justin Marks from Triple-A Omaha.
Marks posted a 3.24 ERA with eight strikeouts over his first 8 1/3 relief innings for Omaha. He'll work in middle relief.
Will Middlebrooks (calf) has been sent back to Boston with the flu.
There was some speculation that Middlebrooks could be ready for a minor league rehab assignment this weekend or early next week, but it's unclear whether the flu will delay things. The 25-year-old is currently working his way back from a calf strain.
Shane Victorino (hamstring) will begin a minor league rehab assignment Saturday with Triple-A Pawtucket.
Victorino was originally scheduled to begin his rehab assignment earlier, but inclement weather got in the way. The plan calls for him to play Saturday before getting the day off. He'll then play back-to-back games on Monday and Tuesday, setting up a return on Thursday. The veteran outfielder was forced to begin the year on the DL with a hamstring strain.
Josh Johnson (forearm) will see Dr. James Andrews next week.
This confirms a report from Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, who also added that the Padres are worried that Johnson might require season-ending Tommy John surgery. Padres manager Bud Black said that Andrews "will look at everything," so he didn't exactly rule out the possibility.