Chris Owings (shoulder) is scheduled to take live batting practice Friday for the first time this spring.
Owings has already been ruled out for the Diamondbacks' first 8-10 spring games, but he should be nearing Cactus League action by the end of next week. The young shortstop underwent surgery in October to repair the posterior labrum in his left (non-throwing) shoulder. He'll be looking to take a step forward in 2015 after batting just .261/.300/.406 in 91 games last season.
Red Sox manager John Farrell said Thursday that Rusney Castillo's oblique injury feels "much better."
Castillo was diagnosed with a strained left oblique muscle Wednesday after leaving an exhibition game Tuesday night with some pain in his side. It's thought to be a minor strain, and it shouldn't affect his readiness for the beginning of the 2015 regular season. Castillo is battling Mookie Betts for the starting center field gig. The 27-year-old Cuban will carry big-time fantasy value if he's getting regular playing time.
Jon Heyman of CBS Sports writes that "there isn't any suggestion" Chris Sale will be ready for Opening Day.
Heyman adds, however, that the White Sox expect Sale to be a full-go "not long after" their regular-season opener. Sale suffered an avulsion fracture in his right foot February 27 in an accident at his home. He's likely to remain shut down for another two weeks and will then restart an accelerated spring throwing program. Jeff Samardzija and Jose Quintana are the primary candidates to pitch on Opening Day against the Royals.
Tim Hudson (ankle) threw to hitters Thursday morning in Giants camp and reported no issues.
He is one step closer to his 2015 Cactus League debut. Hudson underwent surgery in early January to remove bone spurs from his right ankle and is somewhat questionable for the beginning of the regular season. If he's not ready -- and the Giants won't rush him -- Ryan Vogelsong and Yusmeiro Petit are available as rotation insurance.
Matt Cain (elbow, ankle) faced hitters Thursday.
It was a nice step in the right direction for the veteran right-hander, who is being eased along slowly in Giants camp this spring. Cain underwent surgery in August to remove painful bone chips and spurs from his right elbow and then needed a minor procedure in September on his right ankle. He's expected to be ready for the first week of the regular season.
According to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, closer Francisco Rodriguez has not passed his pre-signing physical with the Brewers.
K-Rod can't take the physical until he gets to the Brewers' spring training complex in Arizona and he is still waiting for a visa in his native Venezuela. The 33-year-old right-hander agreed to a two-year, $13 million contract with Milwaukee on February 26. The deal also includes an option for the 2017 season. He should again hold big-time fantasy value as the ninth-inning stopper on a decent Brewers team.
Adam Wainwright (abdomen) expects to throw live batting practice Sunday in Cardinals camp.
Wainwright made it through a high-intensity bullpen session on Thursday with no issues at all. He suffered an abdominal strain at the end of February while placing a 45 lb. weight back on a rack at the Cardinals' spring training complex, but the veteran right-hander has plenty of time to catch back up with the other St. Louis starters. Waino figures to get the nod on Opening Night at Wrigley Field.
According to Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun, right-hander Suk-min Yoon is trying to work out a settlement with the Orioles that will get him out of his major league contract and allow him to play in Korea.
Yoon signed a three-year, $5.75 million deal with the O's last February after nine seasons in the Korea Baseball Organization. The 28-year-old starter posted an ugly 5.74 ERA and 1.58 WHIP in 95 2/3 innings last summer at the Triple-A level. He never made it to the majors, though he's young enough to give it another shot later in his career.