Carlos Carrasco didn’t look sharp in his final start of the spring, allowing nine hits, four runs and one walk over four sluggish innings Wednesday in the Indians’ Cactus League win over the Reds.
He also contributed five strikeouts. Carrasco let up three runs in the opening frame including two on Jose Peraza’s homer to left field. Adam Duvall took him deep for a solo blast later in the same inning. Carrasco ran into trouble again in the second but benefited from a caught stealing. He wasn’t as lucky in the fourth, allowing another run to cross on Billy Hamilton's single to left field. Fantasy owners are drafting Carrasco to be an ace but he certainly hasn’t pitched like one this spring. He posted a hideous 10.80 ERA over six Cactus League starts.
Mets assistant general manager John Ricco said that Zack Wheeler will have a yet-to-be-determined innings limit during the coming season.
"There’s going to be some number but we don’t exactly know what that is," Ricco said, later adding an awkward metaphor in saying that "[t]here’s no sleep chamber that you can put him in and then wake up in Mars." Wheeler has missed the last two seasons after undergoing Tommy John surgery. He made 32 starts (185 1/3 innings) with a 3.54 ERA and 187/79 K/BB ratio in 2014. The Mets could potentially add Wheeler to the Opening Day rotation now that Steven Matz (elbow) has officially been ruled out for the start of the campaign. Seth Lugo is also in play to take the spot vacated by Matz.
Jose Ramirez reached base four times and scored a pair of runs Wednesday in the Indians’ Cactus League win over the Reds.
Ramirez paced the Tribe with three hits including a one-out double in the fifth. He scored later in the same inning on a two-run blast by Brandon Guyer. Ramirez has swung a hot bat this spring, collecting a .314 average over 51 Cactus League at-bats. The 24-year-old recently put pen to paper on a five-year, $28 million extension.
Matt Shoemaker didn’t have his best stuff Wednesday in the Angels’ Cactus League win over the Brewers, letting up nine hits and three runs over four shaky innings.
He notched three strikeouts while recording one walk. Shoemaker didn’t have a clean inning, allowing at least two hits in each frame. He had a particularly hard time in the second, yielding three hits including a solo homer by Jesus Aguilar. The right-hander will hope for better results in the regular season after posting a sluggish 5.29 over five Cactus League starts.
Jesus Aguilar mashed his seventh home run of the spring Wednesday in the Brewers’ Cactus League loss to the Angels.
It was a solo shot off starter Matt Shoemaker. He also singled to begin the fourth inning. Aguilar has put himself on the map by hitting .466 with 17 RBI over 58 Cactus League at-bats. He’ll open the year as the backup first baseman in Milwaukee but could push Eric Thames for at-bats if he continues his torrid hot streak.
Zach Davies could have had a better day Wednesday in the Brewers’ Cactus League loss to the Angels, allowing five hits and four runs over four strenuous innings.
He struck out one batter and walked one. Davies barely got out of the first, yielding four runs before Dustin Ackley was caught stealing for the final out of the frame. He fared much better in subsequent innings, retiring the side in order in the second and fourth and only allowing one man to reach in the third. That came on a one-out walk to C.J. Cron. The 24-year-old produced a 5.50 ERA over six Cactus League starts.
Padres manager Andy Green confirmed that Brandon Maurer will serve as closer to start the 2017 season.
Green said that situation might occasionally dictate another arm for the ninth inning, but for all practical purposes, this will be Maurer's job until he loses it. In 69 2/3 innings last season, the 26-year-old right-hander was a somewhat sketchy 13-of-19 in save chances while posting a 4.52 ERA, 1.26 WHIP and 72/23 K/BB ratio. He holds low-grade interest for NL-only and deeper mixed-league formats, but those 2016 numbers will realistically need to improve during the coming campaign if he is to serve as anything more than a filler closer option for fantasy purposes.
Randal Grichuk (finger) will not take part in the Cardinals' exhibition game on Thursday.
Grichuk might sit out the Cards' exhibition game on Friday, too. He was hit on the right hand by a pitch on Wednesday. While the team did not send him in for X-rays, they will do so if he is still feeling discomfort on Thursday. J.J. Bailey of KMOV is reporting that the tests Grichuk did undergo did not indicate a broken bone. Grichuk will serve as the Cardinals' starting left fielder come Opening Day so long as this injury is not more serious than initially believed.