Reds manager Bryan Price indicated Thursday that Joey Votto's Cactus League debut is imminent.
"You won't have to hold your breath, I promise you, you won't have to hold your breath for this," Price said. "Just to reiterate, we just went too far into the rehab and made a commitment to do an extensive rehab to do anything before we feel he's ready. I think he's very close and he's champing at the bit to get in there." Votto missed 100 games last season because of a distal quad strain. The 31-year-old first baseman is an excellent bounceback candidate for 2015.
Major League Baseball's decision on a punishment for Josh Hamilton could come as early as next week, per Jon Morosi and Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
The report states that MLB officials believe Hamilton should be suspended for his offseason cocaine relapse, and are determining whether that would be a 25-game sentence (the recommended length for a first-time offender) or a year-long suspension (designed for fourth-time offenders). The players' union is arguing for only 15 games. Also to be determined is whether Hamilton will be placed into drug rehab, a decision which carries big financial implications.
Nate Freiman has been diagnosed with a strained back muscle and could be out for two weeks.
That's not gonna help his cause for the A's Opening Day roster. Mark Canha, a Rule 5 Draft pick this past December, probably already had the edge on Freiman anyway.
Martin Perez (elbow) is scheduled to throw off a half-mound next Tuesday in Rangers camp.
It'll be the first time throwing off a slope for Perez since he underwent Tommy John surgery last May. The left-hander is not expected to be an option for the Rangers' starting rotation until midseason. He can be ignored in most redraft fantasy leagues.
Jon Jay (wrist) took batting practice on the field Thursday for the first time this spring.
According to MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch, that puts Jay ahead of schedule in his recovery from offseason wrist surgery. The 30-year-old center fielder is not in danger of missing the start of the regular season. He signed a two-year, $10.975 million contract with the Cardinals in early February that covers his final two years of salary arbitration.
Erik Bedard said Wednesday that he is open to being sent to Triple-A Albuquerque when camp closes.
"I know where I stand. It feels fine," said the veteran left-hander. "The game’s still fun and I like playing baseball is, basically, what it comes down to." Bedard is obviously a severe longshot for a rotation spot with the Dodgers, though he could get a look for long relief if he pitches well in the Cactus League. The 36-year-old signed a minor league contract with Los Angeles in January. He had a 4.76 ERA in 75 2/3 innings with the Rays last season.
Derek Holland (shoulder) is now scheduled to throw a bullpen session Friday.
There was a report that he was going to try it Thursday, but that could have been a communication mix-up. Holland had to be scratched from an intrasquad game last week in Rangers camp due to discomfort in his left shoulder. It's thought to be routine spring soreness, but the Rangers are probably going to take it slowly with him now given his recent injury history.
Yoan Lopez is scheduled to make his Cactus League debut Sunday.
The 21-year-old Cuban right-hander landed an $8.25 million bonus from the Diamondbacks in January -- a record for an international amateur, though the record only stood for a couple of weeks. D'Backs GM Dave Stewart said in February that Lopez is competing for an Opening Day rotation spot, but it's far more likely that he spends a bit of time in the minors to open his career.