Indians manager Terry Francona announced Monday that Carlos Carrasco will pitch the second game of the regular season.
Francona also confirmed that Corey Kluber would pitch Opening Day and that Carrasco would be followed by Danny Salazar, Josh Tomlin and Trevor Bauer. Carrasco underwent an MRI on his right elbow earlier this month after he experienced some swelling, but everything came back clean and he threw three scoreless frames in a Cactus League appearance last Friday. The righty has never thrown 200 innings in his career and that's why he doesn't qualify as a fantasy ace, but it doesn't appear the elbow is a concern at all as we approach Opening Day.
Madison Bumgarner yielded two runs over seven innings Monday in a 14-2 victory over the Reds in Cactus League play.
Bumgarner gave up a sacrifice fly and a solo homer in the fifth inning, but otherwise he was on point. The Giants’ ace struck out nine and walked none and also went 1-for-2 with a single and a walk at the plate. Like pretty much everyone, he’s ready for the real games to begin
Cody Reed was blasted for 10 runs over 3 2/3 innings in Monday’s start against the Giants.
Reed didn’t get much help from his defense, but it was still a bad outing. He gave up 10 hits (including a homer to Jae-gyun Hwang) while walking four. The 23-year-old came into Monday’s outing with a 3.24 ERA this spring, so one disaster outing isn’t going to change the Reds’ plans to give him a rotation spot. If anything, Monday shined a light that there will likely be some bumps in the road.
Jae-gyun Hwang continued his hot spring by going 2-for-3 with a homer and four RBI in Monday’s win over the Reds.
Hwang clubbed a two-run homer in a seven-run fourth inning before tacking on two more runs with a single in the eighth. After coming over from Japan over the winter, the 29-year-old has impressed during Cactus League action by hitting .349 (15-for-43) with five homers and an 1.100 OPS. Despite the strong showing, he could begin the year with Triple-A Sacramento.
Aaron Hill was 3-for-4 with three RBI and two runs scored Monday versus the Reds.
Hill, a non-roster invitee, plated a run with a single in the first inning and had a two-run double in the Giants’ seven-run fourth. The 35-year-old has been relatively quiet at the plate recently, but he brings more versatility to the table than Jae-gyun Hwang. He should begin the year with a bench spot.
Jake Petricka will undergo an X-ray after being hit on the right hand by a comebacker.
Petricka said that everything "seems OK," but we'll have to wait and find out what the exam says. He'll be a middle reliever for the Pale Hose this season.
X-rays on Tyler Saladino's left wrist came back negative.
Saladino was hit on the wrist by a pitch in a minor league game Monday. He's probably sore but should be fine. Saladino is slated to be the White Sox' Opening Day second baseman.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Cardinals and Yadier Molina are "making progress" in extension talks and "may be getting closer to a deal."
There's been no word on the potential terms of the contract, although Heyman says Molina has reportedly been looking for a four-year extension, while St. Louis had been offering two years. He's currently set to make $14 million in 2017 before hitting free agency once a mutual option is declined. Molina turns 35 in July and the Cards have top catching prospect Carson Kelly almost ready, so it's possible he won't be an everyday player by the end of the deal. However, he remains one of the best defensive catchers in baseball and is coming off a season when he batted .307/.360/.427.