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Angels' Shohei Ohtani (elbow) to hit off tee Friday
Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher/designated hitter Shohei Ohtani (elbow) will hit off a tee on Friday.
It will be Ohtani's first tee work since undergoing Tommy John Surgery last October. He isn't expected to play in any Cactus League games and the Angels don't plan on Ohtani being available as a DH until May. The 24-year-old slashed .285/.361/.564 with 22 taters, 61 RBI, 59 runs scored, and 10 steals in 367 plate appearances as a rookie.
numberFire's models expect Ohtani to bat .274 with 25 home runs, 74 RBI, 67 runs scored, and 10 steals across 465 plate appearances this season.
Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw (arm) to play catch in a 'few days'
Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw (arm) said Friday that he "should be playing catch in the next few days and kind of go from there."
"I'm not going to be super-specific right now," Kershaw said in regards to the injury. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts claims it's unrelated to the biceps tendinitis that caused Kershaw to miss time last season. The ace left-hander turns 31 next month.
numberFire's models expect Kershaw to record a 2.87 ERA with 186 strikeouts in 2019.
Braves' Mike Soroka experiencing renewed shoulder soreness
Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Mike Soroka will be shut down for the next 4-5 days due to renewed soreness in his right shoulder.
Soroka initially tweaked his shoulder while lifting weights last month, but had pitched pain-free until this week. The 21-year-old right-hander missed the entire second half of last season with shoulder problems.
numberFire's models expect Soroka to twirl a 3.63 ERA and 1.41 WHIP with 50 punchouts across 64 1/3 innings this season.
Marwin Gonzalez signs with Twins for 2 years, $21 million
The Minnesota Twins and infielder/left fielder Marwin Gonzalez have agreed to a 2-year, $21 million contract, reports Jon Heyman of MLB Network.
Gonzalez will likely be utilized all over the field, which could limit plate appearances for Willians Astudillo. MarGo batted .247/.324/.409 with 16 home runs for the Houston Astros last season while making starts at five different positions.
numberFire's models expect Gonzalez to hit .263 with 18 dingers, 69 RBI, 65 runs scored, and 3 steals in 2019.
Mets' Jed Lowrie dealing with knee injury
New York Mets infielder Jed Lowrie underwent an MRI on his left knee.
The MRI revealed Lowrie isn't dealing with significant knee damage, per general manager Brodie Van Wagenen, but that doesn't necessarily guarantee his status for Opening Day. The versatile 34-year-old signed a two-year, $20 million contract with the Mets in January.
numberFire's models expect Lowrie to record a .259 batting average with 18 home runs, 73 RBI, 73 runs scored, and 2 steals this season.
Michael Lorenzen to pitch, play center field for Reds this spring
Cincinnati Reds pitcher Michael Lorenzen is expected to both pitch and play center field during Cactus League games this spring.
Lorenzen was a two-way stud in college at Cal State Fullerton and he's proven to be one of the better hitting pitchers in the majors, slashing .290/.333/.710 with 4 home runs, 10 RBI, and 5 runs scored across 34 plate appearances last season. The 27-year-old right-hander also posted a 3.11 ERA across 81 innings.
numberFire's models expect Lorenzen to record a 3.86 ERA and 1.34 WHIP with 60 strikeouts over 77 innings in 2019.
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