Recent MLB Player News

Pirates' Chris Archer (neck, shoulder) out until 2021

Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Chris Archer (neck, shoulder) underwent surgery Tuesday to "relieve symptoms of neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome."

What It Means:

Archer will not be available until the 2021 season. The issue may help explain why Archer recorded an ERA above 5.00 last year for the first time in his career. The 31-year-old right-hander reported discomfort in his right neck/shoulder area in March during spring training. He is 6-12 with a 4.92 ERA in 33 starts since being acquired from the Tampa Bay Rays at the 2018 trade deadline.

Archer posted a 5.19 ERA and 1.41 WHIP with a 27.2 strikeout percentage in 119 2/3 innings last season.

Rays expect 'zero limitations' for Blake Snell (elbow) during future spring training

Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Blake Snell has not thrown off the mound since spring training concluded in March.

What It Means:

According to Tampa Bay's pitching coach Kyle Snyder, the Rays will be "cautious" with Snell but remain optimistic the left-hander will have "zero limitations" whenever spring training restarts. "“There’s been a level of consistency throughout all these guys,’’ said Synder when asked about his plan for his pitchers. “It’s going to come down to gauging where each of them are before they really hit the gas pedal."

Expect Snell to work his way back while the Rays' facilities are open for three-day-a-week sessions. For the upcoming season, numberFire's models project Snell for a 3.44 ERA and 225 strikeouts in 170 innings pitched.

Yankees' Aaron Hicks progressing in his rehab from Tommy John surgery

New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Hicks is currently taking dry swings and doing a throwing program, according to general manager Brian Cashman.

What It Means:

Hicks underwent Tommy John Surgery late in October after the Yankees were eliminated in the ALCS by the Houston Astros (Hicks played a pivotal role in forcing a Game 6). He began a throwing program in late March after Spring Training was canceled due to the coronavirus, and it seems as though he's on track to play at some point if the MLB returns, with Cashman calling him a "legit option" to man center field this summer.

In 59 games last season, Hicks hit for a .235/.325/.443 slash line 12 home runs and 36 RBI.

James Paxton (back) throwing simulated innings in preparation for Yankees' season

New York Yankees starting pitcher James Paxton has progressed in his rehabilitation process enough that he's been able to pitch some simulated innings, according to general manager Brian Cashman.

What It Means:

Paxton underwent a microscopic lumbar discectomy on February 5 to remove a cyst near his spine. The original time frame for a full recovery was 3-4 months, and it seems as though he's on track to meet that. However, the MLB season never started due to the coronavirus, and even if baseball were to come back this season, it wouldn't be until at least July. So it seems as though Paxton won't miss any time after surgery, which would be a fortunate break for the Yankees.

In 150.2 innings across 29 starts last season, Paxton had a 3.82 ERA with 186 strikeouts and a 1.28 WHIP.

Yankees' Aaron Judge (rib) wouldn't have been ready until "summertime"

New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge will not be ready for MLB action until the "summertime," according to general manager Brian Cashman.

What It Means:

Judge is dealing with a cracked rib, which was revealed at Spring Training to have occurred late in the 2019 season. Given the MLB's delayed opening due to coronavirus (and while a deal is on the table for the players to sign, it doesn't seem as though an end is necessarily near in sight), it may not matter at all. But had the season started on time, it seems as though the Yankees could have been without their star right fielder for an extended period of time.

In 102 games last season, Judge hit for a .272/.381/.540 slash line with 27 home runs and 55 RBI.

Source: Bryan Hoch

Rangers' Willie Calhoun (jaw) 'back up to 100 percent'

Texas Rangers utility-man Willie Calhoun (jaw) participated in machine batting practice after fully recovering from a fractured jaw suffered in March.

What It Means:

Calhoun is thankfully healthy after suffering a scary injury from a hit-by-pitch during a March Cactus League game. “Health-wise I’m in a really good place right now," said the 25-year old when asked about his current status. "I’m back up to 100 percent. I’ve gained back some of the weight that I lost. Other than that I’m pretty good.”

Expect Calhoun to play everyday in left field against starting right-handers whenever the MLB regular season is ready to begin. numberFire's season-long projection for Calhoun includes a .268 average with 24 home runs and 71 RBI in 524 total plate appearances.

Heyman: 'Early July remains MLB's target' for 2020 regular season

According to Jon Heyman, Major League Baseball is still targeting early July as their 2020 regular season start date.

What It Means:

Major League Baseball remains interested in a July start period despite several obstacles including a concrete location plan for potential play, overall roster construction with the minor league season unlikely to occur, and the length of the regular season.

Expect a spring training around three to five weeks before any regular games are tentatively scheduled or set.

Source: Jon Heyman

Orioles' Trey Mancini (cancer) expects to miss season

Baltimore Orioles outfielder/first baseman Trey Mancini (cancer) doesn't expect to play this season.

What It Means:

Mancini underwent surgery in March to remove a malignant tumor from his colon. He's currently undergoing chemo treatment every other week for six months. The 28-year-old expects to eventually resume his playing career.

Mancini hit .291/.364/.535 with 35 homers, 97 RBI, and 106 runs scored last season.

Steve Pearce officially retires after 13 seasons

According to WEEI.com, utility-man Steven Pearce has retired from professional baseball.

What It Means:

Pearce will officially end his Major League Baseball career after playing 766 games with eight total teams. The 37-year old had by far his overall season in 2014 with the Orioles, recording 5.8 Wins Above Replacement, 21 home runs, and 49 RBI.

In 2256 career at-bats, Pearce produced a .254 batting average with 91 home runs and 303 RBI.

Source: WEEI.com

Mark Reynolds announces his retirement after 13 seasons

On MLB Network Radio, infielder Mark Reynolds announced his retirement from baseball after playing 13 seasons.

What It Means:

Reynolds will retire from Major League Baseball after logging 5432 career at-bats with eight different clubs. According to Reynolds, the veteran is ready to move on especially when considering MLB's current situation. "I'm retired, actually," said the 36-year old when asked about his status for next season. "With all this going on with everything, I'm enjoying spending time with my family and it's time for me to move on and find something else to do."

In 1688 total games, Reynolds produced a .236 average with 298 home runs and 871 RBI.

Angels' Shohei Ohtani (elbow) to be back on mound 'soon'

Los Angeles Angels designated hitter/starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani (elbow) is nearing a return to the mound, per manager Mickey Callaway.

What It Means:

Ohtani has been long tossing up to 180 feet and then shortening it to 60 feet "and really letting it go," Callaway said, adding that the two-way player should be back on the mound "soon." However, he likely won't be able to face live hitters until the COVID-19 situation progresses. The Angels originally expected Ohtani, who is recovering from Tommy John surgery, to make his 2020 pitching debut in mid-May.

Ohtani recorded a 3.31 ERA with 63 strikeouts and 22 walks over 51 2/3 innings in 2018 in his first and only season pitching in the majors. The right-hander went 4-2 in 10 starts.

Philadelphia's Andrew McCutchen (knee) ready for 2020 season

Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Andrew McCutchen (knee) is "ready to go" after receiving extra time to rehab from his ACL injury suffered in June 2019.

What It Means:

After rehabbing successfully from his ACL injury, McCutchen is now healthy enough to start the 2020 regular season whenever it occurs. "Now I know, whenever the time comes and we're playing again, I'll be ready to go," said the veteran outfielder when asked about his status. "I'm really gonna be itching to get out on the field and play."

Expect McCutchen to retain his starting role in left field whenever the 2020 season begins. The 33-year old 's season-long projection includes a .257 batting average with 23 home runs and 67 RBI in 575 plate appearances.

Source: NBC Sports

Cubs-Cardinals London Series officially canceled

The London Series between the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals has been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

What It Means:

The series was originally scheduled for June 13-14. At this point, it's not clear if any regular season games will be played by mid-June. MLB also previously canceled the Mexico and Puerto Rico series, which had been scheduled for the end of April.

Astros' Justin Verlander (groin) on schedule, doing well

Houston Astros starting pitcher Justin Verlander (groin) is "right on schedule" and "recovering very well," according to general manager James Click.

What It Means:

Verlander underwent right groin surgery in the middle of March. The procedure was expected to cost him six weeks. "The last I heard, everything’s going great and he’s ready to get back out there as soon as he possibly can," Click said. "I haven’t heard anything bad." The 37-year-old right-hander should be ready whenever the season starts.

Verlander recorded a 2.58 ERA and 0.80 WHIP with 300 strikeouts and 42 walks over 223 innings last season. He went 21-6 in 34 starts.

Red Sox's Chris Sale undergoes Tommy John

Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale underwent Tommy John surgery, per Alex Speier of the Boston Globe.

What It Means:

The Red Sox announced earlier this month that Sale needed the surgery, but there were scheduling complications due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The left-hander, who turned 31 today, will not be ready to return until after the start of the 2021 season.

Sale recorded a 4.40 ERA and 1.09 WHIP with 218 strikeouts and 37 walks across 147 1/3 innings last season. He went 6-11 in 25 starts.

Mets' Noah Syndergaard reportedly requires Tommy John for elbow injury

New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard has a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow and is expected to undergo Tommy John surgery in the near future, reports Jeff Passan of ESPN.

What It Means:

The operation will likely sideline Syndergaard until the middle of the 2021 season. Whenever the season starts, the Mets will likely have a rotation of Jacob deGrom, Marcus Stroman, Rick Porcello, Steven Matz, and Michael Wacha. Syndergaard will turn 28 in August.

Syndergaard recorded a 4.28 ERA and 1.23 WHIP with 202 strikeouts and 50 walks over 197 2/3 innings in 2019. He went 10-8 in 32 starts.

Sam Tuivailala released by Mariners

Right-handed pitcher Samuel Tuivailal was released by the Seattle Mariners on Friday.

What It Means:

Tuivailal dealt with a shoulder issuer that kept him from appearing in the Cactus League and may have played a part in his surprise release from the team. Assuming his shoulder doesn't hold him back, the 27-year-old shouldn't have any issue finding a new team.

Tuivailal took part in 23 games for Seattle in 2019. He faced 94 batters and recorded a 2.35 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, and 27 strikeouts.

Mets-Marlins in Puerto Rico canceled by COVID-19

The Puerto Rico series between the New York Mets and Miami Marlins, originally scheduled for April 28-30, has been canceled.

What It Means:

The cancelation is due to the delayed opening of the MLB season caused by the CO-VID19 pandemic. The games will be rescheduled in the home team's cities.

Diamondbacks-Padres April 18-19 Mexico City series canceled

The April 18-19 Mexico City series between the Arizona Diamondbacks and San Diego Padres has been canceled, Major League Baseball announced Thursday.

What It Means:

The cancelation is due to the delayed opening of the MLB season caused by the CO-VID19 pandemic. The games will be rescheduled in the home team's cities.

MLB expected to advise teams to end organized group workouts

Major League Baseball is expected to send out guidelines advising teams to end organized group workouts, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.

What It Means:

The guidelines would advise teams to end organized and group workouts at spring and home parks but would allow for individual needs to continue. The guidelines aim to better align the league with social-distancing practices.

MLB Opening Day delayed “at least 2 weeks”

Major League Baseball will delay Opening Day for "at least two weeks,” per Joel Sherman of the New York Post.

What It Means:

Spring training games have been canceled as the sports world continues to react to the growing threat of the coronavirus. Opening Day was initially scheduled for March 26.

Opening Day likely going to be delayed

Major League Baseball will likely delay the start of the regular season, per Jeff Passan of ESPN.

What It Means:

"At this point, it's a formality that ownership-level sources expect to happen," Passan tweeted. Spring training is expected to be suspended beginning Saturday. This is a developing situation.

MLB expected to suspend spring training games

Major League Baseball is expected to suspend Grapefruit League play on Thursday, according to Jon Heyman of MLB Network.

What It Means:

Cactus League play will presumably also be suspended as MLB responds to growing coronavirus concerns. Opening Day is currently scheduled to begin on March 26, but the start of the season could be delayed. Heyman adds that teams will be allowed to continue practicing at their spring locations.

Yankees' James Paxton (back) throws pain-free Wednesday

New York Yankees starting pitcher James Paxton played catch pain-free Wednesday for the first time since undergoing back surgery.

What It Means:

Paxton had a cyst removed from his spine on February 5. The 31-year-old left-hander said mid-May is the earliest he will be ready to make his season debut.

numberFire's models currently project Paxton for a 4.01 ERA and 1.23 WHIP with 152 strikeouts and 44 walks this season.

Yankees' Giancarlo Stanton takes live BP Thursday

New York Yankees outfielder Giancarlo Stanton (calf) took live batting practice on Wednesday.

What It Means:

Stanton hit an opposite-field homer during the session and he continues to make progress. He's expected to resume running on Thursday, and that will likely help provide a clearer sense of when Stanton will be cleared to play. The 30-year-old slugger still isn't expected to be ready for Opening Day.

numberFire's models project Stanton to bat .268 with 39 home runs, 96 RBI, and 83 runs scored this season.

Source: Bryan Hoch

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