Baseball is back. As we get closer to the regular season, be sure to stop by The Stew each morning for your daily helping of spring storylines.
AROLDIS CHAPMAN'S SURGERY WAS A SUCCESS and doctors believe the Cincinnati Reds closer could be throwing a baseball again in 10-14 days. It took two and a half hours to put a metal plate on the bone above Chapman's eye, where he was hit by a line drive Wednesday night.
Here are more details from MLB.com's Mark Sheldon:
Dr. Ed Joganic, a cranial facial plastic surgeon, performed the two-and-a-half-hour surgery at Phoenix's Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center. The Reds expect Chapman to remain in the hospital for another day or two.
[Reds team doctor Tim] Kremchek said Chapman was awake and alert earlier in the day.
"[He] knows what's going on," Kremchek said Thursday afternoon. "The idea is to get that fixed and hopefully within a couple of weeks, he can start exercises and start throwing and hopefully be back in six to eight weeks with contact. The problem is you don't want him to get back to contact or pitching too soon, because just in case another accident or some type of collision happens or a baseball hits him again.
"He has a very mild concussion, no other brain injury. His eyes are fine. Right now, he's a very lucky guy. He was very well taken care of here in Arizona. He's at the right place, the right hospital. He's got some very good doctors taking care of him."
Kremchek says Chapman could be ready to play again in 4-6 weeks.
JACOBY ELLSBURY'S MRI CAME BACK NEGATIVE and now the New York Yankees plan to be precautions with their new $153 million outfielder. Ellsbury, who isn't a stranger to injuries, has been bothered by a sore right calf and hasn't played since last Friday.
''I'm sure he'll take BP tomorrow,'' Yankees manager Joe Girardi said before Thursday night's game against Boston. ''We just wanted to make sure he was OK. They decided to do a precautionary. I don't determine if a guy gets a test. That's our guys on the medical side. ''Our people just decided let's be cautious and make sure. We got good news.''
BRANDON BEACHY'S TOMMY JOHN SURGERY IS NOW OFFICIAL, and he'll go under the knife Friday for his second go-round with the surgery. It was believed that Beachy, 27, would have the surgery since last week, but he was still weighing his options. He joins teammate Kris Medlen, another new Tommy John two-timer, on the sidelines for the season.
SPEAKING OF LONG-TALKED-ABOUT INJURIES, THE OFFICIAL DIAGNOSIS IS BACK ON JOSE IGLESIAS and the Detroit Tigers shortstop will be out 4-6 months because of stress fractures in both legs. Iglesias, a defensive dynamo, could ultimately miss the entire season and that's a case that Tigers are preparing for general manager Dave Dombrowski said Thursday.
''It certainly hurts,'' Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said of the loss of Iglesias. ''We were hoping that Jose would be able to flash his glove for 150 games or so, but plans have changed. The important thing is for him to take care of his stress fracture issue and get back as soon as he can. We'll try to fill the gap in the meantime.''
Detroit could try to sign free agent Stephen Drew to replace the 24-year-old Iglesias if the championship-contending franchise isn't comfortable starting someone such as Danny Worth at the important position. Other candidates are prospects Eugenio Suarez ad Hernan Perez.
''Right now, we're looking at internal candidates,'' Dombrowski said. ''Right now, that's the way we're leaning on going.''
MARCO SCUTARO HAS A 50-50 SHOT AT BEING READY FOR OPENING DAY, San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy said Thursday. His second baseman has an ailing back and has only played one game this spring. Scutaro received an epidural shot Thursday, and the Giants plan to re-evaluate him in two days. The window to get him enough at-bats to be ready for opening day, however, is quickly closing.
IN OPENING-DAY STARTER NEWS, the Washington Nationals have announced that Stephen Strasburg will be their Day One starter, while the San Diego Padres said Thursday that Andrew Cashner is getting the nod.
Sources: Astros, 3B Matt Dominguez closing in on five-year contract extension worth around $17M with two club options for ~$8M and ~$10M.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) March 20, 2014
Astros continuing trend of giving players guaranteed money in hopes of striking big with under-market deals. Risk with Dominguez is bat.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) March 20, 2014
Matt Dominguez extension could take bit to finalize. Both sides confident there will be agreement in range of five years + two club options.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) March 20, 2014
More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:
- - - - - - -