Welcome to The Stew’s Spring Headlines, our daily look at the biggest MLB stories and news items from around spring training. Here you’ll find a quick recap of all the day’s action and other fun stuff from around the internet that we think is worth your time.
DISARRAY: Veteran shortstop Jimmy Rollins enters camp hoping to win a job with the San Francisco Giants this spring. At this time last year, he was attempting to do the same under much crazier circumstances with the Chicago White Sox.
As everyone knows, the White Sox were involved in a bizarre storyline surrounding Adam LaRoche, who abruptly retired when the team no longer allowed his teenage son in the clubhouse. The incident would divide the clubhouse and lead to a clash between several star players and the front office. It also set the stage for a weird season that included Chris Sale getting suspended for shredding retro uniforms he didn’t like.
As Rollins put it on Wednesday, it was a clubhouse in disarray during his admittedly short stint. He also points out how the most vocal of the White Sox are seemingly gone now, which includes Sale and Adam Eaton.
Jimmy Rollins recaps dysfunction that "didn't really change"when w/ White Sox. "A lot of the guys that were outspoken are no longer there" pic.twitter.com/oDiXi1HCrS
— Courtney Cronin (@CourtneyRCronin) February 15, 2017
It was a clubhouse in disarray after that point. Although we did great. It’s always a little players versus the front office but I think just because of the way it was handled — a lot of the guys that were outspoken are no longer there. They’re in better places if you ask me, but they’re no longer there.
Rollins comments paint the picture many were already envisioning with the White Sox. That the White Sox have moved on from certain players may ease the tension, but this is clearly a mess that runs much deeper and may be too late to clean up without completely cleaning house. [@CourtneyRCronin]
UH OH: Mets right-hander Zack Wheeler reported some tenderness in his right elbow during a recent bullpen session and will likely be given an extra day of rest, according to pitching coach Dan Warthen. The Mets believe the discomfort Wheeler felt was due to remaining scar tissue from Tommy John surgery. Wheeler’s elbow was found to be structurally sound during his spring physical, so it could prove more of a mental than physical setback. [SNY]
STICK AROUND?: There appears to be some momentum toward a long-term deal between the Mets and second baseman Neil Walker. Walker himself has suggested that he’s pushing for such a deal, while Marc Carig of Newsday reports that the “situation looks favorable” for the sides to come together. Walker, 31, accepted the Mets’ $17.2M qualifying offer last fall. [@MarcCarig]
TAKE IT SLOW: Indians outfielder Michael Brantley will be held out of early spring training games, the team is still expecting him to be ready for opening day. The 2014 All-Star was limited to 11 games last season after undergoing a pair of shoulder operations. [@BNightengale]
BUMMER: It’s been confirmed that top Cardinals prospect Alex Reyes will require season-ending Tommy John surgery to repair a partial tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right arm. [The Stew]
SEASON IN DOUBT: Braves utility man Sean Rodriguez had shoulder surgery for a torn rotator cuff in his left non-throwing shoulder on Wednesday. He’s expected to miss the majority, if not the entirety of the 2017 season. Rodriguez suffered the injury in car accident last month. The Braves acquired Brandon Phillips over the weekend in anticipation of Rodriguez missing significant time. [@DOBrienAJC]
REPLACING ORTIZ: No one player will replace David Ortiz as the Boston Red Sox designated hitter. However, manager John Farrell has confirmed that Hanley Ramirez will serve as the primary DH against right-handed pitchers. [@brianmacp]
ALL CLEAR: Chicago Cubs slugger Kyle Schwarber has been cleared to catch again less than 11 months after tearing two knee ligaments in an outfield collision in the second game of the 2016 season. The Cubs plan to give Schwarber playing time behind the plate in spring training, but he will primarily play left field. [@MDGonzales]
CLOSER BY COMMITTEE: Pay attention fantasy baseball owners. A’s manager Bob Melvin suggests his team won’t commit to a single closer this season with a handful of options at his disposal. Sean Doolittle, Ryan Madson, Santiago Casilla and John Axford all have closing experience, while Ryan Dull appears capable in that role as well. [@JaneMLB]
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