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Ray Flowers

Latest from Ray Flowers' MLB Draft Guide

Tanner Scheppers Headshot

Scheppers left Friday's spring appearance with an apparent lower half injury, The Dallas Morning News reports.

Scheppers was struggling to record outs before leaving with the injury as well. The right-hander dealt with microfracture surgery in his knee last season, and he hasn't looked like himself for much of spring training, with a 6:5 K:BB and a brutal 1.83 WHIP over his 7.2 innings of work. Scheppers shouldn't be considered a lock for Texas's Opening Day roster any more, particularly if this injury costs him a chance to show his old form is around before spring runs out.
7:29 pm (EST)
Jose Ramirez Headshot

Ramirez has signed a four-year, $26 million extension with the Indians, Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reports.

This contract will keep Ramirez under Cleveland's control through the 2020 season. With just over a year of service time, Ramirez couldn't become a free agent until 2021 anyway, but this deal allows Ramirez to get some guaranteed money and it locks in his cost going forward for the Cleveland front office, protecting them from a potential huge arbitration payday should Ramirez continue to play as well as he did in 2016. At .312/.363/.462, Ramirez brought plus offense at third base to go with a glove that arguably belongs at shortstop, so it's easy to see why Cleveland is so optimistic about his future.
7:11 pm (EST)
Carlos Rodon Headshot

Rodon's MRI on Friday revealed no structural damage, Dan Hayes of CSN Chicago reports.

Rodon was scratched Friday with biceps tightness, but the MRI he underwent revealed no structural damage, which is what the White Sox originally believed was the case. He's still set to get a second opinion, but for now it seems like the worst-case-scenario was avoided. The 24-year-old is still likely to miss the start of the season, but a firmer timetable should be available after the second opinion.
7:06 pm (EST)
Chris Owings Headshot

Owings is still battling with Nick Ahmed and Ketel Marte for the starting shortstop role, Adam Green of Arizona Sports 98.7 FM reports.

Owings is looking like the frontrunner for the position at this point in spring, as he is outperforming both of his counterparts at the plate. The 25-year-old is 17-for-41 (.415) so far this spring, while Marte is 11-for-41 (.268) and Ahmed is 10-for-45 (.222). There is still time for each individual to make their case, but time is running low as manager Torey Lovullo is looking to lock in a starting within the next week. "We're going to put the best shortstop out there that's going to help us win games, bottom line," Lovullo said. "That competition is still running thick, so we're going to try to figure that out here in the coming week."
7:00 pm (EST)
Albert Almora Headshot

Almora (neck) is set to travel with the team for the Cubs' split-squad game in Las Vegas on Saturday, Mark Gonzalez of the Chicago Tribune reports.

It appears that Almora avoided anything significant after leaving Friday's game with neck tightness as a result of a sliding catch. The fact that he's making the trip for Saturday's split-squad game is an especially encouraging sign. Even if Almora is held out Saturday, it does not appear Friday's neck tightness will keep him on the shelf for long.
6:46 pm (EST)
Seth Smith Headshot

Smith is expected to return to the Orioles' lineup on Saturday, Brittany Ghiroli of reports.

Smith has been sidelined for much of the past two weeks dealing with a hamstring injury, though it seems he's finally ready to return to Grapefruit League games. The injury lingered longer than expected, so don't expect the Orioles to rush the 34-year-old back now. Smith remains optimistic about his Opening Day status, but he may need to be eased into things given the extended time he missed.
6:45 pm (EST)
Tyler Thornburg Headshot

Thornburg (arm) faced four batters in his outing Friday, notching two strikeouts and a walk over 20 pitches, Scott Lauber of reports.

An arm issue has forced Thornburg to work on the side over the last two weeks, but he made steady progress in his recent bullpen sessions and got back into game action Friday. He faced the Twins' Low-A Affiliate. Provided that his arm responds well to the increased activity on Saturday, the Red Sox will likely schedule his next outing within the coming days.
6:36 pm (EST)
Hoby Milner Headshot

Milner, a Rule 5 pick, was returned to the Phillies on Friday after the Indians outrighted him.

Milner didn't have much of a shot to crack the big league bullpen after the Indians signed Boone Logan, so this doesn't come as much of a surprise. He held a 9.00 ERA and 1.71 WHIP through seven spring innings, though he was able to collect nine strikeouts as well. The 26-year-old will head back to the Phillies where he'll eventually compete for a bullpen spot.
6:28 pm (EST)
Melvin Upton Headshot

Upton (shoulder) did not play in Friday's spring training game against the Red Sox, Mike Wilner of Sportsnet reports.

Upton's shoulder soreness has kept him out for close to one week at this point, and while manager John Gibbons suggested earlier in the week that the veteran outfield would be back soon, he's still not quite ready for game action. Still, Upton will likely be able to get back in the lineup for a couple of tuneups before the season officially gets underway on April 3. Upton's next chance to return will come Saturday against the Yankees.
6:24 pm (EST)
Erik Gonzalez Headshot

Gonzalez exited Friday's Cactus League game after being hit by a pitch on his right hand.

This comes at an inconvenient time for Gonzalez, who is fighting to win a spot on the 25-man roster with Jason Kipnis (shoulder) expected to miss Opening Day. It's unclear how long the injury will keep him sidelined, so consider him day-to-day until the Indians update his status.
6:20 pm (EST)
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