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Summer Camp News from the American League

Every day news floods in about MLB players in Summer Camp. We’ll be looking through American League Summer Camp News and including a quick list of players with COVID-19 and injury/rehab concerns. Last week’s American League Summer Camp News can be found here.

COVID-19 concerns includes players that have been diagnosed or tested positive. The injury/rehab list will include players with injury concerns whether it be a prior or current injury. The news will be updated as of the evening of Tuesday, July 14, so let’s dive into the American League Summer Camp News.

Summer Camp News – AL East

The American League Summer Camp News from the AL East seems full of Yankees. Before going into the news about each relevant player, we’ll have a brief list of COVID-19 and injury/rehab concerns. Sometimes players land on the injured list after testing positive for COVID-19, and other times the reasons are unknown. The main players on the playing time watch list would be the Rays’ pitchers and Austin Meadows.

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COVID-19 Concerns

  • Eduardo Rodriguez
  • D.J. LeMahieu
  • Aroldis Chapman

Injury/Rehab Concerns

  • Chase Anderson
  • Travis Shaw
  • D.J. Stewart
  • Blake Snell
  • Alex Verdugo
  • Aaron Hicks
  • Masahiro Tanaka
  • Aaron Judge
  • Giancarlo Stanton
  • James Paxton
  • Clint Frazier

Toronto Blue Jays

  • Lourdes Gurriel Jr. finally arrived at camp on Monday. The reasons for his absence are unknown.
  • Chase Anderson looks to have an oblique injury and it looks like Ryan Borucki projects as the fifth starter now. Oblique injuries are worrisome, so maybe this opens the door for Nate Pearson?
  • Trent Thornton now projects to be the fourth starter for the Blue Jays, but he’s more of a pitcher to stream.
  • Travis Shaw is dealing with groin soreness. He projects to play at third base, so that could mean more playing time for the post-hype sleeper. In a Mining the News article by Jeff Zimmerman on Fangraphs, Shaw mentioned swing changes gone wrong last year. Shaw’s a great late-round target.
  • Vladamir Guerrero Jr. will play at first base and DH, which isn’t too surprising. It also seems like the Blue Jays want to get Travis Shaw time at third base. 
  • Randal Grichuk participated in batting practice, so good to see him back at camp. 
  • Matt Shoemaker tossed 60 pitches during an intrasquad game and allowed two homers. More of a pitcher to stream, but he pitched great in 28.2 innings last year with a 1.57 ERA. 
  • It sounds like Nate Pearson should make his major league debut sometime in 2020. Keep an eye on the news because they could play the service clock game. 

Baltimore Orioles

  • Asher Wojciechowski projects to be the fourth starter for the Orioles coming out of camp. 
  • Anthony Santander hasn’t reported to summer camp and reasons are unknown.
  • We all love to hear the words “closer by committee” right? Well looks like that’s the Orioles plan as they have yet to decide on a closer. Hunter Harvey seems to be the lead candidate for saves, but it sounds like Mychal Givens and Richard Bleier may get chances as well.
  • Ryan Mountcastle has been added to the 60-man pool, so maybe we’ll see him in 2020.
  • Since Santander and Dwight Smith haven’t reported to camp, it could mean more playing time for D.J. Stewart. Stewart had surgery on his ankle last October, but it’s now fully healed. Stewart’s slated to bat 8th for the Orioles and platoon against right-handed pitchers. 

Tampa Bay Rays 

  • Jalen Beeks will be in line to make spot starts, especially with the absences of McKay, Chirinos, and Glasnow. During a simulated game, Beeks worked up to 49 pitches. 
  • Brendan McKay hasn’t been at camp since July 6 and the reasons haven’t been disclosed. Yonny Chirinos also hasn’t been at camp, and McKay’s been on the watch list of possibly filling in. 
  • Nick Anderson hasn’t been named the Rays’ closer. Kevin Cash stated, “It’s a benefit to our club to be able to be versatile and prioritize matchups.” That’s not surprising because the Rays had 11 players record at least one save last season.
  • Ryan Yarbrough performed well in 3.1 innings during a simulated game. He’s currently holding onto that fifth rotation spot.
  • Trevor Richards pitched well in the simulated game and is someone to monitor with the way the Rays uniquely use their pitchers. We’ve seen his changeup be nasty. 
  • Shane McClanahan could make his major league debut this year coming out of the bullpen. Currently he’s not on the 40-man roster, but could find a spot due to injury. 
  • Nate Lowe has first base eligibility, but he’s been taking reps at third base too. Might be a nice late-round pick or waiver wire watch list guy.
  • Diego Castillo returned to camp after not participating for several days.
  • Yonny Chirinos didn’t participate or join the Rays workouts, and it’s unclear the reasoning or when he’ll be with the team. He’s currently listed as the fourth starting pitcher, so keep an eye on his status as it could mean potential starts or innings pitched from Brendan McKay or Jalen Beeks.
  • Charlie Morton felt good after throwing four innings in a simulated game on Wednesday. 
  • Tyler Glasnow finally showed up at summer camp and revealed he tested positive for COVID-19. He worked up to 49 pitches during a simulated game, but his delay is still a bit worrisome. Originally Glasnow’s workload wasn’t going to be limited, so we’ll see how he ramps up in summer camp.
  • Blake Snell tossed 23 pitches during a simulated game. He’s someone I’m probably avoiding in drafts with the elbow injury concerns.
  • Yoshitomo Tsutsugo performed well in batting practice and hit a few bombs on Sunday. He’s projected to be a lefty platoon bat against right-handed pitching, and also has third base and outfield eligibility. 
  • Austin Meadows hasn’t been present at summer camp over the weekend after being there on Friday. The reasons for his absence are unknown at this point. Keep an eye on the summer camp news about Meadows.

Boston Red Sox

  • The Red Sox added top prospect Jeter Downs to the 60-man player pool. Not someone to draft, but more of a name to monitor with the COVID-19 and injury news that keeps popping up.
  • Brian Johnson threw 38 pitches during an intrasquad game. He projects to be the fourth starter for the Red Sox.
  • Rafael Devers appeared in an intrasquad game. He had not participated in camp due to waiting on COVID-19 testing after being exposed.
  • Andrew Benintendi looks to be the leadoff hitter this year. He’s mostly batted second in his career. 
  • Martin Perez looks to be the number two starter behind Eovaldi. He’s probably more of a weekly streamer or late-round draft pick in deeper leagues.
  • Jose Peraza and Michael Chavis look to be battling for the starting second base job. Peraza made swing adjustments during the shutdown, and we’ll see if those adjustments have an impact this season. 
  • Ryan Weber locked up a rotation spot. Over the weekend, he tossed 79 pitches in four innings.
  • Red Sox “ace” Nathan Eovaldi worked up to 66 pitches on Tuesday. He also pitched well during an intrasquad game last Thursday. He threw four innings with four strikeouts and limited opponents to only one hit and one walk each. Eovaldi looked good in Spring Training, so nice to see him pick up where he left off even though it’s months apart. 
  • Eduardo Rodriguez has been able to throw in his backyard while remaining in quarantine, so that could be a good sign for his health and status.
    • Rodriguez tested positive for COVID-19 and it looks like there’s still a small chance for him to be ready for Opening Day.

New York Yankees

  • With the Aroldis Chapman news, Zach Britton projects to be one of the relievers that could get saves for the Yankees. 
  • Aroldis Chapman tested positive for COVID-19, so he’ll miss some time, and hopefully, he’s healthy.
  • Pitching prospect Michael King is apparently one of three candidates for a starting rotation spot if Tanaka misses time. The other two candidates are Loaisiga and Schmidt although the latter two would be preferred options for fantasy. 
  • Gary Sanchez is ready to go after dealing with a sore back during Spring Training.
  • Miguel Andujar is getting some reps in at first base, which could help his cause for playing time currently being DH/utility only. 
  • Luke Voit arrived in summer camp 13 pounds lighter after better home nutrition and conditioning. Voit’s a great late-round power bat with great on-base skills.
  • Jonathan Loaisiga participated in a bullpen session and could make spot starts during the season.
  • Clarke Schmidt pitched in an intrasquad game, here’s his line – 2 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 1 BB, 3 K. Good start so far for a talented pitching prospect that could make a spot start during the season. 
  • Aaron Hicks had Tommy John surgery last October and batted leadoff in Monday’s intrasquad game. He’s slated to be the starting center fielder and bat 8th for the Yankees assuming full health.
  • Masahiro Tanaka remained free of symptoms and plans to throw a bullpen session soon. Good summer camp news after a scary incident. 
  • After news of Aaron Judge dealing with a stiff neck, he reportedly feels better. He sat out of the lineup on Sunday, took swings on Monday, and showed up on Tuesday but didn’t play in the scrimmage. The Yankees appear to have the longest list of summer camp news that surrounds Judge and Stanton.
  • In his second start of the week, Gerrit Cole dominated with nine strikeouts and zero runs allowed in 5.2 innings. Gerrit Cole won’t pitch in the three exhibition games but should be ready to go for Opening Day.
  • James Paxton threw two innings during a simulated game over the weekend. That’s a good step in the right direction.
  • Giancarlo Stanton batted cleanup as the DH in the intrasquad game and said his calf is 100% healthy. He also participated in baserunning drills on Tuesday with no issue.
  • Clint Frazier has been dealing with plantar fasciitis for the last two months. It doesn’t appear to be serious, but something to monitor.
  • Mike Tauchman’s expected to play in the outfield and DH. Both Tauchman and Frazier currently project to come off the bench according to Roster Resource. 
  • D.J. LeMahieu tested positive for COVID-19 and has been placed on the 10-day injured list. 

Summer Camp News – AL Central

There appears to be less American League summer camp news for the AL Central. Masher Miguel Sano tested positive for COVID-19. Salvador Perez also tested positive, but now activated off the injured list. Byron Buxton suffered a foot injury, and he’s currently day-to-day. There’s a potential lineup bump for Cesar Hernandez and Francisco Lindor while Oscar Mercado looks to move down the lineup. Yoan Moncada’s another top bat that’s landed on the injured list.

COVID-19 Concerns

  • Brad Keller
  • Salvador Perez (recently activated off injured list)
  • Miguel Sano
  • Willians Astudillo

Injury/Rehab Concerns

  • Hunter Dozier
  • Adalberto Mondesi
  • Spencer Turnbull
  • Michael Fulmer
  • Rich Hill
  • Byron Buxton
  • Delino DeShields
  • Yoan Moncada

Cleveland Indians

  • Cesar Hernandez projects to lead off, which means Oscar Mercado could move to the bottom of the lineup. Francisco Lindor will likely bat third when he’s typically led off for the Indians. Stock up for Hernandez and Lindor while Mercado’s stock drops slightly.
  • Franmil Reyes has been cleared to practice after attending a party where people weren’t wearing masks.
  • Delino DeShields has been placed on the 10-day injured list. This is slightly concerning with the prior report of him participating in team workouts. 

Kansas City Royals

  • The Royals named Danny Duffy the Opening Day starter, but he’s more of a streaming pitcher
  • After being hit on the hand, Hunter Dozier returned to practice the next day.
  • After battling a shoulder injury, Adalberto Mondesi appears recovered and ready to go. 
  • Brad Keller tested positive for COVID-19 and has mild symptoms. Hopefully, he recovers and like others, he’ll need to be away for at least two weeks or more based on his health and the testing protocols.
  • Good summer camp news – the Royals activated Salvador Perez after he landed on the injured list and tested positive for COVID-19.

Detroit Tigers

  • Tarik Skubal hit the 10-day injured list, but the reasons haven’t been shared.
  • Spencer Turnbull plans to ramp up to 75 pitches by the start of the season. Turnbull’s projected to be the fifth starter in the Tigers’ rotation.
  • Matthew Boyd plans to be ready to throw 75-80 pitches by the start of the season, meaning he’ll be ready to go about five innings. Boyd also planned on using his changeup and curveball more.
  • Michael Fulmer threw two innings during an intrasquad game. After missing 2019 due to Tommy John Surgery, it sounds like he’s working his way back. 

Minnesota Twins

  • Randy Dobnak looked good during an intrasquad game with four strikeouts in four innings. He’s slated in the long relief role but could make spot starts during the season. 
  • Homer Bailey looked good and pitched three scoreless innings during an intrasquad game.
  • Miguel Sano tested positive for COVID-19 and stated he’s asymptomatic, but he’s unable to return to camp yet. 
  • Byron Buxton injured his left foot while attempting to make a catch in the outfield. He needed to be carted off the field. Very unfortunate American League summer camp news for an electric baseball player. Buxton’s considered day-to-day with a mid-foot sprain. 
  • Rich Hill threw 60 pitches allowing zero runs in 5.1 innings over the weekend. Earlier last week Monday, he also threw a short simulated game of four innings. He’s currently slated to be the fifth starter, so it’s good to see him ramping up.

Chicago White Sox

  • Swing adjustment alert for Nomar Mazara, specifically to his hands and having less movement in his swing. Hopefully, we can see him unlock the potential this year.
  • Tim Anderson had a two-homer game over the weekend with three total homers in summer camp.
  • Pitching prospect Dane Dunning looks to be fully healthy after Tommy John surgery in March of 2019. He could be an option for spot starts during the season. 
  • Slugger Edwin Encarnacion appears to be fully healthy after having back and hip injuries in Spring Training. We also saw him hit a homer in an intrasquad game last Thursday. 
  • Dallas Keuchel plans to ramp up to five innings by the start of the season, so he will probably be ready to go.
  • Lucas Giolito tossed three innings in a simulated game.
  • On Monday, Dylan Cease threw a few innings of live batting practice. He made adjustments to his delivery in spring training, so we’ll see if those changes carry over to the season.
  • Michael Kopech has opted out from playing in 2020. 
  • Yoan Moncada landed on the 10-day injured list and reasons haven’t been disclosed. It’s to be determined on whether he will be ready for the start of the season. 

Summer Camp News – AL West

The Astros and Athletics headline the American League summer camp news in the AL West. Jose Urquidy and Yordan Alvarez top the list of Astros players that landed on the injured list after not reporting to camp. The top three arms for the Athletics looks to be without Jesus Luzardo for the time being. Bump Kyle Lewis up in drafts, and hopefully Nick Solak hits his way into the lineup.

COVID-19 Concerns

  • Julio Teheran
  • Jesus Luzardo

Injury/Rehab Concerns

  • Shohei Ohtani
  • Griffin Canning
  • Lance McCullers
  • Jose Urquidy
  • Yordan Alvarez
  • Taijuan Walker
  • Jake Fraley 
  • Mitch Haniger
  • Tom Murphy
  • Robinson Chirinos

Los Angeles Angels

  • Tommy La Stella could also spend time at first base, which would further add to his positional flexibility (assuming he receives enough games there). He’s slated to bat leadoff for an improved Angels’ lineup in front of Mike Trout, Anthony Rendon, and Shohei Ohtani.
  • Jaime Barria may be in line for a starting rotation spot to replace Julio Teheran.
  • Patrick Sandoval reported to camp on Thursday and tossed a bullpen session over the weekend. He also stated that he tested positive for COVID-19 in late June. Since he’s behind, manager Joe Maddon stated it’s unlikely for Sandoval to be ready for the start of the season. 
  • The Angels placed Julio Teheran on the 10-day injured list. This news come after he waited on his COVID-19 test results. 
  • Andrew Heaney threw 82 pitches across five innings during an intrasquad game on Sunday. It’s good to see the higher pitch count although he gave up eight hits, four runs, one walk, and five strikeouts. 
  • Shohei Ohtani reportedly had back stiffness over the weekend but expected to be fine. On Sunday, he hit a home run during an intrasquad game. On Monday, he threw 60 pitches during an intrasquad game, struggled with command, and issued four walks.
  • Griffin Canning says his elbow “feels like normal.” It’s hard to believe that, but he’s ramped up to 60 pitches. Elbow issues are always scary for pitchers.
  • Jo Adell hit a two-run homer during an intrasquad game. It seems unlikely that he’ll be on the team to start the year, but keep an eye on this guy.

Houston Astros

  • One of their top relievers Ryan Pressly didn’t practice on Tuesday due to an injury.
  • Austin Pruitt projects to be the Astros’ fifth starter, but he’s dealing with an injury. So that could open the door for another Astros pitcher.
  • George Springer missed Tuesday’s practice as he waits for COVID-19 test results.
  • Zack Greinke threw one innings worth of batting practice, which seems a little odd with so many other pitchers throwing more pitches and innings. Just more something to monitor at this point since he’s been a safe and reliable guy with great ratios.
  • Justin Verlander tossed three no-hit innings during a simulated game. According to a recent Mining the News article by Jeff Zimmerman, there are red flags with Verlander. He adjusted his mechanics last year that made his release point higher in hopes of gaining velocity. However his fastball velocity dropped down about 0.5 mph from 2018, and it looks like the groin injury contributed additional issues. Verlander also stated he’s fine-tuning his mechanics to get it where he wants it to be, which adds an additional concern at this point. Check out the articles Zimmerman referenced for more information.
  • Josh Reddick will be the starting right fielder and Kyle Tucker will come off the bench. 
  • Alex Bregman attended practice after waiting on COVID-19 testing results. He mentioned he’s working on his swing mechanics but he did hit a home run during Monday’s scrimmage. 
  • Josh James has reported to camp after being away due to personal/family matters. Apparently he’s already built up to 75-80 pitches and should be ready to start when the season begins. 
  • Jose Urquidy landed on the 10-day injured list. Similar to Alvarez, Urquidy hadn’t reported to camp, so unfortunate summer camp news. 
  • Lance McCullers worked up to 67 pitches across four innings during an intrasquad game, so good to see him ramping up.
  • Yordan Alvarez has been placed on the 10-day injured list. This comes after not reporting to the team for undisclosed reasons, and the Astros are unsure if he’ll be ready for the start of the season. We’ll need to keep an eye on the summer camp news about Alvarez since he’s one of their top hitters.

Oakland Athletics

  • Franklin Barreto has raked during camp with a couple of home runs. He’s projected to platoon with Tony Kemp at second while batting ninth. The main concern is the plate discipline with a 40% strikeout rate in the majors. 
  • Stephen Piscotty looks to be fully healthy after dealing with an injury during Spring Training. He’s slated to bat seventh for the Athletics and more of a bench bat or fill-in fifth outfielder at this point.
  • Khris Davis appears healthy and ready to go during camp. For me, he’s a bounce-back candidate in 2020.
  • With the Luzardo news, Chris Bassitt could have a spot in the rotation.
  • Mike Fiers participated in the A’s workouts after being away for a few days.
  • Sean Manaea is thinking about wearing a face mask during games. He’s also been a full participant in the A’s workouts.
  • Frankie Montas looked good in the A’s simulated game. It would be really exciting summer camp news to see him, Puk, and Luzardo healthy and ready for the start of the season.
  • A.J. Puk won’t have any workload restrictions, and with that news, he’ll likely jump up in drafts. If the season started on time, his workload would’ve been restricted. On Roster Resource, he’s slated to be in the rotation so he’ll be an intriguing arm this year.
  • Jesus Luzardo tested positive for COVID-19, so he’ll have to follow the testing protocol. Hopefully, he’s healthy and recovers, but he’ll need to be away for at least 14-days plus additional days for negative tests.

Seattle Mariners

  • Yoshihisa Hirano landed on the injured list for unknown reasons, which means the closer committee shrinks by one for the time being.
  • Top prospects Jarred Kelenic and Evan White have been turning heads on offense during the intrasquad games. White looks to have a locked-in spot at first base and hitting eighth with Kelenic less likely to make an appearance in 2020 according to general manager Jerry Dipoto. Although many would love to see Kelenic up, more just something fun to monitor in the summer camp news.
  • Justus Sheffield tossed a couple of scoreless innings in an intrasquad game. During Spring Training, he worked on his two-seamer and could be an interesting streamer.
  • Mallex Smith finally arrived at camp after missing the first few days. 
  • Taijuan Walker tossed a couple of innings during Monday’s scrimmage. He consistently reached 93 mph, which is close to his career 94.5 mph fastball velocity. He’s projected to be a part of the six-man rotation. 
  • Tom Murphy fouled a ball off his foot so he will miss some workouts, but should be ready to be the Mariners starting catcher. 
  • Marco Gonzales will be the Opening Day starter for the Mariners.
  • Manager Scott Servais raved about Yusei Kikuchi during a live batting practice session. Could be a streamer pitcher to watch.
  • After getting hit in the head, Jake Fraley cleared concussion protocol and practiced on Wednesday. 
  • Bump up Kyle Lewis as he hit two homers in the intrasquad game on Friday. He’s already received rave reviews from general manager Jerry Dipoto. It sounds like he’ll see time in center field and will play every day.

Texas Rangers

  • Willie Calhoun left the scrimmage on Monday due to a tight hip flexor. On Tuesday he received an MRI, so we’ll see what the results show. Hope we hear positive American League summer camp news about Calhoun.
  • Robinson Chirinos suffered a leg injury after a player slid into him. The images on his ankle came back negative and more relevant in two-catcher leagues when healthy.
  • Pitching prospects Joe Palumbo and Kolby Allard are potential spot starters. In a scrimmage, Allard performed well and allowed three hits, one walk, one unearned run, and five strikeouts. 
  • Jordan Lyles projects to be the fifth starter but might have his first start skipped. It’s not a matter of pitch count because he’s thrown 80 pitches like other Rangers’ starters. It’s more so about Lyles’ struggles in the recent scrimmage where he allowed five hits, five runs, and one strikeout. 
  • Kyle Gibson tossed 79 pitches with the following line: five innings, five hits, two runs, one walk, and five strikeouts. He’s another one of the Rangers’ pitchers that look to be ready to start the season with a typical starters workload.
  • After struggling in camp with zero hits and ten strikeouts, Danny Santana jacked a homer and a triple in a scrimmage over the weekend. Keep an eye on his progress and struggles after Santana’s career-year in 2019.
  • Isiah Kiner-Falefa has been hitting well in the intrasquad games with a .545 batting average. He’s more relevant in deeper two-catcher leagues. 
  • Lance Lynn tossed 107 pitches during Monday’s scrimmage but gave up five runs. Apparently he worked on getting more ground balls and messing around with pitches he wouldn’t typically throw.
  • Joey Gallo returned to the team on Friday, so good news on that front. 
  • Corey Kluber tossed six more innings during an intrasquad game. He struck out nine with zero walks in 80 pitches. 
  • Mike Minor struggled during an intrasquad game with the following line: four innings, three walks, three earned runs, four hits, and five strikeouts.
  • Jose Leclerc struggled with his command during a throwing session while working on his mechanics. He’s projected to be the Rangers’ closer, but we saw the struggles last season. 
  • Nick Solak played in left field and batting .350 during summer camp. Hopefully he hits his way into the lineup plus he’s a versatile player that can play in the infield and outfield. 
  • Rougned Odor’s batting .500 during summer camp with two homers and two walks. Woodward challenged him, and so far he’s performed well in camp. 

Thank you for reading the American League Summer Camp News. Feel free to reach me on Twitter @corbin_young21 for any questions or comments.

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