Mariners' Seager out thru April, Braves' Foltynewicz ailing
By The Associated Press
Kyle Seager will be absent next week when the Seattle Mariners play the major league opener in Japan. Mike Foltynewicz will miss opening day for Atlanta, too.
Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw, meanwhile, is on the mend.
The Mariners said Monday that Seager needs surgery on his left hand, sidelining the third baseman through at least April. The former All-Star and Gold Glove winner rolled his glove going for a grounder in a spring training game last week.
Seattle is likely to move first baseman Ryon Healy across the diamond to third. The Mariners and Oakland begin the regular season on March 20 in Tokyo.
The Braves had hoped Foltynewicz could start on March 28 when the NL East champions open at Philadelphia, but a sore elbow has slowed the All-Star righty.
Foltynewicz has yet to make an appearance in an exhibition game because of discomfort that began about two weeks ago.
"We're just trying to figure out at what point do we get him up to five innings?" general manager Alex Anthopoulos said. "He's not that far removed from throwing (off the mound), but we still want to be careful how we build him up."
With Foltynewicz out, the Braves could go with Julio Teheran on opening day for the sixth year in a row. Lefty Sean Newcomb is another possibility.
Kershaw threw his first bullpen since Feb. 20, an all-fastball session of 20 pitches. The three-time NL Cy Young Award winner has been slowed by left shoulder discomfort.
"Good day, good step forward, for sure, and just kind of keep going forward from here," Kershaw said.
Los Angeles isn't sure whether Kershaw will be available for its March 28 opener against Arizona. He has made eight consecutive opening-day starts but has mixed feelings about the importance of pitching this year's opener.
"Yes, because I have a little streak going and just the history behind it, it is pretty cool," he said. "But no, in the fact that it's not worth - it's one game out of, you know, you've got to kind of weigh that back and forth."
AROUND THE GRAPEFRUIT AND CACTUS LEAGUES
TIGERS 3, TWINS 0
Detroit first baseman Miguel Cabrera slyly pulled off the hidden-ball trick, trapping Ehire Adrianza in the third inning. Tyson Ross made a pickoff throw that sent Adrianza diving into the bag, and Cabrera pretended to toss the ball back to the mound. But he kept it and when Adrianza stood up and stepped off the base to shake away the dust, Cabrera tagged him.
The Twins' first base coach, by the way, was Toby Gardenhire - son of Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire. Toby Gardenhire is a minor league manager in Minnesota's system.
Ross pitched four innings and struck out five. JaCoby Jones homered and Grayson Greiner had two hits.
RAYS 8, PHILLIES 2
Bryce Harper played right field, struck out looking against AL Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell and walked in his second game with Philadelphia. Harper has yet to put the ball in play this spring after walking twice in his debut. Tampa Bay employed a four-man outfield against Harper, as did Toronto when it faced him over the weekend.
Snell pitched two hitless innings in his second start for Tampa Bay, striking out two. Avisail Garcia and Jake Smolinski homered for the Rays and Kevin Kiermaier doubled twice.
Andrew McCutchen and Jean Segura homered for the Phillies. Vince Velasquez struggled again in his second start, yielding five runs on five hits and two walks in two innings.
CARDINALS 3, NATIONALS 2
Paul Goldschmidt hit a two-run double off Washington ace Max Scherzer and is batting .348 in his first spring with St. Louis. Jack Flaherty made his second start, pitching five innings and surrendering one run.
Scherzer pitched 5 1/3 innings and gave up three runs and six hits. Scherzer also batted - in the fifth inning, Jack Flaherty's 3-2 inside fastball hit the nob of Scherzer's bat and breezed along the fingers of his right hand. One pitch earlier, Scherzer glared at Flaherty following a high-and-tight fastball.
Nationals manager Dave Martinez made it official that Scherzer will start on opening day. It'll be a marquee matchup at Nationals Park when Scherzer faces Jacob deGrom of the New York Mets. DeGrom beat out Scherzer for the NL Cy Young Award last year.
ASTROS 6, METS 3
Kyle Tucker, Houston's top prospect, hit a go-ahead, two-run double. Newcomer Michael Brantley had two singles.
Jason Vargas pitched four shutout innings for New York. Manager Mickey Callaway said right-handed reliever Drew Smith will undergo Tommy John surgery and be lost for the season - Smith had appeared to be in line for a bullpen position, pitching four scoreless innings in four appearances.
BRAVES 6, PIRATES 2
Josh Donaldson hit an RBI single and scored on Ronald Acuna Jr.'s second home run for Atlanta. Touki Toussaint, vying for a spot in the rotation, pitched four scoreless innings in relief.
Patrick Kivlehan had three hits for Pittsburgh.
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