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.
BETTER THAN EXPECTED: The Kansas City Royals received good news on Salvador Perez. The veteran catcher is only expected to miss one week due to a hyperextended elbow. That’s a major relief considering the concern was all concentrated on Perez’s left knee, which appeared to be significantly injured in a collision with Royals backup catcher Drew Butera during a World Baseball Classic game on Saturday. [restrict]
Perez, who’s back with the Royals in camp, had a second MRI Wednesday that came back clean.
The first one revealed no structural damage, only inflammation. Perez adds that the knee feels fine and expects to be ready for opening day. [MLB.com]
HE GONE: The Washington Nationals have released catcher Derek Norris a little more than three months after acquiring him in a trade with the San Diego Padres. Norris became expendable after Washington recently signed Matt Wieters to be the starting catcher. Jose Lobaton will again serve as Washington’s backup, with prospect Pedro Severino expected to work his way into the mix sooner than later.
Norris had signed a one-year, $4.2M deal to avoid arbitration in January, but because contracts through arbitration are not fully-guaranteed, the Nationals were able to release him by March 15 and only pay him one-sixth of his salary, which equaled $700,000. Still only 28, the one-time All-Star should find a new job sooner than later. The Rays are reported to have significant interest. [@chelsea_janes]
STILL AILING: Orioles ace Chris Tillman will receive a cortisone injection in his shoulder, and will be shut down for two or three days. Tillman has been dealing with shoulder soreness all spring, which resurfaced during a bullpen session over the weekend. The hope is the cortisone shot will get him back on track, but even the best-case scenario will likely see him miss the first couple weeks of the season. [@masnRoch]
TEBOW ALERT: Tim Tebow had a pair of singles in three at-bats against the Marlins on Wednesday.This marked Tebow’s fifth game of the spring, which is five more than anyone expected. The Mets are insisting this will also be his final appearance, though that’s been said before too. If it is, he’ll finish the spring 3-for-14 at the plate, which is fine. But he’ll remain a work-in-progress in every phase of the game. [MLB]
VERDICT: Agent Bart Hernandez and trainer Julio Estrada were found guilty of illegally smuggling baseball players in to the country with falsified documents. [The Stew]
BIG ASSIGNMENT: Defending American League Cy Young award winner Rick Porcello will be the Boston Red Sox opening day starter this season, manager John Farrell announced on Wednesday. It will be Porcello’s first opening day assignment, and there wasn’t much drama despite the offseason acquisition of Chris Sale or presence of David Price. Farrell said he informed Porcello of his decision way back on the first day of camp.[@brianmac]
READY TO GO: Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen will the join the Netherlands for the World Baseball Classic semifinals and finals, which will be played at Dodger Stadium. Netherlands will meet the Pool F winner on Monday, March 20. [@McCulloughTimes]
MOVING ON: The Rays are set to release veteran left-hander Dana Eveland. The 33-year-old allowed one run over 4 2/3 innings for Tampa Bay this spring. [@ChrisCotillo]
MLB PREVIEW: Do the Tigers have another postseason run in them? The Stew crew examines. [The Stew] [/restrict]