Troy Tulowitzki is doing just fine, New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone says, despite his slow start at the plate.
Tulowitzki was hitless in three at-bats in a 6-5 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday in Tampa, Florida. The five-time All-Star, who has not played in the major leagues since July 2017, is hitting just .176 (3-for-17) in seven games.
"I'm seeing enough encouraging things out of him," Boone said. "He needs reps now is all."
Tulowitzki missed last season because of surgery on April 2 for bone spurs in his right and left heels. He was released by the Toronto Blue Jays on Dec. 14, then signed with the Yankees on Jan. 4.
Tulowitzki homered on his first at-bat with the Yankees against his old team on Feb. 25. He is replacing Didi Gregorius, who is out until summer following Tommy John surgery.
The budget-minded Tampa Bay Rays have renewed the contract of pitcher Blake Snell, who's receiving a raise of only $15,500 after winning the AL Cy Young award last season.
The 26-year-old left-hander, who's not yet eligible for salary arbitration, will earn $573,700 this year after making $558,200 in 2018, when he was a first-time All-Star and went 21-5 with an AL-leading 1.89 ERA over 31 starts.
The Rays announced the decision Sunday, adhering to a rigid club policy for compensating young players who have not spent the necessary three years in the majors to be eligible for arbitration.
King Felix upset
Felix Hernandez doesn't think he could have changed the mind of Seattle Mariners manager Scott Servais about Opening Day, even by pitching well this spring.
With his ERA approaching 16, it's a moot point.
King Felix is royally agitated anyway.
Hernandez was tagged for seven runs in three-plus innings against the Indians on Sunday, a day after Servais announced that Marco Gonzales would start Seattle's season opener against Oakland in Tokyo on March 20.
Seattle's decision ends Hernandez's run of 10 consecutive Opening Day starts.
Hernandez spoke publicly after the game for the first time since Servais' announcement. Asked if he was upset, Hernandez said simply, "Yeah," but declined to elaborate on his emotions.
"I knew it was going to happen," he added.
Hernandez was also asked if he could have convinced Servais to give him the Opening Day nod with a better spring camp.
"No," he said while shaking his head contemptuously. "No."
Highly touted Toronto Blue Jays prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr. will miss the next three weeks because of a strained left oblique.
Blue Jays General Manager Ross Atkins announced the injury Sunday. He said the 19-year-old third baseman was hurt Friday in a spring training game against the Pittsburgh Pirates.