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MLB 2023 | Cionel: option for saves, Cortés no issues in bullpen session, Grandal will focus on C

Major League Baseball (MLB) and other Cuban Players News for the 2022-2023 offseason. A compendium from several sources

Cionel Pérez with the Orioles. (Photo: The Athletic)

Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said Friday that Cionel Pérez and Bryan Baker are closer candidates for the club if Félix Bautista (shoulder, knee) isn't ready for the season.

Bautista is currently on a shoulder strengthening plan after spending the offseason rehabbing a left knee sprain. It's too soon to tell if he'll actually be ready for the season, so Hyde is looking at the alternatives. Dillon Tate, another late-inning arm, will miss the start of the season with a forearm strain. Pérez posted an impressive 1.40 ERA in 66 appearances last season while Baker put up a 3.49 ERA in 66 appearances. Both could be late-round fliers in mixed leagues depending on how the spring shakes out.

Néstor Cortés (hamstrting) threw a bullpen session Friday.

Néstor Cortés (hamstring) felt no issues during his bullpen session Friday, Marly Rivera of reported. The southpaw mentioned to Rivera after his workout that he has made "good strides and felt better," and that he was progressing faster than he initially thought. Bryan Hoch of reports that Cortes tossed 24 pitches in the session and was operating at "70-75 percent" capacity after being diagnosed with a Grade 2 hamstring strain that caused him to pull out of the World Baseball Classic.

White Sox's Yasmani Grandal: Focusing on catching, not DH

White Sox manager Pedro Grifol said Friday that he wants Grandal to primarily focus on catching this year, per Vinnie Duber of Grandal was limited to DH duties for stretches of time last season due to back and knee injuries, but he entered camp this spring at full health and the hope is that he can be a semi-everyday presence behind the plate throughout the 2023 campaign. "I haven't really thought about him as a DH," said Grifol. "That doesn't mean he's not going to. But he's our catcher."



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