· It has already been a tough two games for Chicago Cubs outfielder Jason Heyward as he has gone a combined 0-for-5 against the Oakland Athletics and Cleveland Indians. But Cubs can relax a little as some of the reason for the early struggles can be linked to a new approach he’s trying at the plate this season. Instead of keeping his hands high when he swings, he’s lowering them in order to get a smoother, more powerful swing. It has been quite an adjustment for him, but the Cubs plan to play him every two days, and then rest for the next game. Skipper Joe Maddon believes the new approach is working. “His hands are working so much better,” Maddon said to Carrie Muskat of MLB.com. “Our game, as a hitter, is played between your fingertips and elbows. He’s starting in a manner that promotes, for me, better hand usage.”
· Cleveland Indians lefty Tim Cooney will miss the next 10 to 12 weeks with a strained flexor in his left forearm. Cooney hasn’t played in the last two seasons. He underwent shoulder surgery last year with the St. Louis Cardinals.
· According to Jordian Bastian of MLB.com, utility man Ronny Rodriguez is emerging as a top candidate to win the job. He’s currently in a battle with fellow utility man and shortstop Erik Gonzalez and Michael Martinez.
News and Notes
· According to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the St. Louis Cardinals have been scouting Cuban outfielder Luis Robert. He is yet to become a free agent but has had workouts in the Dominican Republic. He is the second best International prospect to Japanese outfielder Shohei Otani.
· The Baltimore Orioles have officially released lefty T.J. McFarland.
· Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com reports that Baltimore Orioles outfielder Michael Bourn will miss four weeks after recovering from a broken finger.
· Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his left knee today. He’s had two procedures on the same knee last year, and has been experiencing pain.
· According to Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post, Colorado Rockies lefty Chris Rusin has a chance to make the Rockies starting rotation. He posted career-best numbers as a reliever last season.