Cincinnati Reds pitcher Mat Latos stretched and worked out with the team yesterday for the first time since having minor knee surgery on Feb. 14.
“I feel like I’m part of the team again,” he said. “I was going crazy, pulling my hair out. It was fun to be out and joke around again.”
However, Latos does not have a bullpen session scheduled yet.
“I feel fantastic,” he said. “I’m taking it day-to-day. I don’t want to put pressure by setting a date.”
Reds want Rolen back in organizational role
The Reds would like Scott Rolen to return to the organization in a guest-instructor-type of a role. It’s likely to happen if the schedules can be worked out.
“We want Scott to be part of our organization,” manager Bryan Price said. “His presence is a positive thing. We’ve got a lot of really good baseball people in our system as it stands. We’ve got a lot of iconic Reds, former players that help influence our club.
“Scott would be another outstanding influence.”
Rolen spent 31/2 seasons with the Reds. He retired — or, rather, chose not to play — last season after a lot of consideration. He has said that he’s not interested in coaching full time or broadcasting.
Price said Rolen’s primary focus likely would be in the player-development system.
“I think as things evolve with him, he’ll find his niche with us,” Price said. “He’s got a lot of family commitments; I think that’s one of the reasons he stopped playing when he did.
“How he fits into our mix, we don’t know yet.”
— John Fay
Halladay back with Phillies as spring-training instructor
Retirement is not keeping Roy Halladay away from baseball. The two-time Cy Young Award winner is a guest instructor with the Philadelphia Phillies for a few weeks this spring.
“I love being here,” he said. “I definitely want to keep doing it.”
Halladay, 36, sounds as if he would like to parlay his spring tutor work into a second career as a coach down the road. He spent the final four seasons of his career with the Phillies, following a successful run with Toronto.
“I think maybe this first year (after playing), I want to make sure that I get to spend the time that I want with my boys and my wife, and that’s my priority,” said Halladay, who retired from a 16-year playing career in December. “Once I see how things work, yeah, I’d love to continue to do it, and if I have more time, do more.”
Gardner gets four-year extension from Yankees
Outfielder Brett Gardner and the New York Yankees have agreed to a four-year contract extension worth $52 million.
The deal includes a fifth-year club option for $12.5 million and a $2 million buyout. If traded, Gardner would receive $1 million.
Gardner, 30, is working on a one-year, $5.6 million deal this season. He hit .273 last year with eight home runs, 52 RBI and 24 stolen bases.
• Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Jhoulys Chacin is being shut down in spring training because of inflammation in his throwing shoulder.
Chacin will undergo an MRI on Monday. He has been limited in his throwing so far in camp.
Rockies manager Walt Weiss said that Chacin had similar pain in the past and he’s “not overly concerned,” but Chacin will undergo an MRI today.
Chacin, 26, was Colorado’s top right-handed starter a year ago, when he went 14-10 with a 3.47 ERA.
• Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter is set to play his first spring training game of his final season on Thursday.
Jeter is coming off a year in which he was limited to 17 games because of injuries.
• San Diego Padres third baseman Chase Headley will be out at least two weeks because of a calf strain.
Manager Bud Black said the team hopes to know more in the next few days about just how long Headley will be out, but he did say it would be at least two weeks. Headley is scheduled to have an MRI today.
• Frank Thomas, who will be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame this summer, said he’s completing details on an agreement to work this season as a studio baseball analyst for Fox Sports 1. The network has not announced Thomas’ new role.
Thomas has worked the past three seasons on local broadcasts for Comcast in Chicago. He said he expects to continue to have a role with Comcast.