Saturday, July 21, 2018
Sports

Making MLB roster brings tears of joy

GOODYEAR, Ariz. — Don't tell Tyler Naquin there's no crying in baseball.

The 24-year-old Friday got the news Friday that he has been waiting for since he was 3 or 4 years old and playing T-ball in a pasture behind his church.

Indians manager Terry Francona informed Naquin that he was going to be on the team's opening day roster.

"I'm speechless," said the soft-spoken outfielder from Iola, Texas. "This only happens one time. … My first T-ball team was the Indians."

Naquin was taken by Cleveland in the first round of the 2012 draft and has been knocking on the door of the majors for two years, but injuries delayed his development. In the past two years he had a broken hand (after being hit by a pitch), a strained quad, a concussion and a hip injury.

Even Francona choked up when telling the left-handed hitter he made the roster.

"We've seen this kid come from, two years ago in our one-on-one meetings, he barely would look at us. He's grown into a man and accepted the challenge this spring," Francona said. "…The last thing I wanted to do was start crying at 9:30 in the morning."

Naquin called his mom, dad and brother. "There were tears, absolutely," he said. "It hasn't even hit me, man."

Cardinals: Starter Michael Wacha has given up 23 hits in 122/3 innings this spring, but manager Mike Matheny didn't seem too concerned. "I think he's been throwing the ball well," Matheny said. "I like where he is. … I think it's just a matter of getting his timing."

Cubs: Outfielder Shane Victorino, 35, agreed to extended spring training. He is trying to recover from a strained left calf.

Mets: Former Rays shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera (knee) ran and took 11 at-bats on the minor-league side. He is scheduled to hit in a minor-league game today.

Orioles: Left-hander Brian Matusz (back) will pitch Sunday in an attempt to avoid starting the season on the disabled list. Matusz has pitched just two innings this spring.

Rockies: Manager Walt Weiss named veteran lefty Jorge De La Rosa as opening day starter.

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