The Washington Post

Degrom’s recovery is picking up momentum


The Texas Rangers reached the midpoint of spring training Wednesday. And Jacob degrom seemed to “turn a corner,” Manager Bruce Bochy said.

He took it at 100 mph. During a 35-pitch, two-inning live batting practice session in Surprise, Ariz., degrom sat at 98-99 mph with his fastball and hit 100 on his final pitch of the first inning to Yoshi Tsutsugo. He threw all his pitches and was pleased with a 90-mph change-up as well as the fastball.

“It was special,” said Rangers catcher Jonah Heim, who was one of the five hitters to face him. “There’s a reason we signed Jacob degrom. His fastball is just different. That’s the only way I can describe it. It’s got extra life. If I’d have swung at the first two pitches, I feel like I would have been six hours late on them both. It’s really hard to put into words how to describe it. It’s just different.”

Degrom has thrown fairly regularly since he started a week behind the other pitchers, but this was the most intense session to date.

YANKEES: Frankie Montas said his shoulder wasn’t fully healthy when he was acquired by New York at the trade deadline last season, but the right-hander said he tried to “push through” after joining his new team.

Montas, who went 1-3 with a 6.35 ERA in eight starts last season after being obtained from Oakland, is recovering from shoulder surgery that will keep him from throwing until at least late May.

“I was trying to push through,” Montas told reporters in his first comments since surgery two weeks earlier. “I got traded to a new team and wanted to show what I could do. Things didn’t go the way I was expecting.”

PADRES: Juan Soto ran sprints in the outfield, took some big swings in batting practice and signed a few autographs at San Diego’s spring training complex in Peoria, Ariz., after an early workout to test a left calf that kept him in camp.

Soto, who has been dealing with calf tightness, still could join the Dominican Republic team in Miami before it begins group play in the World Baseball Classic on Saturday against Venezuela.

Padres Manager Bob Melvin said the team increased the progressio­n of Soto’s work and that the outfielder could play in a “B” game against Cleveland on Thursday.

“If he plays in that, hopefully we can get him cleared . . . and optimistic for potentiall­y getting him on the road Friday,” Melvin said.

Panama, Netherland­s win

The 20-team World Baseball Classic got underway in Taichung, Taiwan, after a six-year absence, with Panama defeating Taiwan, 12-5, for its first win in tournament history and the Netherland­s turning back Cuba, 4-2, as Didi Gregorius drove in the tying run and scored the go-ahead run.

Play in Group B begins Thursday in Tokyo with South Korea playing Australia and host Japan — led by Angels star Shohei Ohtani — up against China. Play in Groups C and D begins Saturday in Phoenix and Miami.

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