Less than two hours before the first pitch, the Cardinals landed a closer. Greg Holland agreed to a $14 million, one-year contract with the team, according to a person familiar with the deal. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the agreement was pending a physical and had not been announced. A three-time All-Star, Holland was a free agent after leading the National League with 41 saves last year for Colorado. His addition would be a major boost to an unsettled Cardinals bullpen lacking a proven closer in the wake of several injuries.
Mets: Conforto is ahead of schedule in his recovery from surgery for a dislocated left shoulder and is eligible to return late next week, when the Mets are in Washington.
Cardinals RHP Michael Wacha (12-9, 4.13 ERA) starts the second game of the season Saturday afternoon against RHP Jacob deGrom (15-10, 3.53 ERA), the Mets’ initial choice for opening day before his schedule was slowed at the outset of spring training by a stiff back and the birth of his child.
The South Jersey product has been one of Rutgers’ spring stars, and is coming off a star turn in the first spring scrimmage last weekend, including a long touchdown reception off a go-route. Ash said earlier this spring Melton has been getting behind the defensive backs, and new offensive coordinator John McNulty recently hinted he’d like to get the sophomore the ball often this season.
Guys like Bo, guys that have different-level speed and ability, we have to make sure we give them a chance to put the ball in the end zone, John McNulty said.
Melton, a four-star recruit from Cedar Creek High and a Rutgers legacy – his dad Gary played football for the Scarlet Knights and mom Vicky played basketball – had four catches for 83 yards in five games last season. Melton battled a back injury and readily admitted he went through some college growing pains away from the field, as Ash alluded to.
Class has been a transition from high school to college, especially when you have football practice right after, Melton said last November. When I first came here, it was real hard. I was like,’I don’t know how I’m going to do this.’ Then we got to the season and I got the hang of it, and now it’s easier.