– After Matt Lindstrom’s second straight ugly outing Tuesday, it was
determined Wednesday that he had a sprained elbow ligament and would
miss at least six weeks.
Lindstrom, who injured his shoulder in the WBC, has likely been
pitching hurt all season. The results certainly suggest it, not that
they stopped the Marlins from having him pitch in both games of a
doubleheader during May and work on three straight days twice in the
last month. If rehab doesn’t work, Lindstrom is likely looking at Tommy
John surgery. Leo Nunez is going to take over the closer’s role and
should be an upgrade.
– The Indians made a pair of minor deals, shipping first baseman
Michael Aubrey to the Orioles for a player to be named and acquiring
reliever Jose Veras from the Yankees for cash.
Veras had a 3.59 ERA in 57 2/3 innings for the Bombers last season,
but he was at 5.96 this year before getting designated for assignment.
His velocity is down a bit and he’s always had poor command, but he
might be an adequate middle man for a team that could use one.
The Orioles, on the other hand, don’t gain anything by picking up
Aubrey, a 2003 first-round pick who had his potential sapped by
injuries. A singles and doubles hitter, he’s a poor man’s Sean Casey.
The retired Casey, not the one who was a quality regular in his prime.
– Gary Sheffield received a cortisone shot for his sore right knee and won’t start again until at least Friday.
Maybe Sheffield’s body would have held up had the Mets been able to
limit him to a couple of starts in the outfield per week. However, they
can’t be blamed for trying to make him a regular when he was playing so
well and injuries decimated the lineup. Unfortunately, his knee
problems seem destined to put him on the disabled list, though the Mets
say that’s not a consideration right now. Fernando Tatis and Jeremy
Reed stand to pick up more playing time.
The Arizona Diamondbacks just announced that have traded righty Allen Webster to the Pirates for cash considerations.
Webster, who turns 26 in February, was DFA’d by the Dbacks a few days ago. He pitched in nine games, starting five, in 2015, posting a 5.81 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 17/20 (eww) in 31 innings. Before that he pitched 89.1 innings for the Red Sox over two years with numbers not too terribly more impressive than that.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Yankees “have let teams know Ivan Nova is available” in trade.
Nova returned from Tommy John elbow surgery in May to throw 94 innings with a 5.07 ERA and will be a free agent after the 2016 season, so it’s tough to imagine his trade market being particularly robust.
Despite that, Sherman writes that the Yankees “are not selling low” on Nova and might try to package him with other players to bring back a young starting pitcher under team control for multiple seasons. In other words, they’d like to trade Nova for a pitcher who can step into his rotation spot in 2016 and beyond.
Nova has had some good years in New York, but he’s 29 years old with a career 4.33 ERA and just 6.7 strikeouts per nine innings. He’s more middle-of-the-rotation starter than front-line starter and even that might be in question following elbow surgery.
All offseason there have been reports that the Marlins are looking to trade 25-year-old outfielder Marcell Ozuna because he’s fallen out of favor with the organization and specifically owner Jeffrey Loria.
And now Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com reports that the Mariners “are working on a trade” for Ozuna, speculating that they’re offering a starting pitcher such as Nate Karns or Roenis Elias. MLB.com Marlins beat writer Joe Frisaro says “nothing is imminent” with an Ozuna trade but “everything is subject to change.”
Karns or Elias alone would seem like a light return for Ozuna, who’s hit .265 with 36 homers and a .727 OPS through 346 career games as a big leaguer and put up good numbers in the minors. He’s a plus defensive corner outfielder with 25-homer power under team control through 2019. There’s value there, whether Loria likes him or not.
But then again if the Marlins are dead set on parting ways with Ozuna perhaps new Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto is taking advantage by swooping in with a mediocre offer. Or maybe that was the initial proposal and the Marlins are currently holding out for James Paxton or Taijuan Walker?
The Angels have hired Bud Black as a special assistant to the general manager.
Black is returning to the Angels, actually, as he spent seven seasons as the Angels pitching coach under Mike Scioscia prior to leaving to take over the Padres in 2007. He held that job until this past June and takes this one after a weird, brief and ultimately aborted flirtation with the Washington Nationals.
You’ll recall that Jerry Dipoto was forced out of Anaheim after losing a power struggle with Scioscia. Now, with one of Scioscia’s former lieutenants on the staff of new general manager Billy Eppler, there should be no doubt about how really has the power when it comes to the Angels.