* Carlos Quentin switched from left field to designated hitter at Single-A last night after rain postponed the game by an hour,
but ripped an RBI double and lined out to center field in two at-bats
before exiting in the sixth inning. Quentin is now 8-for-23 (.348) with
two doubles, four walks, and just one strikeout through eight games
rehabbing his foot injury and is scheduled to play left field tonight
if the weather permits.
* Geovany Soto is receiving treatment on his injured oblique at the Cubs’ spring training complex in Arizona and said yesterday
that “hopefully we’re looking at something like 15 to 20 days” until
his return. For now the Cubs are going with Koyie Hill and Jake Fox as
Soto’s replacements, but Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune speculates that general manager Jim Hendry is working the phones for a veteran fill-in like Gregg Zaun.
* Carlos Guillen began his minor-league rehab assignment
last night, going 0-for-3 with a strikeout at Single-A. Guillen hit
just .200/.267/.244 before landing on the disabled list in early May
with a shoulder injury and the Tigers have cycled through five
different left fielders in his absence.
A report from the Baltimore Sun’s Dan Connolly suggests that free agent catcher Welington Castillo currently tops the Orioles’ list of potential backstop targets for the 2017 season. With Matt Wieters on the market, the Orioles lack a suitable platoon partner for Caleb Joseph behind the dish, and Connolly adds that the club has been discussing a multi-year deal with Castillo’s representatives since the Winter Meetings.
Castillo batted .264/.322/.423 with the Diamondbacks in 2016, racking up 14 home runs and driving in a career-high 68 RBI in 457 PA. His bat provides much of his upside, and Connolly quoted an anonymous National League scout who believes that the 29-year-old’s defensive profile has fallen short of his potential in recent years.
For better or worse, both the Orioles and Castillo appear far from locking in a deal for 2017. Both the Rays and Braves have expressed interest in the veteran catcher during the past week, while the Orioles are reportedly considering Wieters, Nick Hundley and Chris Iannetta as alternatives behind the plate.
The Phillies reportedly signed veteran outfielder Daniel Nava to a minor league contract, according to Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Nava began the season on a one-year contract with the Angels, during which he slashed .235/.309/.303 through 136 PA in the first half of 2016. He was flipped to the Royals in late August for a player to be named later and saw the remainder of his year go down the drain on an .091 average through 12 PA in Anaheim. After getting the boot from the Angels’ 40-man roster in November, the 33-year-old outfielder elected free agency.
Nava is expected to compete for a bench role on the Phillies’ roster in the spring. As it currently stands, the club’s projected 2017 outfield features Howie Kendrick and Odubel Herrera, with precious little depth behind them. Nava’s bat is underwhelming, but at the very least he offers the Phillies a warm body in left field and a potential platoon partner for one of their younger options, a la Tyler Goeddel or Roman Quinn.