– Ted Lilly, who had his first start after the break pushed back with what the Cubs called a sore knee, is slated to land on the DL with a sore shoulder.
Given the Cubs’ history with when it comes to injuries and Lilly’s own
past, I’m just going to assume that it was the shoulder bothering him
all along. Fortunately for the team, Ryan Dempster could be back before
the end of next week. Sean Marshall will almost certainly be left in
– Mark Kotsay was placed on waivers by the Red Sox to make room for the newly acquired Adam LaRoche.
I assumed the Red Sox would stash either Kotsay or Rocco Baldelli on
the DL, but perhaps neither veteran was willing to go along with the
plan. LaRoche is obviously a big upgrade from Kotsay as the alternative
to Kevin Youkilis at first base, but assuming that the Red Sox do lose
Kotsay — he could accept a minor league assignment if he clears
waivers — they’ll be awfully thin in the outfield. They have Chris
Duncan in Triple-A now, but Baldelli probably can’t play regularly and
Jonathan Van Every is out for the year after knee surgery, leaving the
team without a legitimate backup in center.
– Rather than turn back to Travis Buck or Aaron Cunningham, the
A’s have called up Eric Patterson to replace Matt Holliday on the
Patterson was extremely hot in Triple-A, going 17-for-37 with seven
extra-base hits in his last eight games. Overall, Corey’s younger
brother was hitting .326/.392/.523 with 34 steals in 40 attempts. The
A’s did figure to give him a long look at some point, but Buck and
Cunningham were the logical candidates to be installed as the new left
fielder. Patterson still doesn’t have a position, having been used at
second, center, left and third in Triple-A this year. He could get most
of the time in left for now, making him a nice pickup in AL-only
With the 2017 World Baseball Classic around the corner, Team Israel has reportedly reached out to Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis, per MLB Network’s Jon Morosi. Tournament rules stipulate that a player’s roster eligibility can be achieved in one of several ways: they were born in the country in question or hold citizenship/permanent legal residence there (or are simply capable of qualifying for citizenship), or one of their parents was born in the country or holds citizenship/permanent legal residence there.
For Kipnis, it’s the latter. Kipnis’ father, Mark Kipnis, is Jewish. That gives Kipnis the status he needs to suit up for Team Israel, despite the fact that he is a practicing Roman Catholic. He has yet to confirm or deny his participation in the competition.
Fifteen players have confirmed for Team Israel so far, including Mets’ infielder/outfielder Ty Kelly and free agents Sam Fuld, Nate Freiman, Jason Marquis and Jeremy Bleich. Per MLB.com’s Chad Thornburg, eight minor leaguers will also appear for the team. Like Kipnis, at least three other major leaguers are eligible for Team Israel’s roster but have yet to accept or decline involvement in the WBC: Dodgers center fielder Joc Pederson, Mariners infielder/outfielder Danny Valencia and free agent left-hander Craig Breslow.
Free agent first baseman James Loney has reportedly signed a minor league deal with the Rangers, per FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The deal includes an invite to spring training and a $1 million salary if he makes the major league roster in 2017.
Loney picked up a one-year stint and starting role with the Mets in 2016, slashing .265/.307/.397 with nine home runs in 336 PA. While his numbers were down a hair from the .280/.322/.357 batting line he produced with the Rays in 2015, he provided the Mets with a necessary, if underwhelming upgrade over an injured Lucas Duda through most of the season.
The 32-year-old infielder is expected to have some competition at first base, with at least five other candidates in the mix: Jurickson Profar, Ronald Guzman, Ryan Rua, Joey Gallo and Josh Hamilton. Rumor has it that the team is planning on platooning Rua and Profar in 2017, barring any impressive breakouts or injuries during spring training, though Loney could still provide the club with some veteran depth and a decent left-handed bat off the bench.