Jon Lester gave Red Sox fans quite a
scare on Friday night when he took a Melky Cabrera line drive off the
inside of his right knee. He looked to be in considerable pain,
crumpling to the ground before limping back to the dugout. Similar
comebackers have knocked Roy Halladay (leg) and Brad Bergesen (shin)
out for the year in recent seasons.
However, X-rays on the knee came
back negative and Lester was diagnosed with a contusion on his right
quadriceps. In fact, things were looking so good on Saturday morning
that the Red Sox are now optimistic that he can make his next scheduled start against the Indians on Thursday:
“We’ll monitor him the next couple days,” Francona said. “This time
of year, they don’t always throw a side, anyway. So that doesn’t
necessarily get in the way. And we’re certainly not going to let him
pitch if he’s hobbling around out there. But he doesn’t necessarily
have to do a side day tomorrow, either. He looked pretty good. He’s
The Red Sox would like to keep Lester on his regular schedule, but
they will make an adjustment to his preparation for the postseason if
the contusion on his right quadriceps demands it.
If he makes his Thursday start, as
scheduled, he would line up perfectly to start Game One of the ALDS,
most likely against the Angels, on Wednesday, Oct. 7 or Thursday, Oct.
Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis has been diagnosed with a strained rotator cuff in his right shoulder, MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian reports. Kipnis has received a cortisone shot and will be shut down from throwing for the next four to five days.
There’s a lot of spring left, so it’s perfectly sensible for the Indians to play it safe with their star player. The club already had Kipnis on a shoulder strengthening program.
Kipnis, 29, helped the Indians to the playoffs after batting .275/.343/.469 with 23 home runs, 92 RBI, 91 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases in 688 plate appearances during the regular season last year. He then helped the Indians reach Game 7 of the World Series against the Cubs, where they were eventually stopped, as he provided a .741 OPS including four homers and eight RBI in 15 playoff games.
According to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Cardinals are keeping an eye on outfield prospect Luis Robert. The 19-year-old left his native Cuba last November and is expected to command interest from multiple MLB teams as he approaches free agency. Goold adds that the Cardinals sent scouts to evaluate Robert’s workouts in the Dominican Republic as recently as last week.
There’s still a good chance that the club won’t get a shot at signing him; as Craig mentioned last month, it seems likely that Major League Baseball won’t declare Robert a free agent until after June 15. By July 2, the new Collective Bargaining Agreement’s policies on international bonuses will go into effect, handcuffing teams with the maximum penalty for bonuses to a $300,000 signing figure for any available international prospect. It’s designed to effectively take away those teams’ abilities to sign additional international talent, and the Cardinals have already spent a reported $9.35 million in bonuses on Venezuelan outfielder Victor Garcia, Cuban outfielders Jonatan Machado and Randy Arozarena and Cuban right-hander Johan Oviedo.
Until the cutoff in mid-June, the Cardinals are likely to continue actively scouting other international talent, including Robert. MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez quotes an anonymous National League scouting director who describes Robert as the No. 2 talent behind Japanese wunderkind Shohei Otani. The 19-year-old hit .286/.319/.397 with a .716 OPS during a 16-game run in the Canadian-American League in 2016, following up an impressive three-year tenure with the Ciego de Avila in the Cuban National Series from 2013-2015.