Twins offer Pavano arbitration; will he accept?

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Today has been filled with all sorts of news on the arbitration front and there will be more offers and non-offers rolling in tonight, but I’m particularly curious about one player’s status.
Minnesota offered Carl Pavano arbitration and because he’s a Type B free agent that guarantees the Twins a draft pick if he signs elsewhere. Pavano also has the ability to accept the offer, in which case Minnesota would be on the hook for whatever one-year contract the arbiter decides.
Given his lengthy injury history it might seem obvious that Pavano would simply accept what’s essentially a one-year deal at market value, but believe it or not he may have actually pitched himself into a multi-year contract by staying healthy for the first time since 2004. After a terrible April he went 14-9 with a 4.67 ERA in 181.1 innings for the rest of the year, including 5-4 with a 4.62 ERA in a dozen starts for the Twins.
No doubt many teams will simply stay away from Pavano because of his track record–I’ll go out on a huge limb and say that Brian Cashman won’t be giving him a call–but my guess is that at least a few other general managers have already been in touch with his agent. He tossed 199 innings while ranking among the AL’s top five in starts, walk rate, and strikeout-to-walk ratio, so unlikely as it may have been even six months ago there’s probably little risk of Pavano actually accepting Minnesota’s arbitration offer.
Ultimately the Twins will probably have to go beyond a one-year deal to retain him, which would be an awfully big risk for a 34-year-old whose upside is mid-rotation starter and downside is … well, disabled list resident.

Aledmys Diaz is trying to improve his defense with strobe glasses

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MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch reports that Cardinals’ shortstop Aledmys Diaz has been sporting a new look around Busch Stadium with a pair of “strobe glasses,” technology-enhanced specs designed to help athletes focus on the ball. Like a strobe light, the lenses of these glasses affect a player’s vision by rapidly changing opacity, giving its wearers the illusion that the objects they see are moving more slowly than normal. Once a player adjusts to the new speed of play, they gain a greater sense of control and are able to time their actions with more precision.

Diaz isn’t the first MLB player to utilize the technology, just the first Cardinals’ player to do so. It’s been tested by Bryce Harper, Corey Brown, Tommy Joseph, Austin Hedges and Joe Mauer, among others around the league, and has been used for everything from refining a catcher’s reflexes behind the plate to tweaking a hitter’s ability to track a pitch. Per Langosch, Diaz has been using the glasses to hone in on the ball during pregame drills, increasing both his confidence and response time on the field and improving his defense at short.

The shortstop has been the focus of some concern this season after seeing a sizable dip in his production at the plate, and his five fielding errors, 0.6 UZR and 0.6 fWAR haven’t helped matters, either. He sustained a minor thumb injury during an at-bat on Friday night, and was left off of the Cardinals’ starting lineup on Saturday, though manager Mike Matheny didn’t rule out his ability to pinch-hit during the series. While the strobe glasses are a good start, Diaz will need more than a pair of specs to match the spotlight-worthy performance he turned out during his rookie season in 2016.

Eduardo Rodriguez could rejoin the Red Sox rotation in July

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Red Sox’ left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez may finally get a chance at cracking the rotation again, assuming all goes well in Double-A Portland first. Rodriguez took the field prior to the club’s afternoon session with the Angels, firing 68 pitches in a simulated game as he prepared for an upcoming rehab assignment in Portland on Thursday.

The 24-year-old southpaw suffered a right knee subluxation during pregame warmups on June 1, and it’s been a slow path to recovery ever since. It’s not the first time Rodriguez has had issues with his right knee — he sustained a similar injury during spring training last year — and this time around, the Red Sox weren’t about to gamble with their starter’s health. Ian Browne of MLB.com reports that Rodriguez was put in a knee brace and underwent exercises designed to help him regain some mobility and stability while he worked back up to full strength on the mound.

He’ll still need to prove he can throw a 75- to 80-pitch outing in Double-A, and barring any significant setbacks, will likely rejoin the Red Sox’ pitching staff when they visit the Rangers next month. In the meantime, the club will continue to cycle starters through the No. 5 spot, which has seen no fewer than three different pitchers since Rodriguez hit the disabled list. The lefty is 4-2 in 10 starts this season after logging a 3.54 ERA, 3.1 BB/9 and career-high 9.6 SO/9 through his first 61 innings.