UPDATE: According to Sweeny Murti of WFAN, Cano is in Saturday’s starting lineup as the designated hitter, while Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said Johnson will miss “several weeks” after receiving a cortisone shot for an inflamed tendon in his right wrist on Saturday.
Bryan Hoch of MLB.com reports that the Yankees have officially placed Johnson on the 15-day disabled list. Kevin Russo has been called up from Triple-A.
10:58 AM: As I mentioned in the previous post, Robinson Cano was plunked in the left knee by Josh Beckett during the sixth inning on Friday night. He actually stayed at the game, walking to first base, but was eventually replaced by Ramiro Pena after two pitches to the next batter Nick Swisher.
Fortunately for the Bombers, Cano is listed as day-to-day. Following Friday’s game, Yankees manager Joe Girardi told Marc Carig of the Newark Star-Ledger that he “would be surprised” if Cano played on Saturday. Look for Pena to fill in, likely through the rest of the weekend.
While things could have been a lot worse for Cano, the prognosis for Nick Johnson isn’t quite as promising. Johnson was forced to leave Friday’s game due to soreness in his surgically-repaired right wrist. He is expected to undergo an MRI in New York on Saturday and is almost certainly headed for the disabled list. The Yankees are expected to make a roster move before Saturday’s game.
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.