Lyle Overbay is preparing to hit the open market as a free agent next month and the veteran first baseman told Jordan Bastian of MLB.com that re-signing with the Blue Jays seems unlikely:
The situation has got to be right. Obviously, it’s not going to be a long-term deal. So, if they take a step back, I just don’t see myself coming into that. It’s not going to help them and it’s not going to help me, because I’m not going to be part of the winning part of it. I think the offseason for them is going to be big to see what direction they go in. I think that’s going to dictate a lot of it.
Overbay suggesting that he wants to be on a winning team and the Blue Jays may not fit that description is interesting, because a) Toronto won 85 games this season and has plenty of young talent, and b) Overbay hit just .243/.329/.433 in 154 games. He hit well in the second half after making some swing adjustments, but at 33 years old Overbay’s odds of being an above-average first baseman next season are probably lower than the Blue Jays’ odds of finishing above .500 again.
Adam Lind and Edwin Encarnacion are both options to replace Overbay at first base, and Jose Bautista also saw some action there late in the season. And even if they decide to fill the position with a free agent, I’ll be surprised if the Blue Jays make Overbay their target.
Blue Jays’ outfielder Anthony Alford will miss at least 4-6 weeks after undergoing surgery on his left wrist, the team announced on Saturday. Alford was placed on the 10-day disabled list earlier in the week after sustaining a left hamate fracture on a foul pitch, and could miss significant time in what looks to be a lengthy rehab process. MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm reports that the procedure has been scheduled for next week and will be performed by Dr. Donald Sheridan in Arizona.
Alford, 22, was called up to the majors from Double-A New Hampshire last Friday. He went hitless in his first three outings, finally catching a break against the Brewers on Tuesday when he pinch-hit a leadoff double in the seventh. The injury occurred two innings later when Alford fouled off a pitch in the ninth inning, fracturing his wrist in the process.
Alford will join eight other players on the Blue Jays’ disabled list, including outfielders Steve Pearce (calf strain), Dalton Pompey (concussion) and Darrell Cecillani (partial shoulder dislocation). He’s expected to be replaced by 24-year-old outfield prospect Dwight Smith Jr.
Good luck getting a hit against the Nationals this weekend. Stephen Strasburg followed Max Scherzer‘s 13-strikeout performance on Friday with a dazzling outing of his own on Saturday afternoon. The right-hander whiffed a career-best 15 batters in seven innings, allowing just three hits and a walk in the Nats’ 3-0 win.
It took Strasburg several innings to get into a groove after pitching into (and out of) a jam in the first inning. The Padres loaded the bases with Allen Cordoba‘s leadoff single, a throwing error by Ryan Zimmerman and a four-pitch walk to Cory Spangenberg. By the third, Strasburg was cruising, striking out the side on 18 pitches and keeping the Padres off the basepaths until the sixth. He recorded his 15th and final strikeout in the seventh inning, catching Padres’ prospect Franchy Cordero swinging on a 1-2 pitch to effectively end his outing.
While 15 strikeouts set a new career record for the Nationals’ ace, he came close to reaching the mark twice before. The first time, he struck out 14 of 24 batters during his major league debut against the 2010 Pirates, though the 5-2 win did little more than keep the Nationals neck-and-neck with the Marlins at the bottom of the NL East. Five years later, he tied his 14-strikeout record against the 2015 Phillies, tossing a one-hitter in eight innings to cement his ninth victory of the season.
The only one who doesn’t seem overly enthused by the new record? Strasburg himself, who told MLB.com’s Jamal Collier and AJ Cassavell: “It’s pretty cool, but there’s another game five, six days from now. I’ll enjoy it tonight, but back to work tomorrow.”