UPDATE: Finally, some good news for the Cardinals. Well, maybe.
According to the Associated Press, the Cardinals plan to wait a few days before deciding whether to place Matt Holliday on the disabled list following his appendectomy. He had the surgery yesterday and the Cardinals believe it’s possible that he could return before the end of a 15-day DL-stint.
Even if he needs to go on the disabled list, it sounds like he won’t need to miss 4-6 weeks, which is a very good thing.
Friday, 2:19 PM: I’m starting to think this just isn’t the Cardinals year. Either that or Drew didn’t pray hard enough while he was at baseball church in St. Louis yesterday.
Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that Cardinals left fielder Matt Holliday will undergo an appendectomy today and the recovery timetable is usually 4-6 weeks until “strenuous activity” is allowed, although Andres Torres of the Giants returned much sooner than that last year.
To replace Holliday, who hit a homer in yesterday’s loss to the Padres, the Cardinals will turn to some combination of Jon Jay and Allen Craig, perhaps in a platoon with the left-handed-hitting Jay getting the bulk of the starts.
Replacing the lost production, however, will be nearly impossible, as Holliday hit .317 with 28 homers and a .922 OPS last year in his first full season in St. Louis, ranking among the NL’s top 10 in batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage.
St. Louis is already without ace Adam Wainwright, who underwent season-ending Tommy John elbow surgery in early March.
According to Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post, Nationals infielder Danny Espinosa declined to attend the team’s annual Winterfest because of his dissatisfaction with management following their trade for outfielder Adam Eaton.
A source told Castillo that Espinosa’s unhappiness stemmed from a belief that the acquisition would jeopardize his starting role in 2017. With Eaton in center field, Trea Turner will likely return to his post at shortstop, leaving Espinosa out in the cold — or, as the case may be, on the bench. The move shouldn’t come as a big surprise to Espinosa, however, as Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo spoke to the possibility of trading the infielder or reassigning him to a utility role back in early November.
Offensively, the 29-year-old had a down year in 2016, slashing just .209/.306/.378 with 24 home runs in 601 PA. Defensively, he still profiles among the top shortstops in the National League, with eight DRS (Defensive Runs Saved) and 8.3 Def (Defensive Runs Above Average) in his seventh year with the club.
Espinosa will reach free agency after the 2017 season.
The Red Sox might be trying to move the wrong pitcher, according to the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo. Cafardo revealed that while the Sox have been trying to market right-hander Clay Buchholz, more teams would be interested in trades involving southpaw Drew Pomeranz.
The club appears reluctant to deal Pomeranz, especially because his price tag comes in at a cool $4.7 million to Buchholz’s $13.5 million in 2017. Those who have already expressed interest in the veteran hurlers, including the Twins, Mariners and Royals, also seem put off by Buchholz’s salary requirements as he enters his 32nd year.
Health could be another factor preventing teams from jumping to make trade offers, as Cafardo quotes an AL executive who believes the “medicals on both Pomeranz and Buchholz probably aren’t that great.” Neither pitcher suffered any major injuries during the 2016 season, though Pomeranz missed just over a week of play due to forearm soreness.
Pomeranz outperformed his fellow starter in 2016, pitching to a 3.32 ERA and career-best 9.8 K/9 through 170 2/3 innings with the Padres and Red Sox. He got off to an exceptionally strong start in San Diego, where his ERA dropped to 2.47 through the first half of the year before the Padres dealt him to Boston for minor league right-hander Anderson Espinoza. Buchholz, on the other hand, struggled with a 4.78 ERA and saw a decline in both his BB/9 and K/9 rates as he worked out a career-low 1.69 K/BB through 139 1/3 innings with the Sox.