Yunel Escobar, who took a knee to the helmet while sliding into third base yesterday, has been diagnosed with a “mild concussion” following a CAT scan and other tests last night and this morning.
That would seemingly make him an ideal candidate to be placed on the new seven-day disabled list for concussions that MLB instituted last month, but general manager Alex Anthopoulos told reporters that “we don’t think he’ll be out that long.”
Escobar has been cleared to travel with the team and Anthopoulos indicated that he could return to the lineup as soon as early next week, but the intent of the seven-day DL was seemingly to more easily convince teams to shut down players like Escobar rather than risking anything by having them return too soon.
Even if the Blue Jays think he’ll be ready to return to the lineup in, say, four days, why not just play it safe and let him take the seven days off? And if they aren’t interested in doing that, then how much of an impact will the seven-day DL really make?
The Cardinals announced on Tuesday that outfielder Dexter Fowler has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with a strained left forearm. Outfielder Harrison Bader was recalled from Triple-A Memphis to take Fowler’s spot on the roster.
It’s not clear when Fowler suffered the injury, but he went 0-for-12 since a three-hit performance last Friday. He’s hitting .241/.333/.452 with 14 home runs and 37 RBI in 333 plate appearances this season.
Bader, 23, is the Cardinals’ No. 6 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. This season, with Memphis, Bader hit .297/.354/.517 with 19 home runs and 48 RBI in 381 PA.
Jon Morosi of MLB Network said yesterday that the Detroit Tigers and Chicago Cubs have been engaged in trade talks involving starting pitcher Justin Verlander and catcher Alex Avila. Morosi also noted that the Los Angeles Dodgers have shown interest in Verlander as well. Whether this is idyl chitchatting of serious dispute is unclear, of course. Everything is unclear in the leadup to the deadline.
The veteran right-hander is carrying a 4.50 with a 120/57 K/BB ratio over 124 innings. Verlander impressed last year, finishing second in AL Cy Young Award balloting, but he has fallen back to Earth in 2017. His velocity remains high, however, and it’s not hard to imagine him going on a solid run in a way that could help a contender. He is owed $56 million over the next two seasons, however, and has a $22 million option that could vest for 2020, so negotiations for him could be tough. If the Tigers want talent back, they’ll have to eat salary.
Verlander got an ovation from a Detroit crowd last night which seemed to sense that, yes, it’s possible he pitched his last game for the Tigers. Given that he has 10/5 rights, allowing him to veto any trade, that decision is ultimately up to him. It’s not hard to imagine him accepting a trade to a contender, however.
We wait see.