Johnny Damon missed three games after being hit on the hand by a pitch Sunday and revealed today that he has a hairline fracture in the tip of his left ring finger.
Damon played last night, going 1-for-4 with a single, and is back in the lineup tonight against the Blue Jays, telling Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune that he plans to play through the injury:
The break is at the tip, that’s why I’m able to play. If it was further down I wouldn’t be able to move it. Right now it’s super numb. I can actually squeeze, which is good, without putting too much pressure on it.
Manny Ramirez’s retirement leaves the designated hitter spot open for Damon to play full time and not having to play left field should help him deal with the injury (and help the Rays’ defense too). Damon is hoping the injury heals up in about a month.
The Orioles singlehandedly kept the rumor mill churning this weekend. MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports that the club is interested in making a play for free agent right-hander Lance Lynn, adding him to a list of potential candidates that also includes free agent righty Alex Cobb. The two are expected to command similar contracts in free agency, but Morosi notes that the Orioles may prefer Cobb based on his familiarity with the AL East.
Lynn, 30, is two years removed from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. Despite missing the 2016 season, he bounced back with a respectable 11-8 record in 33 starts and complemented his efforts with a 3.43 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 7.4 SO/9 over 186 1/3 innings for the 2017 Cardinals. He lost several days with a blister on his pitching hand in early September, but managed to avoid any major injuries and can reasonably be expected to shoulder another heavy workload in 2018.
Lynn may not be the Orioles’ first choice to beef up their starting rotation, but there’s no doubt that he’ll be in high demand as one of very few viable starters on the market this winter. The veteran righty rejected his one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Cardinals on Thursday and will likely be seeking a multi-year contract, one that Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch estimates around five years and $100+ million. If the Orioles are willing to bite that bullet, they’ll still need to compensate the Cardinals with their third pick in next year’s draft.