The honeymoon is over.
Willie Bloomquist, who hit .394 with eight runs scored and six steals in his first seven games with the Diamondbacks, went on the disabled list Monday because of a strained hamstring suffered during Thursday’s game.
Veteran utilityman Josh Wilson was called up to replace him.
Bloomquist had been slumping of late anyway, going 6-for-29 with three runs scored since his fast start. The Diamondbacks are playing Gerardo Parra regularly in left field because of Bloomquist’s injury, and he’s responded by going 7-for-16 over the last four games.
When Bloomquist returns, it will probably be to a significantly lesser role. He spent the first week of the season replacing an injured Stephen Drew at shortstop, and the move to left came as a way to keep his hot bat in the lineup after Drew returned.
Somewhat disappointing is that the Diamondbacks didn’t use the opportunity to promote the red-hot Wily Mo Pena from Triple-A Reno. Pena, who has hit .420/.473/.820 with six homers in the early going, could have provided Parra with some serious competition in left. However, with Melvin Mora banged up and neither he nor Ryan Roberts able to function as much more than an emergency shortstop, another infielder was needed.
Free agent left-hander Wade Miley is among several offseason targets for the Twins, according to a report from Darren Wolfson of KSTP. Miley’s $12 million option was declined by the Orioles back in November, and while he’s expected to attract another major league deal in 2018, he hasn’t exactly been highly sought after this offseason.
The 31-year-old lefty finished his second campaign with the Orioles in 2017, producing an 8-15 record in 32 starts and ranking second-to-last among all AL starters with a 5.61 ERA, 5.3 BB/9 and 8.1 SO/9 in 157 1/3 innings. Even taking Miley’s undeniable durability into account — he remained healthy for the bulk of the season and completed his sixth straight year with 30+ starts — his declining value and career-worst numbers may lower his price tag as the 2018 season approaches.
Wolfson notes that the Twins have engaged in “regular dialogue” with Miley’s agent this winter, but he’s far from the only starting pitcher they have their eye on. Right-handers Yu Darvish, Lance Lynn, Alex Cobb and Chris Tillman are still on their radar, among several others, and club owner Jim Pohlad said Saturday that he was “totally on board” with the idea of signing a big-name free agent like Darvish or another available starter. “There are some interesting names and some interesting opportunities there,” Pohlad told a crowd at TwinsFest. “I’m as intrigued by it as anybody and attracted to it as anybody.”