Francisco Liriano’s no-hitter snapped Minnesota’s losing streak last night, but it didn’t put a stop to the Twins’ never-ending string of injuries.
Jim Thome has been placed on the disabled list with a strained oblique muscle and backup outfielder Jason Repko joins him on the shelf with a sore quadriceps. To replace them on the roster the Twins called up infielder Trevor Plouffe and outfielder Ben Revere from Triple-A.
Revere joins an outfield mix that includes Denard Span, Michael Cuddyer, Jason Kubel, and Rene Tosoni, who got the call-up over Revere when Delmon Young was placed on the DL last week.
Plouffe is a lesser prospect than Revere, but his short-term role may prove more substantial because the Twins are finally running out of patience with enigmatic infielder Alexi Casilla, who for now has been moved to second base after struggling mightily as the starting shortstop.
Thome going to the DL takes a big bat out of an already struggling lineup, but he’s been limited by the oblique soreness since last week and there’s no sense in risking further injury with a 40-year-old DH.
Free agent outfielder/slugger J.D. Martinez is reportedly seeking an outfield gig, says Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald. According to Silverman’s sources, Martinez’s suitors have been informed that the veteran slugger would give preference to teams that can offer a corner outfield spot, rather than a DH-only role.
That could spell trouble for the Red Sox, who appear to be Martinez’s biggest suitors so far this offseason. Outfielders Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi are firmly established at the corners, and prior reports from club president Dave Dombrowski suggest that center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. is not going anywhere anytime soon (thereby eliminating the possibility of reshuffling the outfield). The DH spot is still wide open for Martinez, who doesn’t seem to be totally closed off to the idea, but any full-time or part-time role on the field is likely off the table at this point.
Of course, the Red Sox aren’t the only ones pursuing Martinez’s services this winter. The 30-year-old slugger has been linked to both the Diamondbacks and Giants in weeks past, and while they have the roster flexibility to accommodate his preferences, they’ll need to clear another massive hurdle: the seven-year, $250 million contract he’s said to be seeking. Both clubs will need to get creative to make such a deal work. The Diamondbacks are rumored to be shopping right-hander Zack Greinke in an attempt to free up some room on their payroll for Martinez, while the Giants appear more inclined to scour the trade market for outfield help than shell out cash for another hefty contract in free agency.