Denard Span’s collision at the plate with Royals catcher Brayan Pena didn’t look like much Friday night and he was able to play yesterday, but the Twins’ center fielder is now out of the lineup and will head back to Minnesota to have his dizziness examined.
Span chose to slide hard into Pena rather than reenact the Scott Cousins-Buster Posey incident by running the catcher over, yet even after avoiding a bigger collision he told reporters that he’s been “foggy” since and is “definitely scared.”
Span is the latest in a seemingly never-ending string of injured Twins, as Joe Mauer, Jim Thome, Jason Kubel, Tsuyoshi Nishioka, Delmon Young, Francisco Liriano, Joe Nathan, Glen Perkins, Kevin Slowey, Jose Mijares, and Jason Repko have all spent at least one stint on the disabled list.
And one of the few regulars who hasn’t been on the shelf, Justin Morneau, has been in and out of the lineup with neck problems after spending eight months on the sidelines following a concussion. Similar to Morneau’s situation last year Span’s dizziness is particularly worrisome because he missed time with vertigo in 2009. He’s been the Twins’ best player all season.
Infielder Brett Lawrie successfully avoided arbitration and signed a one-year contract with the White Sox on Friday, per a team announcement. FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman added that the deal was for $3.5 million, significantly lower than the $4.125 million Lawrie was paid by the White Sox in 2016.
The White Sox acquired Lawrie last December in a swap for minor league arms Zack Erwin and J.B. Wendelken. After splitting time at second and third base for the Athletics in 2015, Lawrie slotted in at second base and DH for the White Sox and batted .248/.310/.413 with 12 home runs in 384 PA. While it’s strange to see a healthy, fairly productive player receive a salary reduction in arbitration, Lawrie missed nearly half of the season with a strain in his left hamstring, though he’s projected to return at full health by the start of the 2017 season.
Left-hander Brian Duensing signed a one-year, $2 million contract with the Cubs on Friday, per a report from FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman.
The free agent spent the bulk of his 2016 season with the Orioles after receiving a call-up from Triple-A Norfolk in early June. He underwent elbow surgery several weeks later when a freak bullpen injury revealed cartilage chips and inflammation in his pitching elbow, but recovered to finish the season with a 4.05 ERA and 10 strikeouts in 13 1/3 innings for the club. The Orioles utilized him for a final out during the AL Wild Card game, during which Duensing recorded a five-pitch strikeout in the ninth inning of their 5-2 loss to the Blue Jays.
The 33-year-old is currently expected to bulk up the Cubs’ left-handed relief corps, with fellow left-hander Mike Montgomery slated for the rotation in 2017.