Russell Martin scratched again, looking like DL candidate

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Russell Martin returned Sunday after missing four days with back stiffness, but he wasn’t able to give it another go tonight, as the Yankees scratched him and started Francisco Cervelli behind the plate in the series finale against the Indians.

It makes one wonder if Martin might go on the disabled list within the next 24 hours.  Even if he might be capable of playing through his back problems, it doesn’t look like he’ll be an asset in the process.  He’s currently in a 2-for-32 slump that’s seen him drive in just one run since May 25.

The Yankees, though, have been very patient so far.  One reason for that, perhaps, is that Jesus Montero is in no position to come up and battle for time behind the plate.  The team’s top prospect is hitting .289 for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, but that comes with just four homers and a 50/12 K/BB ratio in 201 at-bats.  He’s going the wrong way, too, having hit .365 in April, .269 in May and just .130 in 23 at-bats so far this month.

So if the Yankees do decide to place Martin on the DL, odds are that Gustavo Molina would be called up to back up Cervelli.

 

Cubs sign sinkerballer Steve Cishek

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Cubs have signed reliever Steve Cishek. No details about the deal are known yet. For what it’s worth, most relievers are signing two-year deals so far this winter and Cishek’s last deal was a two-year pact.

Cishek, 31-year-old sidearmer who throws a surprisingly fast sinkerball, posted a 2.01 ERA and a 41/14 K/BB ratio and allowed just 26 hits in 44.2 innings between the Mariners and Rays last season. He saved 25 games for the M’s in 2016. Last year he missed the first month and a half of the season following hip surgery, but seemed pretty healthy later in the year.

A nice pickup for Chicago.