Indians outfielder Shin-Soo Choo underwent surgery on his fractured left thumb during the last week of June. We’re only about 10 days in, but his recovery so far has been free of any hiccups.
According to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Choo had the cast removed from his surgically-repaired thumb on Wednesday and is “telling friends” that he could be ready for full-time action by the second week of August.
An early-August return would be wonderful, but it also seems highly doubtful. Choo’s injury was not of the minor variety and the surgery wasn’t either.
More from Hoynes and the Plain Dealer:
It took three hours for Dr. Thomas Graham to repair Choo’s broken left thumb after he was hit by a Jonathan Sanchez pitch June 24. The bone reportedly shattered like glass and had to be reconstructed.
Anytime “bone” and “reconstructed” share the same sentence, it’s a frightening situation. And while Choo might feel improved 10 days into his rehab, there are still quite a few hurdles he’s going to have to climb. There was even some talk at the time of the injury that the South Korean might miss the rest of the season.
A report from the Baltimore Sun’s Dan Connolly suggests that free agent catcher Welington Castillo currently tops the Orioles’ list of potential backstop targets for the 2017 season. With Matt Wieters on the market, the Orioles lack a suitable platoon partner for Caleb Joseph behind the dish, and Connolly adds that the club has been discussing a multi-year deal with Castillo’s representatives since the Winter Meetings.
Castillo batted .264/.322/.423 with the Diamondbacks in 2016, racking up 14 home runs and driving in a career-high 68 RBI in 457 PA. His bat provides much of his upside, and Connolly quoted an anonymous National League scout who believes that the 29-year-old’s defensive profile has fallen short of his potential in recent years.
For better or worse, both the Orioles and Castillo appear far from locking in a deal for 2017. Both the Rays and Braves have expressed interest in the veteran catcher during the past week, while the Orioles are reportedly considering Wieters, Nick Hundley and Chris Iannetta as alternatives behind the plate.
The Phillies reportedly signed veteran outfielder Daniel Nava to a minor league contract, according to Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Nava began the season on a one-year contract with the Angels, during which he slashed .235/.309/.303 through 136 PA in the first half of 2016. He was flipped to the Royals in late August for a player to be named later and saw the remainder of his year go down the drain on an .091 average through 12 PA in Anaheim. After getting the boot from the Angels’ 40-man roster in November, the 33-year-old outfielder elected free agency.
Nava is expected to compete for a bench role on the Phillies’ roster in the spring. As it currently stands, the club’s projected 2017 outfield features Howie Kendrick and Odubel Herrera, with precious little depth behind them. Nava’s bat is underwhelming, but at the very least he offers the Phillies a warm body in left field and a potential platoon partner for one of their younger options, a la Tyler Goeddel or Roman Quinn.