The All-Star break didn’t give Carlos Gonzalez enough time to recover from his sore wrist, so the Rockies brought Dexter Fowler back from the minors a bit earlier than expected Friday.
After a slow start for Triple-A Colorado Springs, Fowler had hit .385/.489/.615 in his last 10 games. He homered in two of his last three games after going 295 at-bats without one between the majors and minors this season.
The Rockies don’t necessarily want Fowler hitting homers, though: what they want is fewer strikeouts and more singles from him at the top of the order. Fowler scored 27 runs in his 43 games as the Rockies’ leadoff man, but manager Jim Tracy was much more focused on his .238 average and 66 strikeouts in 210 at-bats prior to his demotion.
Gonzalez remains day-to-day after testing his wrist during batting practice Friday. He could be available tonight off the bench as a defensive replacement or pinch-runner.
The Phillies and Red Sox appear intent on pursuing free agent first baseman Carlos Santana, MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports. Santana rejected a one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Indians on Thursday and is expected to draw widespread interest on the market this winter. The Mets, Mariners, Angels and Indians could make a play for the infielder, though no serious offers have been made this early in the offseason.
Santana, 31, is coming off of a seven-year track with the Indians. He batted .259/.363/.455 with 23 home runs and 3.0 fWAR last season, making 2017 the fourth-most valuable year of his career to date. Although he was primarily stationed at first base over the last year, he could step back into a hybrid first base/DH role with the Red Sox, who are hurting for infield depth with Hanley Ramirez still working his way back from shoulder surgery.
As for Santana’s other suitors, the Mariners are far less likely to pursue a deal after trading for Ryon Healy last Wednesday. Neither the Mets nor the Phillies have a DH spot to offer the veteran infielder, and the Phillies’ Rhys Hoskins appears to be blocking the way at first base. Then again, Santana may not find a more enticing offer outside of Cleveland, where Edwin Encarnacion might otherwise be the club’s best option at first base. During the GM meetings, Indians’ GM Mike Chernoff said he “love to have both [Santana and Jay Bruce] back” in 2018, but hasn’t backed up that love with any contract talks just yet.