Jordan Lyles was called up to replace an injured Wandy Rodriguez in late May and has struck in the Astros’ rotation, but the 20-year-old’s workload figures to be limited down the stretch.
Brad Mills told Brian McTaggart of MLB.com that Lyles likely won’t be allowed to throw more than 165-170 total innings this season between the minors and majors, as the Astros want to avoid a workload increase of more than 15-20 innings compared to last season.
Lyle has already throw 106 innings heading into today’s start against the Nationals, so if the Astros stick to their plan he has about 10 more starts left this season. Under the normal rotation schedule Lyles would make another 13-14 starts, so somewhere along the line he’ll have to be skipped a few times or removed from the rotation altogether in September.
By that point the only drama remaining in Houston’s season will be trying to avoid 100 (or maybe 110) losses, so the long-term health of a 20-year-old should certainly take precedence over winning a few more games.
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.