It sounds like the Twins are ready to welcome Jason Kubel back from the disabled list after he went 3-for-5 with a homer at Triple-A yesterday and 1-for-3 with a walk there today.
Kubel has been out since May 30 with a sprained foot and his rehab timetable got delayed by setbacks several times, but Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that he’s scheduled to fly to Minnesota tonight and could rejoin the Twins’ lineup as soon as tomorrow.
Kubel was Minnesota’s most productive bat prior to the injury, hitting .310 with an .820 OPS in 52 games, and with Denard Span and Justin Morneau still on the DL the Twins’ lineup can certainly use a boost. Trevor Plouffe figures to lose the most playing time upon Kubel’s return, which while understandable is a shame because he was looking more and more intriguing as a potential late-blooming former first-round pick.
If the Twins can ever get healthy and stay healthy the rest of the thoroughly mediocre AL Central could be in serious trouble, as Minnesota is just five games back despite starting the season with an MLB-worst 17-37 record.
The Diamondbacks announced on Monday that the club signed catcher Jeff Mathis to a two-year, $4 million contract.
Mathis, 33, isn’t much with the stick as he owns a career .197/.254/.308 triple-slash line over parts of 12 seasons in the majors. The veteran, though, is well-regarded for his ability to play defense, call games, handle a pitching staff, and get along with his teammates in the clubhouse. As Craig mentioned last year, Mathis is often talked about as a future manager.
The D-Backs non-tendered Welington Castillo on Friday, so Chris Herrmann and Mathis are the team’s two catchers as presently constructed.
ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that free agent shortstop Jimmy Rollins wants to continue playing in 2017.
Rollins, 38, signed a minor league deal with the White Sox for the 2016 season but hit a disappointing .221/.295/.329 over 166 plate appearances. The club released Rollins in the middle of June and he did not sign with a new team. He did join TBS as part of their playoff coverage.
Rollins is almost certainly looking at another minor league contract and will have to earn his way onto a major league roster by performing well in spring training.