Ryan Howard sat out last night’s game after fouling a ball off his right foot and is also expected to get a cortisone injection in his sore left ankle today, so he’s unlikely to be back in the Phillies’ lineup before Thursday.
Howard would almost surely play through bursitis in his ankle if the Phillies hadn’t already clinched the division title and weren’t a near-lock for homefield advantage. Or as the former MVP put it: “The focus is towards October and being healthy for October.”
As usual Howard is knocking in a ton of runs, leading the league with 113 RBIs, but he’s also posted career-lows in batting average (.249), slugging percentage (.490), and OPS (.833) while hitting just .237 in 120 games since a strong April.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Rangers have signed outfielder Carlos Gomez to a one-year deal. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that Gomez will earn $11.5 million next season.
Gomez, 31, struggled with the Astros to a .594 OPS before the club released him in mid-August. The Rangers signed him shortly thereafter and were immediately rewarded. Gomez hit .284/.362/.543 with eight home runs and 24 RBI in 130 plate appearances through the end of the regular season.
As presently constructed, Gomez would likely take over in center field with Nomar Mazara handling left and Shin-Soo Choo in right.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Diamondbacks are close to signing free agent reliever Fernando Rodney.
Rodney, 39, has been inconsistent over the past two seasons. This past season, he was lights-out with the Padres, posting a 0.31 ERA in 28 appearances. After the Marlins acquired him at the end of June, he struggled to a 5.89 ERA in 39 appearances.
Brad Ziegler, who closed for the Diamondbacks in the first half last season, went to the Red Sox in a midseason trade and is now a free agent. The Diamondbacks had six other relievers register a save, but only Daniel Hudson and Jake Barrett recorded more than one. Adding Rodney will give the club some stability in the ninth inning.