Alex Avila doesn’t plan to miss any time, but both the All-Star catcher and manager Jim Leyland admitted yesterday that the knee injury he suffered while stepping on Robinson Cano’s foot in Game 3 is a concern.
“Minor injuries happen to everybody,” Avila told Jason Beck of MLB.com. “Whether I was injured badly or not, I’m not really coming out of the game anyway, so it doesn’t matter.”
My first thought upon reading that quote is the injury is more serious than anyone is letting on and Beck writes that some Tigers “wondered if it was something worse.” With that said, Avila repeatedly called it “nothing major” and “just a little twist.”
Victor Martinez is unable to catch because of his own knee injury, so if Avila does end up missing any time Omir Santos would likely be behind the plate for Detroit.
According to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman, free agent reliever Joba Chamberlain has a deal with the Brewers. No confirmation or terms of the contract have been confirmed by the team yet.
Chamberlain, 31, had a promising resurgence in the Indians’ bullpen during 2016. He shaved his ERA down to a modest 2.25 mark over 20 innings with Cleveland, paired with an 8.1 SO/9 and less-than-stellar 5.0 BB/9 rate. Over a decade in the major leagues, the right-hander holds a career 3.81 ERA, 8.8 SO/9 and 3.7 BB/9 rate.
The veteran righty was released by the Indians in July after refusing re-assignment. He’s expected to compete for a major league role this spring.
After letting rumors of the deal percolate for the last week, the Athletics officially announced their two-year, $11 million contract with right-hander Santiago Casilla on Friday (and threw a little bit of shade at the Giants, too). As previously reported, the contract includes an extra $3 million in performance bonuses.
Casilla, 36, got his major league start with Oakland back in 2004, racking up a 5.11 ERA and four saves over six seasons in the A’s bullpen. After picking up a minor league deal with the Giants in 2010, the righty flitted in and out of the closing role with varying degrees of success. Notwithstanding a slight downturn in his production rate during the 2016 season, he earned 123 saves and a 2.42 ERA during the past seven years in San Francisco. Securing another closing role might be a little tougher across the Bay, however, with a bullpen that includes fellow closers Ryan Madson, Ryan Dull and Sean Doolittle.