Chris Carpenter will start Game 1 of the World Series for the Cardinals and publicly at least various members of the team downplayed talk of his elbow being an issue, but Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that “Carpenter suffered inflammation and swelling of the elbow” following his start against the Brewers last Wednesday.
According to Strauss he “required lengthy daily treatments” leading up to a potential Game 7 start in the NLCS and any notion of Carpenter starting on short rest for a second time this postseason has been ruled out.
In fact, his Game 1 start will come on six days’ rest following an abbreviated 89-pitch outing, so if ever Carpenter was going to be at full strength this would be the time.
Strauss hints that the Cardinals were somewhat worried about Carpenter’s status for a potential Game 7 against Milwaukee, so he needs all the extra time off he can get.
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.