Since taking over as the A’s manager in the middle of the season Bob Melvin has said repeatedly that he’d like the team to re-sign Hideki Matsui, but he sounds highly unlikely to get his wish.
Melvin reiterated his desire for Matsui to return while speaking to reporters yesterday at the winter meetings, but general manager Billy Beane downplayed the odds of it happening and indicated that the A’s will turn to younger players in the designated hitter role.
Beane mentioned Chris Carter, Brandon Allen, and Kila Ka’aihue, each of whom have some flaws and each of whom are very capable of topping Matsui’s production at a fraction of the cost.
Matsui plans to play somewhere in 2012 at age 38, but hit just .251 with 12 homers and a career-low .696 OPS in 141 games for the A’s while being paid $4.25 million.
Astros center fielder Carlos Gomez sat out the final series of the regular season in order to rest a strained left intercostal muscle, but there was good news coming out of a workout today in advance of Tuesday’s Wild Card game vs. the Yankees.
This has been a lingering issue for Gomez, who missed 13 straight games with the injury last month. He aggravated the strain on a throw to home plate last Wednesday and was forced to sit while the Astros fought to keep their season alive. Astros manager A.J. Hinch told reporters last week that Gomez’s injury would typically take 45-50 days to recover from, so it’s fair to wonder how productive he can be during the postseason.
Gomez mostly struggled after coming over from the Brewers at the trade deadline, batting .242 with four home runs and a .670 OPS over 41 games.
Nathan Eovaldi hasn’t pitched in a month due to right elbow inflammation, but he told Chad Jennings of the Journal News today that he expects to pitch out of the bullpen if the Yankees advance to the ALDS against the Royals.
Eovaldi was originally expected to throw a 35-pitch bullpen session today, but the Yankees moved up his timetable after the news that CC Sabathia was checking into alcohol rehab. Instead, he threw 10 pitches in a bullpen session before facing hitters for the first time since his injury.
There isn’t enough time for Eovaldi to get stretched out to start during the ALDS, but he could still play an important role for the Yankees, especially with Adam Warren looking like the most likely option to replace Sabathia in the rotation.