Jon Jay returns to St. Louis for tests on shoulder

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Cardinals center fielder Jon Jay was said to be day-to-day after running into the Busch Stadium outfield wall on Thursday afternoon. But it is not a certainty that he’s going to avoid the disabled list.

According to Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Jay was sent back to St. Louis before Sunday’s game in Pittsburgh after failing to make it through an early-morning workout that included batting practice. As Strauss puts it, “Jay told coaches and teammates he experienced discomfort extending through the ball.”

The Cardinals will rely on guys like Skip Schumaker, Erik Komatsu and Shane Robinson in center field while Jay is sidelined. Schumaker left Friday’s game after slamming into the outfield wall at PNC Park but only suffered mild soreness. Komatsu is 3-for-16 (.188) this season and Robinson is 7-for-20 (.350).

Jay, 27, is sporting a stellar .349/.391/.535 slash line with two home runs in 46 plate appearances this year.

Report: Phillies interested in Manny Machado; Orioles have done homework on Phillies’ minor league system

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Orioles third baseman Manny Machado will become a free agent after the 2018 season and there hasn’t been much in the way of progress on a contract extension between the two sides. It seems as if Machado will test the open market next offseason.

The Phillies, currently with relatively minuscule obligations for the 2018 season and beyond, are expected to be big players for Machado, as well as other potential free agents like Bryce Harper. In fact, the Phillies may not even want to wait until next offseason, as Roch Kubatko of MASN reports that the club has expressed interest in Machado to the Orioles. In return, the O’s have been doing their homework on the Phillies’ minor league system.

Kubatko notes that the Orioles like, in particular, Phillies prospects Sixto Sanchez and Scott Kingery. The Phillies may be hesitant to part with either considering they can get Machado for a lot of cash but no prospects next winter. MLB Pipeline rates Sanchez as the Phillies’ best pitching prospect and the second-best prospect overall in the system. Kingery is third overall and the top infielder. While the Phillies’ system is among the best in baseball, its notable weakness is pitching, so parting with Sanchez — who throws in the upper 90’s and can hit triple digits — would be a big ask. Kingery is seen as the club’s next second baseman of the future, so much so that the Phillies are shopping Cesar Hernandez at the Winter Meetings.

As usual with rumors during the Winter Meetings, there may be some smoke but no actual fire here. The Orioles are likely to get continued interest in Machado from many teams between now and the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. They are simply doing their due diligence by seeing what the Phillies and others have to offer for Machado.