As if falling to 6-16 with a loss to the Angels wasn’t bad enough for the Twins tonight, Justin Morneau exited the game with soreness in his surgically repaired left wrist.
Even worse, Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com reports that Morneau is flying back to Minnesota to be examined by a team doctor, which isn’t a good sign considering the Twins are just beginning a six-game West Coast road trip that goes through Sunday.
Morneau has played 20 of 22 games after entering the season as a huge question mark following his concussion-related health problems and multiple surgeries. His production has been very inconsistent, including a .239 batting average and .313 on-base percentage, but he has shown good power with four homers and five doubles in 74 at-bats.
And now the Twins will wait to see if the former MVP has a third straight season ruined by injuries.
MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports that the Orioles have interest in free agent right-hander Alex Cobb, who rejected his one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Rays earlier this week. Cobb was most recently linked to the Cubs, who reportedly reached out to his agent during the GM Meetings and garnered mutual interest from the righty, but nothing appears to be set in stone yet.
Cobb, 30, completed his sixth season with the Rays in 2017. He went 12-10 in 29 starts and turned in a respectable 3.66 ERA, 6.4 SO/9 and career-best 2.2 BB/9 in 179 1/3 innings. Despite losing a couple of weeks to turf toe, he remained healthy for most of the year and showed no signs of the elbow issues that robbed him of the majority of his 2015-2016 campaigns.
It’s still fairly early for any deals to come to fruition, but Morosi notes that the Orioles seem to be focused on bulking up their rotation during the first few months of the offseason. It’ll take more than a healthy Alex Cobb to right that ship, however: Orioles’ starters earned a collective 5.70 ERA and 5.5 fWAR in 2017, good for worst and fourth-worst marks in the league, respectively. Behind Kevin Gausman and Dylan Bundy (and perhaps Gabriel Ynoa/Miguel Castro), they still need three viable starters to compete in 2018. Whether or not they can afford to spring for a single starter with Cobb’s price tag (four years, $48 million, per MLB Trade Rumors) remains to be seen.