Another day, another Cardinals player on the disabled list, as Skip Schumaker was placed on the shelf with a right hamstring strain.
This time around at least the Cardinals are getting a key player back off the DL, as they activated Allen Craig following the minimum 15-day stay for a hamstring injury of his own.
Craig was on fire before the injury, hitting .373 with five homers, five doubles, and a 1.188 OPS in 13 games after making his delayed debut following offseason knee surgery.
Obviously swapping Schumaker for Craig is an upgrade for the offense, but with center fielder Jon Jay suffering a setback with his shoulder injury the Cardinals could have used Schumaker’s defensive versatility. In theory Craig is capable of playing some second base or center field in a pinch, but that was an iffy proposition even before his knee and hamstring problems.
St. Louis’ disabled list now includes Schumaker, Jay, Lance Berkman, Matt Carpenter, Chris Carpenter, Scott Linebrink, and Kyle McClellan.
The Orioles singlehandedly kept the rumor mill churning this weekend. MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports that the club is interested in making a play for free agent right-hander Lance Lynn, adding him to a list of potential candidates that also includes free agent righty Alex Cobb. The two are expected to command similar contracts in free agency, but Morosi notes that the Orioles may prefer Cobb based on his familiarity with the AL East.
Lynn, 30, is two years removed from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. Despite missing the 2016 season, he bounced back with a respectable 11-8 record in 33 starts and complemented his efforts with a 3.43 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 7.4 SO/9 over 186 1/3 innings for the 2017 Cardinals. He lost several days with a blister on his pitching hand in early September, but managed to avoid any major injuries and can reasonably be expected to shoulder another heavy workload in 2018.
Lynn may not be the Orioles’ first choice to beef up their starting rotation, but there’s no doubt that he’ll be in high demand as one of very few viable starters on the market this winter. The veteran righty rejected his one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Cardinals on Thursday and will likely be seeking a multi-year contract, one that Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch estimates around five years and $100+ million. If the Orioles are willing to bite that bullet, they’ll still need to compensate the Cardinals with their third pick in next year’s draft.