P.J. Walters was throwing in the low-80s and failed to retire any of the four batters he faced before exiting last night’s start with a shoulder injury, so not surprisingly the Twins placed him on the disabled list today.
Walters provided a much-needed spark for the Twins’ injury wrecked rotation initially, but then came back down to earth and heads to the DL with a 5.40 ERA in 37 innings.
And yet the Twins are so short on healthy starters that losing him actually hurts. They called up Triple-A reliever Lester Oliveros to fill his roster spot, but are expected to recall top pitching prospect Liam Hendriks to step into the rotation this weekend.
The Mets signed catcher Jose Lobaton to a minor league contract, the team announced Friday. The deal includes an invitation to spring training, where it’s assumed Lobaton will be in the mix for a backup role behind Travis d'Arnaud and Kevin Plawecki.
Lobaton, 33, is coming off of a four-year stint with the Nationals. He put up his worst career numbers in 2017, producing -0.6 fWAR after slashing just .170/.248/.277 with four home runs in 158 plate appearances. While he’ll give the Mets little to work with at the plate, his near-decade of experience behind the dish should make him a decent emergency option, if nothing else.
In the meantime, the Mets are expected to roll with a d’Arnaud/Plawecki platoon to start the season. Both catchers saw slight upticks in value over the 2017 season: d’Arnaud turned in 0.8 fWAR after hitting a career-high 16 home runs, while Plawecki collected 0.6 fWAR and three homers after raising his batting line over the Mendoza Line for the first time since 2015.