The Dodgers continue to be connected in trade rumors with Cubs right-hander Ryan Dempster, but they could get one of their own starters back from the disabled list in the near future.
According to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com, Ted Lilly is slated to begin a minor league rehab assignment Sunday with High-A Rancho Cucamonga.
Lilly hasn’t pitched since May 23 due to left shoulder inflammation. The 36-year-old southpaw is expected to pitch two innings on Sunday and will likely need about two or three weeks to get properly stretched out to rejoin the Dodgers’ starting rotation.
Lilly didn’t make his season debut until April 14 due to a neck injury, but he had a 1.79 ERA across his first seven starts before he was knocked around for eight runs on nine hits and five walks over 3 1/3 innings against the Diamondbacks on May 23. The Dodgers are hoping they’ll get the good Lilly back soon.
MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Twins say minor league pitcher Yorman Landa has died in Venezuela. He was 22.
The club said in a statement that the Twins are “deeply saddened by the heartbreaking loss.” The team did not say how he died.
Landa pitched in the 2016 season with the Fort Meyers Miracle, going 2-2 with 7 saves and a 3.24 ERA in 41 2/3 innings pitched. His career minor-league ERA was 2.66.
Landa had been on the Twins’ 40-man roster, but was dropped after the season. The organization signed him to a minor-league contract last week.
Landa was signed by the Twins in 2010 as a 16-year old from Santa Teresa, Venezuela.
A report from the Baltimore Sun’s Dan Connolly suggests that free agent catcher Welington Castillo currently tops the Orioles’ list of potential backstop targets for the 2017 season. With Matt Wieters on the market, the Orioles lack a suitable platoon partner for Caleb Joseph behind the dish, and Connolly adds that the club has been discussing a multi-year deal with Castillo’s representatives since the Winter Meetings.
Castillo batted .264/.322/.423 with the Diamondbacks in 2016, racking up 14 home runs and driving in a career-high 68 RBI in 457 PA. His bat provides much of his upside, and Connolly quoted an anonymous National League scout who believes that the 29-year-old’s defensive profile has fallen short of his potential in recent years.
For better or worse, both the Orioles and Castillo appear far from locking in a deal for 2017. Both the Rays and Braves have expressed interest in the veteran catcher during the past week, while the Orioles are reportedly considering Wieters, Nick Hundley and Chris Iannetta as alternatives behind the plate.