The Athletics won another thriller last night against the Blue Jays, but they were given a bit of a scare when slugger Yoenis Cespedes was lifted for pinch-hitter Michael Taylor in the eighth inning. It turns out he sprained his right wrist when he was thrown out trying to steal third base in the sixth inning.
Cespedes is out of the lineup this afternoon and is currently considered day-to-day. Athletics manager Bob Melvin told Casey Pratt of CSNBayArea.com that the Cuban outfielder will try to swing the bat today and could potentially be available off the bench, so it doesn’t sound like a major concern.
Cespedes is batting .310/.370/.531 with 14 home runs, 54 RBI, nine stolen bases and a .901 OPS in 74 games played this season. He has missed 32 games due to hand, hamstring and thumb injuries. The A’s are 46-28 with him in the lineup and just 12-20 without him.
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.