The Rockies are currently on pace for their worst season in franchise history, but they are set to get some help down the stretch.
According to Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post, Jhoulys Chacin is scheduled to rejoin the starting rotation Tuesday night against the Mets. The 24-year-old right-hander has originally placed on the disabled list in early May with what was termed as right shoulder inflammation, but he was later diagnosed with a nerve irritation in his right pectoral muscle.
Chacin tossed seven innings of one-run ball in his most recent rehab start with Triple-A Colorado Springs on Thursday, despite walking three and failing to register a strikeout. He had an ugly 7.30 ERA and 22/15 K/BB ratio over 24 2/3 innings in five starts prior to the injury.
This has been a lost season for Chacin, but the Rockies are hopeful he can at least go out on a good note and provide reason for optimism going in 2013. He had a 3.62 ERA in 31 starts last season and a 3.28 ERA as a rookie in 2010, so if healthy, he should still be a big part of the team’s future.
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.
The Phillies reportedly signed veteran outfielder Daniel Nava to a minor league contract, according to Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Nava began the season on a one-year contract with the Angels, during which he slashed .235/.309/.303 through 136 PA in the first half of 2016. He was flipped to the Royals in late August for a player to be named later and saw the remainder of his year go down the drain on an .091 average through 12 PA in Anaheim. After getting the boot from the Angels’ 40-man roster in November, the 33-year-old outfielder elected free agency.
Nava is expected to compete for a bench role on the Phillies’ roster in the spring. As it currently stands, the club’s projected 2017 outfield features Howie Kendrick and Odubel Herrera, with precious little depth behind them. Nava’s bat is underwhelming, but at the very least he offers the Phillies a warm body in left field and a potential platoon partner for one of their younger options, a la Tyler Goeddel or Roman Quinn.