The Indians lost their DH when they wisely declined to exercise the option they had on Travis Hafner. A possible replacement? How about Travis Hafner? Or, barring that, Jim Thome? That’s what Jon Heyman is reporting, anyway.
Hafner played in only 66 games last season, hitting .228/.346/.438 with 12 homers. Thome, who is seven years Hafner’s senior, played in only 58, hitting .252/.344/.442 with eight dingers.
So, no, neither one is an ideal solution. At least not unless they invent a surgery to turn one of them instantly right-handed and the rosters are expanded to 26, allowing the Indians to run a DH-only platoon.
But hey, famous names.
Update (12:58 AM ET): Per Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle, Samardzija has been diagnosed with a strained pectoral muscle. He’ll be shut down for a week. That’s good news for the Giants, considering the alternatives.
Giants starter Jeff Samardzija will undergo an MRI on his ailing right shoulder, according to NBC Sports Bay Area. The right-hander struggled in a minor league game on Wednesday, surrendering a pair of home runs and hitting a batter. Overall this spring, Samardzija has given up 15 runs (13 earned) on 17 hits (six homers) and seven walks with seven strikeouts in 11 innings.
This may mean Samardzija won’t be ready for the start of the regular season. Derek Holland would likely replace Samardzija in the rotation. Holland had been competing for the No. 5 spot in the Giants’ rotation.
Samardzija led the National League in losses last season with 15, also posting a 4.42 ERA with a 205/32 K/BB ratio in a league-high 207 2/3 innings. Since becoming a starter, Samardzija has been able to avoid injury, making 32 or 33 starts in each of the last five seasons.