Kyle Lohse’s market has been crushed by having draft pick compensation attached to his free agency and as recently as three weeks ago he hadn’t received a single offer despite coming off back-to-back career-years.
Lohse and Michael Bourn are the only two unsigned free agents who turned down $13.3 million qualifying offers from their original teams, but yesterday Brewers owner Mark Attanasio revealed that Milwaukee could be a landing spot for Lohse if his price tag drops low enough due to the lack of interested teams:
I think you have to look at the whole picture. We’ve given up picks before, and when we got CC [Sabathia] and we got Zack [Greinke], we gave up more than draft compensation–we gave up ready-to-go young players. This season, we’re mindful of the fact that if we do add some pieces, we may have to give up some young players. There’s always a chance. Again, it’s a function of size of contract, length of contract. Kyle had a phenomenal two seasons the last two seasons. We just have to see if that fits in our overall scheme.
Milwaukee picks 17th in the first round and to give that up in order to sign a 34-year-old pitcher is a steep price even without factoring in how much money Lohse would actually get, but Attanasio noted that guys like Ryan Braun, Prince Fielder, and Rickie Weeks were all top-10 picks. Of course, the most recent Brewers first-round pick to make the majors was Brett Lawrie, who they got 16th overall in 2008 and traded to the Blue Jays for Shaun Marcum.
MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch reports that Cardinals’ shortstop Aledmys Diaz has been sporting a new look around Busch Stadium with a pair of “strobe glasses,” technology-enhanced specs designed to help athletes focus on the ball. Like a strobe light, the lenses of these glasses affect a player’s vision by rapidly changing opacity, giving its wearers the illusion that the objects they see are moving more slowly than normal. Once a player adjusts to the new speed of play, they gain a greater sense of control and are able to time their actions with more precision.
Diaz isn’t the first MLB player to utilize the technology, just the first Cardinals’ player to do so. It’s been tested by Bryce Harper, Corey Brown, Tommy Joseph, Austin Hedges and Joe Mauer, among others around the league, and has been used for everything from refining a catcher’s reflexes behind the plate to tweaking a hitter’s ability to track a pitch. Per Langosch, Diaz has been using the glasses to hone in on the ball during pregame drills, increasing both his confidence and response time on the field and improving his defense at short.
The shortstop has been the focus of some concern this season after seeing a sizable dip in his production at the plate, and his five fielding errors, 0.6 UZR and 0.6 fWAR haven’t helped matters, either. He sustained a minor thumb injury during an at-bat on Friday night, and was left off of the Cardinals’ starting lineup on Saturday, though manager Mike Matheny didn’t rule out his ability to pinch-hit during the series. While the strobe glasses are a good start, Diaz will need more than a pair of specs to match the spotlight-worthy performance he turned out during his rookie season in 2016.
Red Sox’ left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez may finally get a chance at cracking the rotation again, assuming all goes well in Double-A Portland first. Rodriguez took the field prior to the club’s afternoon session with the Angels, firing 68 pitches in a simulated game as he prepared for an upcoming rehab assignment in Portland on Thursday.
The 24-year-old southpaw suffered a right knee subluxation during pregame warmups on June 1, and it’s been a slow path to recovery ever since. It’s not the first time Rodriguez has had issues with his right knee — he sustained a similar injury during spring training last year — and this time around, the Red Sox weren’t about to gamble with their starter’s health. Ian Browne of MLB.com reports that Rodriguez was put in a knee brace and underwent exercises designed to help him regain some mobility and stability while he worked back up to full strength on the mound.
He’ll still need to prove he can throw a 75- to 80-pitch outing in Double-A, and barring any significant setbacks, will likely rejoin the Red Sox’ pitching staff when they visit the Rangers next month. In the meantime, the club will continue to cycle starters through the No. 5 spot, which has seen no fewer than three different pitchers since Rodriguez hit the disabled list. The lefty is 4-2 in 10 starts this season after logging a 3.54 ERA, 3.1 BB/9 and career-high 9.6 SO/9 through his first 61 innings.