Derrick Goold reports that the Cardinals have issued number 32 to a player for the first time since 2007. The player who has it: catcher Rob Johnson. The last player to wear it: Josh Hancock, who was killed in an auto accident in April of that year.
Hancock, you’ll recall, was intoxicated, texting and driving 68 miles per hour when he smashed his SUV into the back of a parked flatbed tow truck. The Cardinals had not retired his number or anything, but they hadn’t issued it. It had been available to other players if they wanted it before Johnson took it, but no one did, making it for something of an awkward memorial.
As Goold notes, though, the Cardinals have so many numbers either retired or currently not in circulation because they may be retired one day, it was inevitable that someone was going to wear 32 again.
Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports reports that the Royals have signed pitcher Clay Buchholz to a minor league deal. Buchholz will earn a $1.5 million salary if he makes the club’s major league roster and can earn an additional $250,000 through incentives. Buchholz has an opt-out date set for May 1, which means if he isn’t on the Royals’ 25-man roster by then, he can request his release.
Buchholz, 33, was acquired by the Phillies from the Red Sox in December 2016, but he made only two starts before an MRI revealed he had a partial tear of his right flexor pronator mass. He underwent surgery in April and missed the rest of the season.
The Royals recently lost Jesse Hahn, who was diagnosed with a sprained right UCL. Buchholz would likely be in consideration for a rotation spot if another starter were to suffer an injury. Presently, the Royals’ rotation appears set with Danny Duffy, Ian Kennedy, Jason Hammel, Jake Junis, and Nate Karns.