According to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer, the Indians have placed right-hander Zach McAllister on the disabled list with a right finger sprain. Carlos Carrasco has been called up from Triple-A Columbus in a corresponding roster move and will make the start this afternoon against the Tigers. In turn, Justin Masterson has been pushed back to tomorrow.
McAllister told reporters earlier this week that he felt discomfort in his finger when he gave up a season-high five runs (four earned) and walked four during his most recent start on June 2 against the Rays. The injury prevented him from throwing his curveball, so the Indians are hoping that some extra rest will get him back on track physically. The 25-year-old right-hander has quietly been very effective this season, posting a 3.43 ERA and 45/22 K/BB ratio in 65 2/3 innings.
You may remember that Carrasco was handed an eight-game suspension for throwing at the Yankees’ Kevin Youkilis on April 9. He’s appealing the suspension for now, but he could drop it after today’s start. The 26-year-old right-hander has a 3.21 ERA and 50/14 K/BB ratio in 47 2/3 innings over nine starts and one relief appearance this season in Triple-A.
According to Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post, Nationals infielder Danny Espinosa declined to attend the team’s annual Winterfest because of his dissatisfaction with management following their trade for outfielder Adam Eaton.
A source told Castillo that Espinosa’s unhappiness stemmed from a belief that the acquisition would jeopardize his starting role in 2017. With Eaton in center field, Trea Turner will likely return to his post at shortstop, leaving Espinosa out in the cold — or, as the case may be, on the bench. The move shouldn’t come as a big surprise to Espinosa, however, as Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo spoke to the possibility of trading the infielder or reassigning him to a utility role back in early November.
Offensively, the 29-year-old had a down year in 2016, slashing just .209/.306/.378 with 24 home runs in 601 PA. Defensively, he still profiles among the top shortstops in the National League, with eight DRS (Defensive Runs Saved) and 8.3 Def (Defensive Runs Above Average) in his seventh year with the club.
Espinosa will reach free agency after the 2017 season.
The Red Sox might be trying to move the wrong pitcher, according to the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo. Cafardo revealed that while the Sox have been trying to market right-hander Clay Buchholz, more teams would be interested in trades involving southpaw Drew Pomeranz.
The club appears reluctant to deal Pomeranz, especially because his price tag comes in at a cool $4.7 million to Buchholz’s $13.5 million in 2017. Those who have already expressed interest in the veteran hurlers, including the Twins, Mariners and Royals, also seem put off by Buchholz’s salary requirements as he enters his 32nd year.
Health could be another factor preventing teams from jumping to make trade offers, as Cafardo quotes an AL executive who believes the “medicals on both Pomeranz and Buchholz probably aren’t that great.” Neither pitcher suffered any major injuries during the 2016 season, though Pomeranz missed just over a week of play due to forearm soreness.
Pomeranz outperformed his fellow starter in 2016, pitching to a 3.32 ERA and career-best 9.8 K/9 through 170 2/3 innings with the Padres and Red Sox. He got off to an exceptionally strong start in San Diego, where his ERA dropped to 2.47 through the first half of the year before the Padres dealt him to Boston for minor league right-hander Anderson Espinoza. Buchholz, on the other hand, struggled with a 4.78 ERA and saw a decline in both his BB/9 and K/9 rates as he worked out a career-low 1.69 K/BB through 139 1/3 innings with the Sox.