CSN Philly’s John Finger reports that Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard will have an MRI taken on his ailing left knee on Monday. The results will direct the next step the Phillies take with their $125 million slugger, and surgery “remains an option”. Howard went on the 15-day disabled list yesterday.
“We’ll see what happens [Monday] to get a better understanding of what’s going on inside of there and then we’ll address it with either surgery or any other kind of injections,” Howard said. “Right now, it’s too early to tell. Once we find out, we’ll look at it and see what will be the best thing.”
Howard clarified that the injury had nothing to do with his ankle. He ruptured his Achilles tendon making the final out of the 2011 NLDS against the Cardinals and missed the first 84 games of the 2012 season. His mobility and agility were severely limited last year, but seemed to get better after an off-season of rest.
Howard leaves the Phillies having posted a .784 OPS, spurred in part to a .930 OPS in 21 games dating back to June 11. In his absence, the Phillies may use some combination of Michael Young and Darin Ruf at first base.
According to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman, free agent reliever Joba Chamberlain has a deal with the Brewers. No confirmation or terms of the contract have been confirmed by the team yet.
Chamberlain, 31, had a promising resurgence in the Indians’ bullpen during 2016. He shaved his ERA down to a modest 2.25 mark over 20 innings with Cleveland, paired with an 8.1 SO/9 and less-than-stellar 5.0 BB/9 rate. Over a decade in the major leagues, the right-hander holds a career 3.81 ERA, 8.8 SO/9 and 3.7 BB/9 rate.
The veteran righty was released by the Indians in July after refusing re-assignment. He’s expected to compete for a major league role this spring.
After letting rumors of the deal percolate for the last week, the Athletics officially announced their two-year, $11 million contract with right-hander Santiago Casilla on Friday (and threw a little bit of shade at the Giants, too). As previously reported, the contract includes an extra $3 million in performance bonuses.
Casilla, 36, got his major league start with Oakland back in 2004, racking up a 5.11 ERA and four saves over six seasons in the A’s bullpen. After picking up a minor league deal with the Giants in 2010, the righty flitted in and out of the closing role with varying degrees of success. Notwithstanding a slight downturn in his production rate during the 2016 season, he earned 123 saves and a 2.42 ERA during the past seven years in San Francisco. Securing another closing role might be a little tougher across the Bay, however, with a bullpen that includes fellow closers Ryan Madson, Ryan Dull and Sean Doolittle.