Nationals starter Ross Detwiler has been sidelined for the last month due to a herniated disk in his lower back. Reports from a week and a half ago estimated the lefty may miss another month, leading to a late August return, but the latest from Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post suggests Detwiler may not return at all.
Detwiler visited specialist Robert Watkins Sr., a renowned back surgeon based in California, last month for a second opinion. Watkins diagnosed the herniated disk and prescribed a month of rest and anti-inflammatory medication.
By that point, Detwiler will not have pitched in about two months. The Nationals would place Detwiler on a full throwing program to rebuild his arm strength, “almost like you go through spring training again,” Johnson said.
Kilgore does add that the Nationals are still hoping to bring him back in September to see where he’s at, whether or not the team is still a contender in the NL East and Wild Card races. Before landing on the DL, Detwiler posted a 4.04 ERA in 71.1 innings over 13 starts.
In Detwiler’s absence, rookie Taylor Jordan has filled in admirably, compiling a 3.31 ERA in 35.1 innings over six starts.
Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Angels have inked outfielder Eric Young, Jr. to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.
Young, 31, played in just six games and logged one plate appearance in the majors this past season with the Yankees. He last played regularly in 2014. While Young doesn’t do much with the bat, he could provide value as a pinch-runner. He also offers versatility, having played all three outfield positions along with second base.
The Angels have Ben Revere as their fourth outfielder and Jefry Marte behind him, so Young would need to have a very impressive showing in spring training to find a spot on the Angels’ roster.
Update (5:20 PM EST): It’s a minor league contract, per Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. If he makes the major league roster, Saltalamacchia will earn $1.25 million with an additional $250,000 available through incentives.
The Blue Jays are close to a deal with free agent catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet is reporting.
Saltalamacchia, 31, hit a meager .171/.284/.346 with 12 home runs and 38 RBI in 292 plate appearances with the Tigers this past season. With Russell Martin getting regular playing time behind the plate, Saltalamacchia will serve as his understudy, pushing A.J. Jimenez and Juan Graterol down on the depth chart.
The veteran catcher isn’t far removed from being a productive backstop. He had an .805 OPS in 70 games with the Diamondbacks in 2015 and also helped the Red Sox win the World Series in 2013 with an .804 OPS in 121 games.