I wondered yesterday how much longer the Cardinals could stick with Jake Westbrook in the rotation and it turns out they’re not.
However, rather than simply demoting Westbrook to the bullpen the Cardinals announced that he has a back injury and is headed to the disabled list. Obviously that seems like convenient timing and a way to get Westbrook out of the rotation without actually taking away his job, but either way he won’t be starting Monday.
As for who will be facing the Reds in his place, general manager John Mozeliak said during a radio interview with CBS Sports-920 that no decision has been made yet. There are no shortage of options, including Carlos Martinez, Michael Wacha, and Tyler Lyons, which is why sticking with Westbrook for any longer would have been such a mistake.
Free agent middle infielder Danny Espinosa signed a minor-league deal with the Blue Jays, the team announced Saturday. The deal includes an invite to spring training, where Espinosa is scheduled for his first split-squad game against the Orioles this afternoon.
Espinosa, 30, was inked to another minor-league deal with the Yankees in January. The veteran infielder was competing for an infield job until the team picked up second baseman Neil Walker on a one-year, $4 million deal last Monday. Prior to his release, he slashed .160/.276/.320 with one home run through his first 12 games with the Yankees this spring. He didn’t fare much better in the majors last year, either, batting a cumulative .173/.245/.278 with six home runs and a .523 OPS in 295 PA for the Mariners and Rays.
Blue Jays starting shortstop Troy Tulowitzki is still dealing with a bone spur in his heel and has officially been ruled out for Opening Day, which could clear a path for Espinosa to claim a starting role in Toronto. Of course, he won’t be the only candidate under consideration — Yangervis Solarte and Aledmys Diaz are still in the mix as well, though no final decision appears to be made just yet.