Dan Uggla underwent LASIK surgery on August 16 to combat lingering vision issues, but he’s on track to return from the disabled list as soon as he’s eligible.
According to Mark Bowman of MLB.com, Uggla will begin a minor league rehab assignment Monday with Triple-A Gwinnett on Monday. He’s slated to play two games in the minors before being activated next Wednesday.
Uggla has generally hit for low batting averages during his career, but he has reached a new low this season, hitting just .186 through 112 games. His 31.7 percent strikeout rate is fourth-highest among qualified hitters while only the Astros’ Chris Carter and the Pirates’ Pedro Alvarez have made contact at a lower rate. The 33-year-old told Chris Iseman of MLB.com earlier this week that he “can see a lot more clear,” but acknowledged that the procedure is “not just going to cure everything.” However, given how he has performed this season, it certainly can’t hurt.
The Cardinals announced on Tuesday that outfielder Dexter Fowler has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with a strained left forearm. Outfielder Harrison Bader was recalled from Triple-A Memphis to take Fowler’s spot on the roster.
It’s not clear when Fowler suffered the injury, but he went 0-for-12 since a three-hit performance last Friday. He’s hitting .241/.333/.452 with 14 home runs and 37 RBI in 333 plate appearances this season.
Bader, 23, is the Cardinals’ No. 6 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. This season, with Memphis, Bader hit .297/.354/.517 with 19 home runs and 48 RBI in 381 PA.
Jon Morosi of MLB Network said yesterday that the Detroit Tigers and Chicago Cubs have been engaged in trade talks involving starting pitcher Justin Verlander and catcher Alex Avila. Morosi also noted that the Los Angeles Dodgers have shown interest in Verlander as well. Whether this is idyl chitchatting of serious dispute is unclear, of course. Everything is unclear in the leadup to the deadline.
The veteran right-hander is carrying a 4.50 with a 120/57 K/BB ratio over 124 innings. Verlander impressed last year, finishing second in AL Cy Young Award balloting, but he has fallen back to Earth in 2017. His velocity remains high, however, and it’s not hard to imagine him going on a solid run in a way that could help a contender. He is owed $56 million over the next two seasons, however, and has a $22 million option that could vest for 2020, so negotiations for him could be tough. If the Tigers want talent back, they’ll have to eat salary.
Verlander got an ovation from a Detroit crowd last night which seemed to sense that, yes, it’s possible he pitched his last game for the Tigers. Given that he has 10/5 rights, allowing him to veto any trade, that decision is ultimately up to him. It’s not hard to imagine him accepting a trade to a contender, however.
We wait see.