Here’s a concerning development for the Athletics with the start of the postseason just days away.
According to Joe Stliglich of CSNBayArea.com, Yoenis Cespedes was forced to leave last night’s win over the Mariners in the fourth inning after aggravating his right shoulder. The 27-year-old has been limited to DH duties for the past two weeks, but the A’s were hoping to test him in left field throughout the weekend. That’s unlikely to happen now.
Athletics manager Bob Melvin said after the game that there’s a “good chance” Cespedes will sit out tonight’s game at the very least, but he’s still hoping to have him available for the postseason. However, since he aggravated his shoulder swinging the bat, it’s fair to wonder whether he’d even be able to hold up as a DH.
“I know we’ve got a little time before the postseason,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “Hopefully we can get him healthy.”
Cespedes, 27, is batting .240/.294/.442 with 26 home runs and 80 RBI over 135 games this season. He has 49 homers over his first 264 games in the majors.
A report from the Baltimore Sun’s Dan Connolly suggests that free agent catcher Welington Castillo currently tops the Orioles’ list of potential backstop targets for the 2017 season. With Matt Wieters on the market, the Orioles lack a suitable platoon partner for Caleb Joseph behind the dish, and Connolly adds that the club has been discussing a multi-year deal with Castillo’s representatives since the Winter Meetings.
Castillo batted .264/.322/.423 with the Diamondbacks in 2016, racking up 14 home runs and driving in a career-high 68 RBI in 457 PA. His bat provides much of his upside, and Connolly quoted an anonymous National League scout who believes that the 29-year-old’s defensive profile has fallen short of his potential in recent years.
For better or worse, both the Orioles and Castillo appear far from locking in a deal for 2017. Both the Rays and Braves have expressed interest in the veteran catcher during the past week, while the Orioles are reportedly considering Wieters, Nick Hundley and Chris Iannetta as alternatives behind the plate.
The Phillies reportedly signed veteran outfielder Daniel Nava to a minor league contract, according to Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Nava began the season on a one-year contract with the Angels, during which he slashed .235/.309/.303 through 136 PA in the first half of 2016. He was flipped to the Royals in late August for a player to be named later and saw the remainder of his year go down the drain on an .091 average through 12 PA in Anaheim. After getting the boot from the Angels’ 40-man roster in November, the 33-year-old outfielder elected free agency.
Nava is expected to compete for a bench role on the Phillies’ roster in the spring. As it currently stands, the club’s projected 2017 outfield features Howie Kendrick and Odubel Herrera, with precious little depth behind them. Nava’s bat is underwhelming, but at the very least he offers the Phillies a warm body in left field and a potential platoon partner for one of their younger options, a la Tyler Goeddel or Roman Quinn.