UPDATE: Latos told C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer that it’s actually his forearm that’s bothering him and that he went for an MRI today. He’s still awaiting the results.
10:58 a.m. ET: Reds right-hander Mat Latos was scratched from his second minor league rehab start on Tuesday due to right elbow inflammation and John Fay and C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer report that he felt continued discomfort during a bullpen session yesterday.
Latos declined to speak to reporters after throwing, but Reds trainer Paul Lessard said that he will be shut down for a few days.
“There was still a little tenderness in the flexor mass,” Lessard said. “It’s back to more treatment, instead of pitching. We were hoping if the bullpen went well today that maybe he could pitch on Sunday or Monday. That doesn’t look reasonable right now.
“We’ve got to take some time and get him stronger and less painful, hopefully pain-free.”
Latos was forced to begin the year on the disabled list following left knee surgery in February, but he also had an elbow cleanup procedure in October. His absence appears likely to stretch into May at this point. Alfredo Simon will continue to fill his spot in the starting rotation for now.
The Orioles singlehandedly kept the rumor mill churning this weekend. MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports that the club is interested in making a play for free agent right-hander Lance Lynn, adding him to a list of potential candidates that also includes free agent righty Alex Cobb. The two are expected to command similar contracts in free agency, but Morosi notes that the Orioles may prefer Cobb based on his familiarity with the AL East.
Lynn, 30, is two years removed from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. Despite missing the 2016 season, he bounced back with a respectable 11-8 record in 33 starts and complemented his efforts with a 3.43 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 7.4 SO/9 over 186 1/3 innings for the 2017 Cardinals. He lost several days with a blister on his pitching hand in early September, but managed to avoid any major injuries and can reasonably be expected to shoulder another heavy workload in 2018.
Lynn may not be the Orioles’ first choice to beef up their starting rotation, but there’s no doubt that he’ll be in high demand as one of very few viable starters on the market this winter. The veteran righty rejected his one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Cardinals on Thursday and will likely be seeking a multi-year contract, one that Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch estimates around five years and $100+ million. If the Orioles are willing to bite that bullet, they’ll still need to compensate the Cardinals with their third pick in next year’s draft.