It’s going to be at least another month before right-hander Mat Latos is able to join the Reds’ rotation.
MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon reports that Latos has been diagnosed with a flexor mass strain in his elbow and will be shut down for 10-14 days. When he does resume his throwing program, it will be almost like starting over from the beginning of spring training.
Latos opened the 2014 regular season on the disabled list because of February knee surgery. He had been aiming to make his debut around mid-April, but he felt discomfort in his forearm during a bullpen session on Friday afternoon and an MRI taken Saturday in Cincinnati revealed the flexor mass strain.
“It’s a setback in his recovery,” Reds skipper Bryan Price told MLB.com. “It’s more time off to let it recover, let it simmer down, get the inflammation out and start back up. We’ll keep working hard on staying in shape and doing all the other things that he’s capable of doing. His timetable will be pushed back fairly significantly.”
Latos, 26, posted a 3.16 ERA (121 ERA+) and 187 strikeouts across 210 2/3 innings last season.
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.