Last week Giants manager Bruce Bochy revealed that Matt Cain has been pitching through a “cranky” elbow since spring training, and so not surprisingly after initially pushing back his next turn in the rotation the team has now placed him on the disabled list.
Cain refused to give any details about his status when asked last week, saying: “I’m feeling like I’m feeling.”
His performance speaks for itself, though, with a 2-7 record and career-worst 4.18 ERA in 15 starts to go along with the lowest strikeout rate of his decade-long career and his highest walk rate since 2008. For now the Giants are calling his injury merely inflammation.
Playing through an injury: Still a really, really bad idea.
Cain is making $20 million this season and is owed another $20 million per season through 2017, plus a $21 million option or $7.5 million buyout for 2018.
Free agent right-hander Chris Tillman is narrowing his pool of potential suitors, per Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports. Returning to the Orioles is one option, of course, but Heyman also mentions another two undisclosed teams who are still in the running. An earlier report from Eduardo Encina of the Baltimore Sun suggests that as many as four teams may be in the mix; either way, a final decision is expected by Monday.
Tillman, 29, has spent the entirety of his major league career in Baltimore. After posting career-high numbers in 2016, his progress was derailed during an injury-plagued 2017 campaign, during which he missed nearly six weeks on the disabled list with recurring right shoulder inflammation. He finished the season with a bloated 7.84 ERA, 2.3 BB/9 and 4.9 SO/9 over 93 innings.
While the mystery teams have yet to reveal themselves, the Blue Jays, Twins and Tigers have all expressed interest in the veteran right-hander this offseason. Both the Blue Jays and Twins have made big moves to bolster their rotations over the last few days, with the additions of Jaime Garcia and Jake Odorizzi, respectively. That doesn’t mean that Tillman is out of reach, however — if his price is right, he could provide some much-needed depth for pitching staffs that finished 15th and 22nd in the league last year.