Kyle Lohse left his start against the Cubs on Wednesday after he aggravated a right ankle sprain and Adam McCalvy of MLB.com reports that the Brewers will skip his next turn in the rotation in order to give him some rest.
Lohse originally injured the ankle on August 2 against the Cardinals. He has made two starts since, but the discomfort has lingered. With scheduled off-days next Monday and Thursday, the Brewers have the luxury of giving him a break without having to add another starter. Matt Garza is also sidelined right now with a rib cage strain and just resumed playing catch yesterday. Fortunately, Mike Fiers has filled in brilliantly by allowing one run in 14 innings over his first two starts. He struck out 14 batters Thursday against the Cubs.
Lohse, 35, has posted a 3.49 ERA and 114/34 K/BB ratio over 159 2/3 innings this season. The Brewers came back to beat the Dodgers 6-3 last night and currently sit at 68-55 on the year, two games ahead of the Cardinals and 3 1/2 games ahead of the Pirates in the National League Central.
The Phillies and Red Sox appear intent on pursuing free agent first baseman Carlos Santana, MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports. Santana rejected a one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Indians on Thursday and is expected to draw widespread interest on the market this winter. The Mets, Mariners, Angels and Indians could make a play for the infielder, though no serious offers have been made this early in the offseason.
Santana, 31, is coming off of a seven-year track with the Indians. He batted .259/.363/.455 with 23 home runs and 3.0 fWAR last season, making 2017 the fourth-most valuable year of his career to date. Although he was primarily stationed at first base over the last year, he could step back into a hybrid first base/DH role with the Red Sox, who are hurting for infield depth with Hanley Ramirez still working his way back from shoulder surgery.
As for Santana’s other suitors, the Mariners are far less likely to pursue a deal after trading for Ryon Healy last Wednesday. Neither the Mets nor the Phillies have a DH spot to offer the veteran infielder, and the Phillies’ Rhys Hoskins appears to be blocking the way at first base. Then again, Santana may not find a more enticing offer outside of Cleveland, where Edwin Encarnacion might otherwise be the club’s best option at first base. During the GM meetings, Indians’ GM Mike Chernoff said he “love to have both [Santana and Jay Bruce] back” in 2018, but hasn’t backed up that love with any contract talks just yet.