It’s common for people to play up the positive, tough-guy aspects of athletes playing through injuries and/or returning sooner than expected, but whenever that goes poorly–and it does, constantly–that’s often just brushed under the rug.
In related news, Reds manager Bryan Price admitted Wednesday that second baseman Brandon Phillips came back too soon from surgery to repair a torn thumb ligament.
I think it all comes down to the inactivity, I don’t think there’s any question. You take six weeks off and he jumps right back in like he did. That’s on us, he wanted–we knew Brandon wanted to play, but that was in large part our willingness organizationally and my willingness as a manager to say yes. Sure, come on back, you played three games after six weeks, come on back.
Phillips is 8-for-54 (.148) in 14 games since coming off the disabled list “ahead of schedule.”
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.