Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that former Giants’ shortstop Jimmy Rollins is considering retirement after being released by the team on Friday. The veteran infielder batted .125/.222/.250 with the Giants this spring and was told earlier in the week that he would not make the club’s Opening Day roster.
Rollins, 38, could hang up his cleats after 17 seasons in the big leagues. He spent the bulk of his career in Philadelphia, contributing 49.3 fWAR from 2000 through 2014 with three All-Star bids, four Gold Gloves, one Silver Slugger and top honors as the 2007 NL MVP to boot.
Per FanGraphs, the veteran’s value hasn’t exceeded 0.3 fWAR in a single season since his last hurrah with the Phillies in 2014. He’s bounced around the league during the last two years, landing with the Dodgers in 2015 and latching onto the White Sox during the first half of the 2016 season. Rollins cracked the Opening Day roster in Chicago and batted just .221/.295/.329 with two home runs before the team DFA’d him to make room for 23-year-old prospect Tim Anderson in June. While he may not want to consider retirement just yet, as Giants’ outfielder Denard Span mentioned on Friday, his age and poor showing this spring might leave him without much of a choice.
Giants’ right-hander Mark Melancon is considering surgery for an undisclosed injury, the pitcher told reporters prior to Friday’s game against the Phillies. Melancon did not divulge the exact location of the injury, but revealed that it had been plaguing him off and on since the 2012 season and was a separate issue from the right pronator strain that kept him sidelined through much of July and August. Giants’ head athletic trainer Dave Groeschner called the injury day-to-day and has not revealed a timetable for the right-hander’s return, should surgery become necessary.
Melancon, 32, has struggled to replicate the sparkling pitching line he produced with the Pirates and Nationals in 2016. He’s toting a 3.80 ERA through 25 appearances with San Francisco, flanked by a 1.1 BB/9 and 7.6 SO/9 over 23 2/3 innings. His season has been significantly shortened after multiple trips to the disabled list for a right forearm strain, and while he looked to be in line to resume his closing duties this week, the Giants will likely play it safe with the veteran righty to keep him from compromising his health in 2018.
Although the injury doesn’t appear to be severe in nature, it’s clearly intensified over the last few months. Per MLB.com’s Chris Haft, Melancon said he’s “had discomfort every day this season,” though he hopes to continue pitching through the remainder of 2017. The Giants aren’t on the verge of contending by any stretch of the imagination, but a solid end to the 2017 season could help Melancon make some headway as he looks to reclaim his status as the team’s closer next spring.
What happens when an irresistible force meets an immovable object? Just ask Javier Baez, who tracked down a sizzling 106-MPH ground ball from Jose Bautista on Friday afternoon. The defensive gem helped preserve the Cubs’ three-run lead in the top of the ninth inning, paving the way for Wade Davis‘ 25th save of the season.
Baez also impressed at the plate, collecting an RBI single in the second inning before getting tagged out at home by Miguel Montero on a convoluted 9-6-3-6-2 putout. He returned in the eighth inning to pester Tim Mayza and cleared the left field hedge with a 409-foot, two-run blast for his 20th home run of the year. With the win, the Cubs improved to 64-57 and now hold a scant 1.5-game lead over the Brewers in the NL Central.