Losing Chone Figgins to the Mariners opens a hole at third base for the Angels. One that some people have speculated will need to be filled with Adrian Beltre or someone like him. It seems, however, that the Angels are more likely to finally give Triple A slugger Brandon Wood a chance to start and stick.
At one point Wood was considered one of the top five prospects in all of baseball. He had a smattering of at bats in 2007, 2008, and 2009, but he’s seen much more of Salt Lake City than he has California. He hasn’t been consistent in his multiple cups of coffee, but the guy has simply raked down on the farm. He has power. He has nothing left to prove in the minors. It’s a play him now or lose him forever situation.
If the Angels do that, there’s an outside chance they’d get a Kendry Morales-style breakout season. More plausible is simply good power for low money. If he doesn’t work out? Fine, go with some plan B, but I think that kind of risk is preferable to paying someone $9 or $10 million to fill the hole that Figgins leaves behind.
Cubs starter Yu Darvish suffered a setback during Sunday’s rehab start with Low-A South Bend, The Athletic’s Jon Greenberg reports. Darvish threw just 19 pitches in the first inning and felt fine. However, when he took the mound to warm up ahead of the second inning, Darvish “felt something” in his injured right elbow. He exited the game to undergo an MRI.
Darvish’s condition isn’t yet known, but it’s obviously bad news. Darvish signed a six-year, $126 million contract in February and has made just eight starts this season. He owns a 4.95 ERA with 49 strikeouts and 21 walks in 40 innings and hasn’t pitched since May 20.
Darvish said he hopes to return before the end of the regular season to help the team. Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein is realistic about the situation. He said, “It’s a process. We’ll see how he feels. It’s been a long road back, so there’s no point in rushing it now. We probably have one chance given where we are on the calendar to get this right, so that’s the priority.”
Mike Montgomery has pitched out of the rotation in Darvish’s place but he is also currently on the disabled list. Tyler Chatwood, with a 5.22 ERA and 93 walks in 101 2/3 innings, was booted from the rotation at the end of July after the Cubs acquired Cole Hamels. The Cubs, entering Sunday 20 games over .500 and fewer than five games ahead of the Cardinals and Brewers in the NL Central, need some reliability at the back of the rotation.