We’ve seen this coming for a while, but the Mariners and Russell Branyan have said goodbye to each other for good. Unlike Brett Myers and the Phillies this is all amicable with Branyan thanking Jack Zduriencik. He’s a Four True Outcome player: home runs, strikeouts, walks and the nicest manners.
Branyan says he has been talking to a couple of teams and thinks he’ll get a major league deal. Early in the offseason it seemed like the Mariners wanted Branyan back. They probably were hoping for a one-year, relatively low money deal like they got last year when he made $1.4 million. Branyan, who hit 31 home runs last season was probably thinking differently. Given that he missed the last five weeks of the season with a bad back, however, makes going either multiple years — or too many years — a risky endeavor.
If the Mets were seriously considering Carlos Delgado it means that they weren’t that worried about defense. How about giving Branyan a spin then?
Blue Jays right-hander Marcus Stroman might be headed to the disabled list soon, manager John Gibbons told reporters following Friday’s rain-shortened loss to the Yankees. The righty lasted just four innings on the mound before calling it a night, and gave up five runs, six hits and two walks in a performance that Gibbons claimed was at least partially affected by recurring blister issues on his right middle finger. Now, it looks like he might be removed from the rotation for some much-needed rest and rehabilitation; if so, it’ll be his second such stint this year.
Stroman, 27, has struggled to return the kind of winning record and sub-4.00 ERA that characterized his previous seasons with the club, mostly due to the combined seven weeks he missed with blisters on his throwing hand and chronic fatigue in his right shoulder. In a recent start against the Rays, things got even more gruesome when his blister appeared to start bleeding in the middle of his outing and MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm notes that the wound has constantly interfered with the right-hander’s pitch selection and delivery. When healthy, Stroman has managed a 4-8 record through 18 starts in 2018 with a career-worst 5.27 ERA, 3.2 BB/9 and 6.8 SO/9 in 100 2/3 innings. This will be the first year since 2015 in which he has not logged at least 200 innings in a single season.
While Stroman may not need an extended stay on the DL before he returns to the mound, it’s not clear what kind of timetable the Blue Jays expect for his recovery. He’s been the second-most valuable starter (behind the now-traded J.A. Happ) in a rotation that currently ranks 17th in the majors with a combined 4.90 ERA and 6.8 fWAR.