Twins starters Scott Baker and Nick Blackburn undergoing elbow surgeries

7 Comments

Twins right fielder/first baseman Michael Cuddyer had arthroscopic knee surgery shortly after they were swept out of the playoffs by the Yankees and now starters Scott Baker and Nick Blackburn are both going under the knife as well.

Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that Blackburn underwent minor elbow surgery last week and Baker is slated to have a similar surgery tomorrow. Blackburn “had a bone spur and other loose particles removed but said there was no damage to any ligaments.”

Baker missed starts down the stretch with elbow pain and was absent from the Twins’ playoff rotation, but his surgery is also expected to be of the “cleanup” variety.

Brewers to give Mike Moustakas a look at second base

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images
8 Comments

The Brewers reportedly signed third baseman Mike Moustakas to a one-year, $10 million contract on Sunday. While the deal is not yet official, MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy reports that the Brewers plan to give Moustakas a look at second base during spring training. If all goes well, he will be the primary second baseman and Travis Shaw will stay at third base.

The initial thought was that Moustakas would simply take over at third base for the more versatile Shaw. Moustakas has spent 8,035 of his career defensive innings at third base, 35 innings at first base, and none at second. In fact, he has never played second base as a pro player. Shaw, meanwhile, has spent 268 of his 4,073 1/3 defensive innings in the majors at second base and played there as recently as October.

This is certainly an interesting wrinkle to signing Moustakas, who is a decent third baseman. He was victimized by another slow free agent market, not signing until March last year on a $6.5 million deal with a $15 million mutual option for this season. That option was declined, obviously, and he ended up signing for $5 million cheaper here in February as the Brewers waited him out. Notably, Moustakas did not have qualifying offer compensation attached to him this time around.

Last season, between the Royals and Brewers, the 30-year-old Moustakas hit .251/.315/.459 with 28 home runs and 95 RBI in 635 plate appearances.