Carlos Beltran is in shape, running without a knee brace

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Let’s just consider this another one of those posts where the headline says it all. But the guild requires a body as well as a headline so let us just note that Ken Davidoff is reporting that Beltran is feeling great and, unlike last year, is running without a brace on his bum knee.

This is a big year for Beltran, obviously, given that his deal is up after the season.  If he can show that he’s healthy and that speed is still a part of his game, he’s going to make himself some money.  If he’s gimpy and fragile, he’s going to be cast into that giant vat of once-great, but now merely good bats that make the DH/LF rounds each winter like Manny Ramirez, Johnny Damon and the like.

Based on how he was swinging late last year and these optimistic health reports, I think Beltran is likely to avoid that track and will be be a regular outfielder for a few more years.  At least I hope so.  I like watching the dude play.

 

Twins designate Phil Hughes for assignment

AP Photo/Ron Schwane
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Phil Hughes was officially designated for assignment by the Twins on Tuesday, the culmination of multiple injury-plagued seasons and poor performance.

Things couldn’t have started out much better for Hughes in Minnesota. The former Yankees hurler joined the Twins on a three-year, $24 million contract in December of 2013 and reeled off a 3.52 ERA over 32 starts during his first season with the club. He set the MLB record (which still stands, by the way) for single season strikeout-to-walk ratio and even received some downballot Cy Young Award consideration. The big year resulted in the two sides ripping up their previous agreement with a new five-year, $58 million deal, but it was all downhill after that.

Hughes took a step back with a 4.40 ERA in 2015 and struggled with a 5.95 ERA over 11 starts and one relief appearance in 2016 before undergoing surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome. He wasn’t any better upon his return last year, putting up a 5.87 ERA in nine starts and five relief appearances. Hughes missed time with a biceps issue and required a thoracic outlet revision surgery in August. He began this year on the disabled list with an oblique injury, only to put up a 6.75 ERA over two starts and five relief appearances before the Twins decided to turn the page this week.

Hughes is still owed the remainder of his $13.2 million salary for this year and another $13.2 million next year. The deal didn’t work out as anyone would have hoped, but unfortunately this is another case of health just not cooperating.