Yesterday we heard that Kendrys Morales may begin the year on the DL. Today Mike Scioscia elaborated on that, and it doesn’t sound good:
“It’s not a setback; there are just some plateaus guys hit,” said Scioscia. “You can’t force things. He’s going to keep working, keep moving forward.”
One thing that I wonder: how much of his “plateau” has to do with conditioning? I didn’t write about it when I was at Angels camp in Tempe, but Morales does look to be a tad roundish and out of shape. Which, on some level, is understandable given that his particular injury — his ankle — makes running and getting on an exercise bike troublesome. But it also can’t help a guy trying to work out at first base after so much time off.
Last night Cubs catcher Willson Contreras was placed on the injured list with a strained muscle in his right foot. That injury inspired the Cubs to go out and get another catcher. They acquired Martín Maldonado in a trade with Kansas City in exchange for lefty Mike Montgomery, in a deal that was announced after the Cubs loss to the Reds.
Maldonado, 32, was a Gold Glove winner in 2017 with the Angels. At the moment he’s hitting .227 with six homers and 17 RBIs in 74 games. Obviously, though, defense is his calling card, as he’s a .220 career hitter with 57 homers and 210 RBIs in 686 games.
Montgomery, 30, is 1-2 with a 5.67 ERA in 20 relief appearances for the Cubs this year. He’s heading back to where his pro career began. He was drafted by Kanas City in 2008, though he was traded away in the James Shields/Wade David/Wil Myers deal in 2012. He made his big league debut for Seattle in 2015. Dayton Moore said last night that the Royals plan to use Montgomery in the rotation as a replacement for Homer Bailey, who was dealt to Oakland on Sunday.