Jon Lester goes on disabled list due to lat strain

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As anticipated from the moment the injury was announced. Jon Lester has been placed on the disabled list with a strained lat muscle suffered in the fourth inning of his start against the Blue Jays last night.

Reliever Scott Atchison has been called up to take his place on the roster.

Lester takes a 10-4 record and a 3.31 ERA with him to the DL.  The Red Sox will need to replace him in the rotation Sunday against the Orioles.  Depending on whether he’s needed out of the pen, Alfredo Aceves could make that start.  He’s 1-1 with a 5.14 ERA in his four starts this season.

An alternative would be Kevin Millwood, who would pitch on six days’ rest.  He gave up three runs over seven innings in his last start for Triple-A Pawtucket, and is 4-0 with 4.15 ERA overall in seven starts for the club.

Judging by the way Lester finished his outing last night, the strain he suffered couldn’t have been particularly severe.  The Red Sox haven’t provided a timetable for his return, but it’s possible he’ll miss just two or three starts.

It’s Lester’s first trip to the disabled list since 2007.

Giants nearing deal with Cameron Maybin

Cameron Maybin
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The Giants are finalizing a minor league deal for free agent outfielder Cameron Maybin, according to Andrew Baggarly and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. The team has not confirmed the signing, but it’s in keeping with their stated goal of adding more veteran presence and outfield options to their roster in advance of the 2019 season.

Maybin, 31, appeared in back-to-back gigs with the Marlins and Mariners in 2018. He slashed an underwhelming .249/.326/.336 with four home runs, 10 stolen bases (in 15 chances), a .662 OPS, and 0.5 fWAR through 384 plate appearances for the two clubs, a clear improvement over his totals in 2017 but still shy of the career numbers he posted with the Padres all the way back in 2011. It’s not only his offense that has tanked, but his speed and defense in center field, all of which he’ll try to improve as he jockeys for a roster spot in camp this month.

The Giants’ outfield has been largely depleted of any kind of consistent talent lately, especially taking into account the recent departures of Hunter Pence, Gregor Blanco, and Gorkys Hernández. Even with the acquisition of, say, All-Star right fielder Bryce Harper, there’s nothing standing in the way of Maybin and fellow veteran signee Gerardo Parra grabbing hold of full- or part-time roles this year, though they’ll need to outperform candidates like Chris Shaw, Steven Duggar, Drew Ferguson, Mac Williamson, Austin Slater, Craig Gentry, Mike Gerber, and others first.

In a previous report on Friday, Baggarly revealed that a “handshake understanding” had been established with several veteran players already this offseason, all but guaranteeing them regular starting opportunities over the course of the season. How those agreements will be affected by spring training performances remains to be seen, but at least for now, the Giants appear prepared to give their newest players a long leash as they try to get back on top in the NL West.