Toronto closer Jon Rauch is out following an emergency appendectomy, so Frank Francisco was warming up to pitch the ninth inning of a 1-0 game yesterday when his shoulder started barking.
Francisco stopped throwing and the Blue Jays instead let Casey Janssen finish the game by pitching a third inning.
Today is an off day for the Blue Jays, but Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com reports that Francisco will likely be examined by doctors before being cleared to pitch Tuesday, with a trip to the disabled list potentially looming.
Francisco has pitched very well since losing his closer job to Rauch in mid-July, allowing just one run in 13 innings with an 11/1 K/BB ratio, but he has a history of arm problems and spent time on the DL earlier this season with a strained pectoral muscle that was initially classified as a shoulder injury.
The Yankees appear to have moved on from free agent Manny Machado this winter, but could they be turning their attention to Rockies superstar Nolan Arenado? That’s the idea floated by Andy Martino of SNY, who hears that GM Brian Cashman has been involved in recent discussions concerning the third baseman. No official comments have been made to the press yet, though, and it’s not clear whether the Yankees would prefer to pursue Arenado prior to the 2019 season or partway through it.
The 27-year-old infielder earned his fourth consecutive All-Star nomination, Silver Slugger, and Gold Glove award in 2018 after slashing .297/.374/.561 with 38 home runs, a .935 OPS, and 5.7 fWAR across 673 plate appearances. There’s no question he’s provided immense value to Colorado’s lineup over the last half-decade, and his consistency and incredible power at the plate helped form the basis of the record $30 million arbitration figure he presented to the team last week. The Rockies countered at $24 million, however, and in doing so may have jeopardized their chances of convincing the infielder to forego free agency in 2020 and take a long-term deal instead.
Assuming he declines to negotiate an extension with the Rockies, Arenado’s decorated résumé and career-best 2018 numbers should attract plenty of interest around the league — a reality that could put considerable pressure on the Yankees (or any other interested party) to finesse a deal sooner rather than later. For now, the club is prepared to enter the 2019 season with hot-hitting third baseman Miguel Andújar, whom Martino speculates would be the “centerpiece” of any trade with Colorado.