The Cardinals would like to bring Rafael Furcal back next year

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Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the Cardinals are very interested in retaining Rafael Furcal after the season ends.

Furcal, a free agent-to-be, hasn’t hit for average since coming over from the Dodgers, but he has played slick defense and has flashed nice power in his short time in St. Louis.  Given how poor the non-Pujols portions of the Cardinals infield has been this season, he would represent a considerable upgrade if brought back and if he’s healthy in 2012.  Of course Furcal being healthy is not the sort of thing one bets the farm on.

And it’s also worth noting that Furcal isn’t exactly the Cardinals’ number one free agent priority coming up after the season ends. They have a first baseman who’s pretty good and has probably earned himself a contract of some sort.

Phillies pause Jerad Eickhoff’s rehab

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Phillies starter Jerad Eickhoff hasn’t pitched in the majors yet this season as he suffered a lat injury in mid-March and has been on the disabled list since. He started a rehab stint in the minors last week, making a start for Double-A Reading on May 15 and another start for Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Sunday.

Meghan Montemurro of The Athletic reports that Eickhoff went a twinge in the fingertips of his right index and middle fingers late in Sunday’s outing after throwing a curve and on the subsequent pitch. The Phillies have paused Eickhoff’s rehab as a result and will evaluate him further.

Eickhoff went on the disabled list in late August last year due to nerve irritation in his right hand, so this latest setback could be related to that.

Eickhoff showed promise early in his career, posting a combined 3.44 ERA in 41 starts between 2015-16. He struggled to a 4.71 ERA last year before ending his season early with the nerve issue. Eickhoff was one of the many prospects the Phillies got from the Rangers in the Cole Hamels trade.