It looks like Tommy Hanson and Peter Moylan will join Jair Jurrjens on the sidelines if the Braves are able to hold on to their wild card lead and advance to the NLDS.
Hanson, out since early August with a small tear in his rotator cuff, felt pain in his shoulder blade while working in an instructional league game Friday and exited after two innings.
The hope was that Hanson would go three or four innings today and then start the regular-season finale for the Braves on Wednesday, putting him in line to potentially pitch in the NLDS. Since Wednesday’s session is out now, it’s hard to imagine the Braves carrying him on their playoff roster. Perhaps he’ll be a possibility if they advance to the NLCS.
Without Hanson, the Braves would be looking at a postseason rotation of Tim Hudson, Brandon Beachy, Derek Lowe and either Mike Minor or Randall Delgado.
The news was even worse for Moylan, who just returned in early September after missing nearly five months following back surgery. He was diagnosed with tears in both his rotator cuff and labrum. He’ll see Dr. James Andrews before a decision is made on whether to operate.
Moylan was almost certainly going to be on the Braves’ postseason roster despite all of the missed time. His innings could instead go to Cristhian Martinez and Arodys Vizcaino.
The Orioles have inked shortstop Alcides Escobar to a minor league contract, MLB.com’s Joe Trezza reported Saturday. The deal comes with an invitation to spring training and will allow Escobar to earn $700,000 in the majors if he breaks camp with the team (via Jon Heyman of MLB Network). The team has yet to formally announce the agreement.
Escobar, 32, completed an eight-year run with the Royals in 2018. No longer the .280-average, 3.0-fWAR player of seasons past, he hit several career lows after batting .231/.279/.313 with four home runs, eight stolen bases (in 10 chances), and a .593 OPS through 531 plate appearances last year. His defensive ratings also took a hit, and FanGraphs pegged him as the fourth-worst shortstop in the majors after he accumulated -12 DRS over the course of the season, only slightly higher than the Orioles/Dodgers’ Manny Machado, Mets’ Amed Rosario, and Red Sox’ Xander Bogaerts.
Still, Heyman holds that Escobar is being considered for the starting gig this spring and could yet prove an upgrade over top prospects and infield candidates Richie Martin and Drew Jackson. At the very least, the veteran shortstop figures to stabilize the position given Martin and Jackson’s relative inexperience, as both infielders played to varying results in Double-A Tulsa last year and have yet to break into the majors. Should either player earn consideration for the position in camp, however, Escobar might still work his way onto the Opening Day roster in a utility role as he saw some time at third base, second base, and center field in 2018.