Jeff Francis won’t opt out of minor-league deal with Reds

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As part of his minor-league contract with the Reds left-hander Jeff Francis the ability to opt out and become a free agent again if he’s not added to the 40-man roster by March 28, but that won’t be happening.

Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports that his odds of securing a spot in the Reds’ rotation are slim–if anything Cincinnati already has too many starters for the five slots–but Francis laid out his plans:

I’m not going to go home. I’ll be pitching. I am not even thinking about it. I’m just trying to get people out.

Either he’s quickly fallen in love with the Reds organization or Francis’ agent has advised him that they still don’t have any big-league offers, or maybe both.

He’s pitched fairly well so far in four starts, but may have to accept a long-relief role or perhaps even prove himself with an extended stint back in the minors for the first time since 2004.

Bradley Zimmer to miss 8-12 months after shoulder surgery

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Indians outfielder Bradley Zimmer is out for the year after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder, the team announced Saturday. The projected recovery timetable spans anywhere from 8-12 months, which puts Zimmer’s return in the second half of the 2019 season, assuming that all goes well.

Zimmer, 25, had not made an appearance for the Indians since June 3. He racked up a cumulative nine weeks on the major- and minor-league disabled lists this season and will have finished his year with a .226/.281/.330 batting line, seven extra-base hits, and four stolen bases in 114 plate appearances.

The outfielder reportedly sustained his season-ending injury during a workout in Triple-A Columbus, where Cleveland.com’s Joe Noga says Zimmer began feeling discomfort in his shoulder after completing a set of one-handed throwing drills. Comments from club manager Terry Francona suggest that the Indians have every reason to believe that he’ll make a full recovery by next summer, though it’s not yet clear whether or not he’ll need additional time to readjust to a full workload when he takes the field again.