As expected the Red Sox have placed David Ortiz back on the disabled list just one game after returning from an Achilles’ tendon injury.
Ortiz went 2-for-4 with a double in that one game, but aggravated the injury that kept him out for more than a month the first time around and said afterward: “I can’t really play like this.”
He could be shut down for the season if some rest and a cortisone injection don’t do the trick, although this morning manager Bobby Valentine told Alex Speier of WEEI.com that the Red Sox “have the expectation he’ll be back.”
When healthy enough to be in the lineup Ortiz has had one of his best seasons at age 36 and with free agency around the corner, hitting .318 with 23 homers in 90 games to lead the league with a .611 slugging percentage and 1.026 OPS. It’s his first time with an OPS above 1.000 since 2007 and the third-highest mark of his career.
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.