UPDATE: X-rays came back negative, so Affeldt is hoping to be available for Game 1 of the NLCS.
For the third time in the past 18 months Giants reliever Jeremy Affeldt has suffered a weird injury.
Back in late 2011 he sliced his right hand while separating hamburger patties for a barbeque and needed surgery to repair nerve damage. Then in May he sprained his knee when his young son jumped off the couch and into his arms.
And now? Alex Pavlovic of the San Jose Mercury News has the details:
Affeldt pitched a shutout seventh inning and was supposed to face Jay Bruce in the eighth, but Affeldt had to be removed after a screamer off of Gregor Blanco’s bat sent him scrambling. Affeldt was standing on the top step of the dugout and ducked out of the way, only to fall down the steps and jam his left hand as he braced himself for the fall.
He had to be removed from the game and was later spotted in the dugout with his arm in a sling, but Affeldt insisted after the game that he’s fine and will be available to pitch in the NLCS. “I’m just wearing it in case one of these knuckleheads tries to hit me with a champagne bottle,” Affeldt told Pavlovic.
Around this time last year, the ink was drying on Manny Machado‘s 10-year, $300 million contract with the Padres and Bryce Harper was about to put the finishing touches on his 13-year, $330 million deal with the Phillies. We had gotten used to premier free agents hanging out in limbo until late February and even into March. This past offseason, however, was a return to normal. The top three free agents — Gerrit Cole, Anthony Rendon, and Stephen Strasburg — all signed in December. Once the big names are off the board, the lesser free agents subsequently tend to find homes. There were a handful of noteworthy signings in January, but pretty much everyone was off the board when February began.
There are a handful of free agents remaining as I write this, with one name really sticking out: Yasiel Puig. Last season, between the Reds and Indians, Puig hit .267/.327/.458 with 24 home runs, 84 RBI, 76 runs scored, and 19 stolen bases in 611 plate appearances. He was one of only seven players in the league last year to hit at least 24 home runs and swipe at least 19 bases. While Puig has had some problems over the years, he still possesses a rare blend of power and speed that would seem useful.
The Marlins, White Sox, and Rockies have been linked to Puig this offseason. His market has been otherwise quiet since he became a free agent. The Athletic’s Jim Bowden suggests Puig will have to settle for a “pillow contract” — a one-year deal with which Puig reestablishes his market value, aiming to pursue a multi-year deal the following offseason. Along with the aforementioned three teams, Bowden suggests the Mariners, Indians, Pirates, Giants, Red Sox, and Cardinals as other teams that could potentially fit with Puig, which is not to be confused with teams having expressed interest in his services.