Cardinals right-hander Chris Carpenter has chosen to stop his rehab at least for a little while. Per Derrick Goold on Twitter, Carpenter called it, “[taking] a step back” after experiencing creeping numbness in his hand. He will be examined by doctors tonight while the Cardinals open up a three-game series at home against the Phillies.
Carpenter isn’t discouraged, which is a good sign.
Carpenter hasn’t pitched since Game Six of the National League Championship Series last year, when he allowed five runs in four innings to the Giants. His rehab has, for the most part, gone better than expected up until now, and there was some thought he would rejoin the Cardinals before the end of the season, either as a reliever or as a starter depending on how he felt and how much of his durability he recovered.
The White Sox have reportedly picked up first baseman Yonder Alonso from the Indians, according to Stadium. The return for Alonso is expected to be nothing more flashy than a “fringe prospect,” though the minutiae of the deal is still pending a formal announcement from both teams.
Alonso, 31, inked a two-year deal with the Indians during the 2017 offseason. His first campaign with the club yielded a modest .250/.317/.421 batting line, 23 home runs, .738 OPS and 0.7 fWAR in 574 PA. The real boon for the White Sox may not be a passable veteran bat, however, but something more intangible — like Alonso’s clout with his brother-in-law and highly-coveted free agent slugger, Manny Machado.
While Alonso’s 2018 output represented a significant decline from the career-best numbers he posted in 2017, he’s still a solid contributor at the plate and, more importantly, slated to remain under team control for the next two years with just $8 million owed in 2019 and a $9 million option in 2020. As MLB.com’s Anthony Castrovince notes, the $17 million the Indians just erased from their payroll should give them enough room to accommodate the contracts for right-handers Trevor Bauer and Corey Kluber — a bonus regardless of what they happen to get in the trade.