Free agent catcher Henry Blanco wants to play one more season in the big leagues before calling it a career, tweets Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors. Blanco, now 42 years old, spent the 2013 season between the Blue Jays and Mariners, appearing in 50 games total. He was only able to muster a .474 OPS.
Blanco created a feel-good story during the season with two of his three home runs. On June 15, he hit a grand slam against Athletics starter A.J. Griffin, his first since the start of the millennium, when he took Pirates starter Jason Schmidt deep for a four-run round-tripper. Just for good measure, Blanco hit another salami on August 1 against Red Sox starter Ryan Dempster.
Over his 16-year career, Blanco has developed a reputation as a sterling defensive catcher with all of the intangibles, allowing teams to look past his lackluster skills with the bat. Dierkes mentions in his tweet that Blanco is likely to slide right into coaching once he hangs up the spikes.
Bad news for the Cubs’ Yu Darvish: The right-hander is headed back to the disabled list with right triceps tendinitis, the team announced Saturday. It’s the second such assignment for Darvish this season, but the first time he’s been sidelined with arm issues. Neither the severity of his injury nor a concrete timeframe for his recovery has been revealed yet, but the move is retroactive to May 23 and will allow him to come off the DL by June 2, assuming all goes well.
Prior to the injury, Darvish went 1-3 in eight starts with a 4.95 ERA, 4.7 BB/9 and 11.0 SO/9 through 40 innings. Needless to say, these aren’t the kind of results the Cubs were hoping to see after inking the righty to a six-year, $126 million contract back in February, though the circumstances affecting his performances appear to have largely been out of his control. He missed a start in early May after coming down with the flu and has struggled to pitch beyond the fifth inning in five of his eight starts to date.
The Cubs recalled left-hander Randy Rosario from Triple-A Iowa in a corresponding move. Rosario has yet to amass more than five career innings in the majors, but has impressed at Triple-A so far this year: he maintained an 0.97 ERA, 2.8 BB/9 and 6.1 SO/9 through 19 1/3 innings in 2018. As for Darvish’s next scheduled turn in the rotation, Tyler Chatwood is lined up to take the mound when the Cubs face off against the Giants in the series finale on Sunday. A starter for Monday night’s game has yet to be determined.