Mike Leake was scheduled to make a start for the Reds this afternoon but he has been scratched due to an abdominal injury suffered during a workout roughly a month before the start of spring training, according to manager Bryan Price. Brett Marshall will start in Leake’s place.
Thankfully, it isn’t a serious injury. More, from MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon:
“It’s a little bit of a strain. It’s not causing any problem with his bullpens, with his lifting or any of his throwing stuff. He was out playing long toss before his last bullpen and he felt it a little bit.
“We’ve just been really cautious with it. That’s one of those situations where if it gets worse, you’re looking at a real setback. If we skip him for a start, we’re probably looking at a non-issue in another 5-to-7 days.”
Leake is now a regular part of the Reds’ rotation after a solid 2013 campaign. The right-hander finished with a 3.37 ERA in 192 1/3 innings.
Former Red Sox right-hander Nathan Eovaldi is up for grabs this offseason, and Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe says that as many as nine suitors are interested in bringing the righty aboard. While the Red Sox are eager to retain Eovaldi’s services after his lights-out performance during their recent postseason run, they’ll have to contend with the Brewers, Phillies, Braves, White Sox, Padres, Blue Jays, Giants, and Angels — all of whom are reportedly positioned to offer something for the starter this winter.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing for the 28-year-old in 2018, however. After losing his 2017 season to Tommy John surgery, he underwent an additional procedure to remove loose bodies from his right elbow in March and didn’t make his first appearance until the end of May. He was flipped for lefty reliever Jalen Beeks just prior to the trade deadline and finished his season with a combined 6-7 record in 21 starts, a 3.81 ERA, 1.6 BB/9, and 8.2 SO/9 through 111 innings.
Despite his numerous health issues over the last few years, Eovaldi raised his stock in October after becoming a major contributor during the Red Sox’ championship run. He contributed two quality starts in the ALDS and ALCS and returned in Games 1-3 of the World Series with three lights-out performances in relief — including a six-inning effort in the 18-inning marathon that was Game 3.
A frontrunner has yet to emerge for the righty this offseason, but Cafardo points out that the nine teams listed so far might just be the tip of the iceberg. Still, he won’t be the most sought-after starter on the market, as former Diamondbacks southpaw Patrick Corbin is expected to command an even bigger payday following his career-best 6.0-fWAR performance in 2018.