San Francisco has pushed back Matt Cain’s first start of the second half so that he gets 12 days between outings and in doing so manager Bruce Bochy admitted to Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com that Cain has been pitching through “crankiness” in his elbow since spring training.
The elbow has been cranky at times going back to the spring. It gets that way occasionally and he’s always pitched through it.
Not coincidentally, Cain is 2-7 with a career-worst 4.18 ERA in 15 starts, with the lowest strikeout rate of his decade-long career and his highest walk rate since 2008. Cain, who apparently never reveals much of anything to reporters about his health status, said only: “I’m feeling like I’m feeling.”
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.