As first reported Tuesday by beat writer Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Cardinals have settled on 24-year-old left-hander Tim Cooney as Adam Wainwright’s replacement in their starting rotation. At least for now. Cooney will be called up from Triple-A Memphis on Thursday and debut in an afternoon matinee against the visiting Phillies.
Wainwright suffered a torn Achilles tendon during an at-bat Saturday in Milwaukee and will be sidelined for 9-12 months. Marco Gonzales and Jaime Garcia were both vying for rotation spots this spring, but they’re both currently sidelined with shoulder issues.
Gonzales should be ready sometime in mid-May and will presumably get the call if Cooney isn’t working out.
Cooney, a third-round pick in 2012 out of Wake Forest University, has registered a decent 3.50 ERA and 324 strikeouts across 385 1/3 career minor league innings.
In today’s column for The Athletic, Ken Rosenthal reports that the Phillies are “shopping the hell” out of first baseman Carlos Santana, according to a rival executive. Doing so would allow the Phillies to move Rhys Hoskins back to first base and open up a spot in the outfield for free agent Bryce Harper, with whom the Phillies have been commonly connected.
Santana, 32, is coming off of a mediocre season in which he hit .229/.352/.414 with 24 home runs and 86 RBI in 679 plate appearances. His 1.7 WAR, per Baseball Reference, was his lowest output since 2015. He has $35 million remaining on his contract. The Phillies would presumably eat a significant portion of that $35 million in order to make a trade work.
If the Phillies can’t move Santana but still end up signing Harper, Santana could share third base with Maikel Franco and first with Hoskins. Right now, the Phillies have a glut of outfielders with Hoskins, Odúbel Herrera, Nick Williams, and Aaron Altherr. Hoskins rated among the worst outfielders defensively in 2018, so moving him back to first base is likely one of the Phillies’ bigger priorities.