Cincinnati is counting on young starters throughout the rotation and now one of them is already hurt, with right-hander Michael Lorenzen being scratched from today’s scheduled start due to elbow soreness.
Reds manager Bryan Price told Mark Sheldon of MLB.com that Lorenzen was examined by team doctors and the plan is to rest him for “a couple days and then get him back throwing.” For now at least the injury is considered minor enough that Lorenzen hasn’t had an MRI exam.
Lorenzen was the Reds’ first-round draft pick in 2013 and made his MLB debut last season with a 5.40 ERA and 83/57 K/BB ratio in 113 innings spent mostly as a starter. He’s competing for a spot in the Opening Day rotation at age 24, so even a little time on the sidelines might ruin his chances.
The Athletic’s Sahadev Sharma reports that the Cubs have considered trading super-utilityman Ben Zobrist in order to free up payroll space, which would allow the club to address other areas of the roster.
Zobrist, 37, is entering the final year of his contract and will earn $12 million in 2019. According to Cot’s Contracts, the Cubs project to have an Opening Day payroll of about $204.5 million, just a hair below the luxury tax threshold of $206 million. The Cubs have notably been absent from the free agent marketplace, particularly involving Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, due to luxury tax concerns.
Last season, Zobrist hit .305/.378/.440 with nine home runs, 58 RBI, and 67 runs scored in 520 plate appearances. He played all over the field, logging 100-plus innings in both outfield corners and second base while also spending a handful of games at first base. With Addison Russell serving a 40-game suspension to open the 2019 season, Javier Báez will handle shortstop and Zobrist figures to be the starting second baseman.