Pirates third baseman David Freese spoke fondly of his two-year tenure with the Angels on Sunday and told reporters, including Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register, that he had hoped to re-sign with them last offseason. “I wanted to be an Angel. I can’t hide that,” stated Freese, who was an Angel from 2014-15. “From Day 1, I wanted to come back. I loved the guys. We had unfinished business. It just didn’t happen.” Freese said that he and the Angels discussed a return, but the team never actually made an offer. The Angels instead acquired Yunel Escobar, leaving Freese to eventually sign with Pittsburgh. Freese hit a decent .258/.322/.401 and accounted for 4.3 fWAR in 981 plate appearances with the Halos.
Elsewhere around the American League…
- Red Sox catcher/left fielder Blake Swihart landed on the disabled list earlier today with a left ankle sprain, and manager John Farrell revealed that he won’t be back within the 15-day window. Farrell called the sprain “severe” and added that Swihart will be immobilized for two weeks, Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald was among those to report (Twitter link). With fellow left field option Brock Holt also out, the Red Sox are down to Chris Young and Rusney Castillo at the position.
- Twins infielder Eduardo Nunez has hit a terrific .331/.359/.497 with six home runs in 193 trips to the plate this season, but manager Paul Molitor isn’t sold on the 28-year-old as an everyday long-term option for the club (via Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com). “It’s a slippery slope as far as projecting a guy into that role who has played well for a couple months,” said Molitor. “If you base it on how he’s performed, it’s easy to speculate he could be one of those guys who sheds the role as a utility guy. But I think it’s too early for that.” This has easily been Nunez’s best season in an otherwise unremarkable career since he broke into the majors with the Yankees in 2010, so Molitor’s position is certainly understandable. Nunez, to his credit, has been far better in Minnesota than he was in New York, though. Since joining the Twins in 2014, Nunez has batted .286/.318/.435 with 14 homers in 607 PAs, also chipping in 28 steals.
- The Rays placed outfielder Brandon Guyer on the 15-day disabled list with a left hamstring strain Sunday and recalled infielder Nick Franklin from Triple-A Durham, Bill Chastain of MLB.com was among those to report (Twitter link). Guyer is now the second notable Rays outfielder to hit the DL in recent weeks, joining center fielder Kevin Kiermaier. The 30-year-old had gotten off to an excellent start pre-injury, evidenced by his .271/.365/.472 batting line in 168 PAs, and helped his cause by reaching base 15 times via the hit by pitch. That’s nothing new for Guyer, whom opposing pitchers have struck a combined 50 times since he started seeing extensive big league action in 2014. Franklin, a former well-regarded prospect with the Mariners, has spent this year in the minors after hitting an unsightly .158/.213/.307 in 109 PAs with the Rays last season.
- Speaking of the Rays, they entered play Sunday with the second-worst record in the AL, and Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times offered some potential ways the team could save its season before it slips away. Among Topkin’s suggestions: Cut $3.3MM outfielder Desmond Jennings loose or demote him to Durham (either option could be difficult now with the Rays’ depth already having taken multiple hits), promote top pitching prospect Blake Snell and find an outside catcher solution – even if it means surrendering a significant haul for Brewers backstop Jonathan Lucroy.