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- Week In Review: 8/16/14 – 8/22/14
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Chris Carpenter Rumors
Jaime Garcia will undergo season-ending shoulder surgery on Friday, writes Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. Heyman goes on to write that Dr. James Andrews was amazed that Garcia was able to pitch anywhere near as well as he did, as the left-hander has a "30-40 percent tear" of the labrum in his left shoulder. Garcia is in the second year of a four-year, $27.5MM contract that he signed in June 2011. His deal contains a pair of club options as well. Here's more on the Cardinals and the NL Central…
- While Garcia is done for the year, the Cardinals are hopeful that Chris Carpenter can return in July, according to Scott Miller of CBS Sports. Carpenter, who looked all but certain to retire just two months ago, is up to 80 pitches in his intense bullpen sessions. He's yet to face hitters, writes Miller, but there's an outside chance that he could be in the rotation prior to the All-Star break.
- "Let the debate begin," writes ESPN Chicago's Jesse Rogers, referring to the split opinion among fans on whether or not the Cubs should sign or trade Matt Garza. It's not immediately clear whether or not the Cubs will try to retain Garza, Rogers adds.
- One NL scout who was watching Garza's start against the Pirates last night texted Danny Knobler of CBS Sports and said, "I'd take him NOW." Knobler notes that the scout was half-kidding, as Garza hasn't proven his durability yet, but the right-hander carried a no-hitter into the fifth inning against the Buccos last night.
Brewers GM Doug Melvin indirectly shed some light on the philosophical differences which led to trading Brett Lawrie to the Blue Jays. Lawrie's name came up when Melvin told Michael Hunt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel the plan is to keep second base prospect Scooter Gennett in Triple-A for the full season instead of being promoted because of the struggles of Rickie Weeks. "The plan worked for (Prince) Fielder and Corey Hart and all those guys," Melvin said. "Spend your time at each level. That's the part I couldn't get through with Brett Lawrie. He wanted to go past everybody. That model works if you're a freak like Ryan Braun, but he did play at every level. I always say to go out and prove you're too good for the league. If you do that, we'll consider moving you up." Instead Melvin, moved Lawrie out to Toronto. In other news from the the NL Central:
- Brewers manager Ron Roenicke told reporters, including MLB.com's Adam McCalvy, there is no plan to send Corey Hart, recovering from right knee surgery, on a minor league rehab assignment before June 1. This means Hart, who is eligible to be activated from the 60-day disabled list on May 30, will not join the Brewers until mid-June, at the earliest.
- The number of years and not money will be the issue for the Reds in trying to re-sign Shin-Soo Choo, tweets John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer. Choo ranks second on MLBTR's 2014 Free Agent Power Rankings.
- If Choo does re-sign with Cincinnati, a payroll casualty could be Bronson Arroyo. In a second tweet, Fay says the Reds' payroll is a big puzzle and there are lots of factors involved in trying to retain both Choo and Arroyo.
- Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch opines merit is not behind the Cardinals' decision to replace the injured Jaime Garcia with fellow left-hander Tyler Lyons, but a desire to delay the service clock of their top pitching prospect, Michael Wacha. This is the second time Wacha, owner of an 1.89 ERA in eight Triple-A starts, has been bypassed to fill a rotation opening. Miklasz further believes the Cardinals, owners of the best record in the National League, don't have the best 25 players in their system on the active roster citing top prospect Oscar Taveras toiling away in Triple-A while Shane Robinson and Ty Wigginton are struggling offensively.
- Cardinals GM John Mozeliak disagrees with Miklasz's assessment. "I’m not worried about the clock," Mozeliak was quoted as saying by the Post-Dispatch's Derrick Goold (via Sulia). "The media is making a lot of the clock. Other people who read the media are making more of it. To me it’s like that’s not what is making our decisions. It’s managing our decisions for what’s best for the club and what’s best for the individuals in their own silo of development."
- Chris Carpenter is continuing to make progress in his recovery from nerve trouble in his neck and back soreness and could make a rehab start in early June, Goold reports. "I’m not going to push myself back," Carpenter said (as quoted by Goold on Sulia). "I’m going to make sure that I’m healthy and that I know everything is going to work and that I can go out there and take that grind of the amount of pitches and innings it takes to go the rest of the year." Carpenter threw three simulated innings Saturday, will throw a side session Monday, and throw another four simulated innings Thursday, according to MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch and Chad Thornburg.
Here are a few notes from around baseball:
- David Ortiz signed with the Red Sox this offseason before testing the market, even though he was aware that the Rangers were reportedly prepared to make him a two-year offer, Rob Bradford of WEEI.com reports. Ortiz's two-year deal, which will pay him at least $26MM, was inked just before he would have been permitted to negotiate with other clubs. Ortiz says he knew he would return to Boston all along, especially after the team approached him about a new contract while he was injured during the 2012 season. Now, Ortiz says, contracts are not on his mind: "I'm not thinking of any of that. I'm just thinking of raking." Of course, he has been doing just that so far in 2013, posting an absurd .465/.489/.837 line over 47 plate appearances since returning from injury.
- Yesterday, minor league infielder/outfielder Mark Teahen was returned to the Diamondbacks after being sent (Twitter link) to the Reds for cash or a player to be named later. MLB.com's Steve Gilbert reports that both teams were caught off guard when they learned that Teahen's shoulder was ailing. Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers explained: "Two days prior to us trading him he dove for a ball, didn't say anything, didn't show up on any of our medical reports. When he did his physical over there he said he felt something in his shoulder, didn't quite feel right. [He] hadn't said anything to us. [The Reds] basically said there's some concerns because, 'We were expecting to get a healthy player, and if he's not able to go right now, we probably have less interest in doing it.'"
- Last night, the Cardinals turned to prized youngsters Carlos Martinez and Seth Maness to shore up the team's bullpen, as the team continues to try to avoid going outside the organization for help. According to Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, however, a more established figure could be the key to maintaining a sound relief corps without giving up young talent. Former starter Chris Carpenter — who said in March that he thought his career was over (Twitter link) — is now looking to come back as a reliever. GM John Mozeliak says he is "candidly optimistic and excited about him contributing," and that a late June or early July return could be possible.
The Indians have told Daisuke Matsuzaka and Matt Capps that they'd like to keep them in the organization, Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports. Neither pitcher will make the team's Opening Day roster, but Matsuzaka said he intends to remain with the Indians, Hoynes reports. Meanwhile, Capps has yet to decide whether he’ll stay with the Indians or elect free agency.
Here are some more links for Monday…
- Free agent infielder Ryan Theriot is considering a new career path, Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle reports (on Twitter). Schulman hears that the 33-year-old is thinking of becoming an agent.
- Chris Carpenter doesn’t sound optimistic about pitching at the MLB level again, MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch reports (on Twitter). "I want to, but I don't think I can," Carpenter said, adding that he still feels numbness and weakness. His contract with the Cardinals expires after the 2013 season, and he’s not expected to pitch again.
- Yankees GM Brian Cashman told Dan Martin of the New York Post that he's open to the possibility of acquiring another player before the regular season begins. Cashman also said that he considers the Brennan Boesch deal a low-risk, high-reward signing. "The only downside is wasting time and a small amount of money … Nothing’s been promised to him at all.”
Jurickson Profar of the Rangers, Oscar Taveras of the Cardinals and Dylan Bundy of the Orioles top Keith Law's list of the best 100 prospects in baseball at ESPN.com. Five Cardinals occupy spaces on Law's top 100 list, which focuses on high-impact minor leaguers who could develop into MLB stars. Here are some links from around MLB with Spring Training approaching quickly…
- There’s lots of talent beyond the top 100, so Law looks at some prospects who just missed his primary list.
- General manager Brian Cashman said the Yankees are content to let MLB lead the investigation into Alex Rodriguez’s involvement with a Miami-based clinic that distributed performance enhancing drugs to prominent athletes. As Andy McCullough of the Star-Ledger reports, the GM hasn’t spoken to Rodriguez about the issue, nor have others in the organization. “The only thing required from our end, right now, is patience and smarts,” Cashman said.
- Athletics GM Billy Beane said the team’s 25-man roster is now complete, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports. However, Slusser reports that the A's are still considering free agent left-hander Hideki Okajima.
- Though Chris Carpenter is expected to miss the 2013 season, the Cardinals won’t be responsible for all of his $12.5MM salary. Insurance will cover some of that sum in 2013, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports (on Twitter). That said, the Cardinals aren’t expecting major savings.
Cardinals GM John Mozeliak announced that Chris Carpenter can't continue to throw and will likely miss the 2013 season (Twitter links via Danny Knobler of CBS Sports and B.J. Rains of FOX Sports Midwest). The 2005 NL Cy Young Award winner continues battling injuries that are preventing him from throwing.
Mozeliak said Carpenter will likely be placed on the disabled list, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports (on Twitter). By announcing his retirement, Carpenter would have to forfeit his $12.5MM salary, something he's not likely to do. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported earlier today that Carpenter was said to be considering retirement.
Carpenter missed most of the 2012 season with a shoulder injury. He had surgery related to nerves in his pitching shoulder after being diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome. The 37-year-old started three regular season games last year and started three more times in the postseason.
Carpenter told the Cardinals that he continued feeling numbness and discomfort in recent bullpen sessions, Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports (on Twitter). Last month, Carpenter suggested he would not necessarily rehab through another serious injury.
"If I have more health issues I’m not going to continue to try to battle through," Carpenter said, according to the Post-Dispatch.
Mozeliak said the Cardinals are "comfortable" with their current starting pitching depth, according to Bill Shaikin of the LA Times (on Twitter). Adam Wainwright, Jaime Garcia, Jake Westbrook and Lance Lynn lead the Cardinals' rotation. Trevor Rosenthal and Shelby Miller figure to compete for the fifth rotation spot, assuming the Cardinals don't bring in an outsider.
Free agent right-hander Kyle Lohse could be an option for the rotation, though a deal with Lohse would prevent the Cardinals from collecting an additional draft pick in the upcoming amateur draft. When asked about Lohse, Mozeliak said in general that the Cardinals could consider making additions (via Rains on Twitter).
We'll keep track of tonight's outright assignments in this post..
- The Red Sox announced that they have outrighted right-hander Chris Carpenter to Triple-A Pawtucket. Carpenter, who was DFA'd to make roster space for Mike Napoli, missed significant time in 2012 after undergoing surgery to remove a bone spur from his right elbow. He posted a 2.08 ERA with 10.4 K/9 and 4.2 BB/9 in 21 2/3 minor league innings and pitched just six major league innings last season.
- Marlins outfielder Kevin Mattison cleared waivers and has been outrighted to Triple-A New Orleans, according to Joe Capozzi of The Palm Beach Post (on Twitter). Mattison will still be among the 72 players in major league camp with Miami. The 27-year-old was DFA'd earlier this week to make room for Sam Dyson.
- The Phillies announced that right-hander J.C. Ramirez has been outrighted to Triple-A Lehigh Valley after clearing waivers. Ramirez, 24, spent time in Double-A and Triple-A last season, posting a combined 4.01 ERA with 7.0 K/9 and 4.1 BB/9.
Here's the latest news and headlines out of the NL Central…
- Brewers star outfielder Ryan Braun remains happy with his decision to commit his long-term future to Milwaukee after signing an extension nearly two years ago, writes Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "I wouldn't change a thing," said Braun. "I love it in Milwaukee. It's amazing. I think the more time I've spent there, the more I realize how great a situation it really is."
- Cardinals right-hander Chris Carpenter enters the 2013 season uncertain of whether this year will mark his final turn as a Major League baseball player, says B.J. Rains of FoxSportsMidwest.com. "If I'm healthy and I feel good at the end of the season and I am fortunate enough to have the opportunity to have a job, I'll sit down and talk to my wife and kids and see what they want to do."
- MLBTR’s Ben Nicholson-Smith and Jason Martinez of MLB Depth Charts discussed the Delmon Young signing, the latest rumors and potential surprise teams on this week’s edition of the Rosters & Rumblings podcast earlier this evening. You can listen in here.
Hall of Fame and Cardinal icon Stan Musial passed away yesterday at the age of 92. Today, tributes are pouring in ranging from fans outside the Stan the Man statue at Busch Stadium (St. Louis Post-Dispatch video) to the White House (h/t MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch). Daniel Solzman of Redbirdrants.com even suggests the Cardinals name the playing field at Busch Stadium in honor of Musial. The Cardinals are holding their 17th annual fanfest this weekend and, while the Musial official memorabilia booth was closed today in tribute to the St. Louis legend, players still made their appearances and made some news.
- Chairman Bill DeWitt, Jr. says the club is prepared to increase payroll in the coming years, tweets Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Goold adds the 2013 payroll is around $115MM.
- Adam Wainwright, who is entering the final year of his contract, admitted the Cardinals approached him about a contract extension during the final month of this past regular season, Goold reports. Wainwright said he wanted to focus on the playoff stretch and "it wasn’t going to hurt my case to just wait it out and see where some of these guys signed."
- On the upcoming Wainwright extension talks, Goold, within the same piece, quoted GM John Mozeliak as saying, "It’s going to be long. It’s going to be expensive."
- Wainwright has become a mentor to pitching prospect Shelby Miller, Goold writes in a separate article. Miller, who will compete for the fifth spot in the starting rotation, says he doesn't know what he was thinking last offseason when he "was trying to be a beach bod" with his workout regimen. Miller's performance suffered and the club questioned the right-hander's conditioning. Enter Wainwright who exchanged texts with Miller throughout the season and challenged him to reach training camp at a weight that would help his strength and durability.
- While Miller has gained enough pounds to reach his playing weight, Jake Westbrook's outlook on the offseason is to copy last year's regimen in hopes of slimming down, writes Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com. "It worked out so well last year that I thought I would just do it again," Westbrook said.
- The injury reports on Chris Carpenter, Jaime Garcia, and Rafael Furcal are positive, according to Langosch.
- Mozeliak says second base is Daniel Descalso's "job to lose," but he is open-minded about Matt Carpenter making a push for playing time there, writes Langosch.
- Mike Matheny told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch he only became the Cardinals' manager because of losses he sustained in a failed real estate venture. A Missouri judge recently ruled Matheny and his wife owe more than $4MM from that deal plus interest and court costs. Matheny will earn $750K in the final guaranteed year of his contract.
Daniel Seco contributed to this post.
As the Cardinals and Giants do battle in San Francisco, let's take a minute away from the action to catch up on the latest news and headlines from around the National League…
- After enjoying a successful regular season with a 98-64 record, Nats Insider's Mark Zuckerman wonders if Washington can repeat a similar campaign next year. Zuckerman says that the team is positioned to be a strong club in 2013, but suggests that there are no guarantees of repeat playoff appearances in baseball even with a talented roster like that of the Nationals.
- The Rockies' timeline toward once again becoming a competitive franchise remains unclear given the poor performance of the team's management and ownership, writes The Denver Post's Woody Paige. The veteran columnist points to questionable decisions by the team including installing a four-man rotation, 75-pitch counts and moving the co-general manager's office into a conference room just off the home clubhouse.
- Chris Carpenter's rise to veteran leader of the Cardinals clubhouse can be explained by his experience learning from the pitchers who made their mark before him in both Toronto and St. Louis, says Matthew Leach of MLB.com. "My presence has changed, because I'm the only one left," Chris Carpenter said. "So it's definitely changed. I feel like I'm a St. Louis Cardinal. I feel like I always will be in the organization and the clubhouse, the team, I love it all and I enjoy being in there, and I think my presence has changed a lot just because I've been here that long."