Rangers lefty Derek Holland has a lot at stake in his final month of the season — and, likely, the postseason to follow — as Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News explains. Holland, 29, is not only battling for a spot in the club’s playoff rotation, but also will be auditioning as the team considers whether to pick up his $11MM option for 2017. He has exceeded his limited inning tallies of the prior two campaigns, but still owns only a 4.68 ERA across 84 2/3 frames on the year. But his two outings since returning from his latest DL stint have been quite good — Holland has allowed just two earned runs over 12 innings on eight total hits and one walk, against ten strikeouts — and a continuation of that could make the option desirable once again. As Grant notes, Texas will need to weigh the lack of likely alternatives in free agency. Plus, parting ways with the southpaw would mean paying a $1.5MM buyout for 2017 while also passing on the rights to a $11.5MM option for the 2018 season (while coughing up another $1MM buyout).
Here’s more from the American League:
- The Red Sox could welcome Koji Uehara back to their bullpen as soon as next Monday, as Tim Britton of the Providence Journal reports. At one point, it seemed that the veteran righty could miss the rest of the season with a pectoral strain, but he’ll instead look to provide a boost to the Sox relief corps down the stretch. While there’s now optimism, Uehara says he won’t push too hard. “It makes no sense to rush at this point in time so I’ll try to be ready when I’m ready,” he said. “The biggest hurdle is getting over the injury mentally. I think I feel pretty good with where I am physically.” It hasn’t quite been a typical campaign for the 41-year-old, who sports an uncharacteristic 4.50 ERA, but he’s still carrying 12.8 K/9 against just 2.3 BB/9 and will be an interesting factor in the free agent market — particularly if he can show that he’s healthy in the final month of the season.
- Angels righty Cam Bedrosian is still assessing whether to undergo surgery to address a blood clot in his pitching arm, as Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times writes. The procedure would end his season, but the alternative — rest and medication — likely will as well at this point. Either way, it doesn’t appear to be a significant long-term concern, and doesn’t take much away from a breakout season from the 24-year-old. After posting ugly earned run totals in his first two efforts to conquer the big leagues, Bedrosian has tallied 40 1/3 frames of 1.12 ERA ball in 2016 with a strong 11.4 K/9 against 3.1 BB/9 and a 49.5% groundball rate.
- The Tigers are holding their breath yet again with regard to outfielder Cameron Maybin, who left tonight’s action with another thumb injury. As Evan Woodberry of MLive.com tweets, X-rays on his left thumb were negative, but an MRI has been scheduled for a closer look tomorrow. The 29-year-old has been a key cog for Detroit, slashing .328/.398/.415 with 14 steals over 286 plate appearances, but has already spent two stints on the DL — including one for an injury to the same digit that is causing the new trouble. Regardless of the prognosis, it seems fairly likely that the Tigers will end up seeing value in exercising a $9MM option to retain Maybin for 2017 rather than paying him a $1MM buyout.