Royals center fielder Lorenzo Cain says that the Grade 2 wrist strain that ended his season won’t require surgery this winter, writes Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star. Cain explained that he’s already had a month of recovery under his belt and expects to have a typical offseason, as he usually doesn’t begin his primary hitting program until January anyhow. Cain moved from center field to right field late in the season after returning from a hamstring injury, but Dodd writes that the Royals’ preference is to continue to deploy him in center field, where he’s graded out as one of the game’s premier defensive players over the past few seasons. However, Dodd also notes that the Royals will consider giving Cain more time in right field next season if they believe that will help to keep him healthier.
More from the the game’s Central divisions…
- While much has been made of Josh Bell’s bat, defense will be the primary focus for the promising young Pirates slugger this offseason, writes MLB.com’s Adam Berry. GM Neal Huntington spoke to Bell at season’s end about his desire for Bell to become proficient both at his natural position of right field and his more recently adopted position of first base. “That’s going to be my main focus, making sure I’m more versatile next year,” Bell told Berry. “You have a few guys in every lineup that can play all over the field. Those guys are your most valuable players. I hope to be one of those guys next year.” While Bell obviously won’t be lining up in the middle of the diamond anytime soon, there’s an obvious benefit to freely being able to move him between the corner outfield and first base without fretting much over defensive issues. As Berry points out, a crowded outfield and the presence of first baseman John Jaso on the roster as well could lead to an offseason trade but could also make for some nice depth in the 2017 season if everyone is retained.
- A lack of bullpen depth proved to be a glaring deficiency for the Cardinals this season and must be addressed by general manager John Mozeliak over the winter, opines Jeff Gordon of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Gordon points out that with Carlos Martinez, Adam Wainwright, Mike Leake, Alex Reyes, a returning Lance Lynn, Michael Wacha and Jaime Garcia (whose option seems likely to be picked up) all in the rotation picture, the rotation looks to have good depth (though further depth could be added on minor league pacts or small deals this winter), but the ’pen took hits with the loss of Zach Duke and Seth Maness to Tommy John surgery. Potential replacements for Duke like Tyler Lyons and Marco Gonzales battled injuries this season, and Trevor Rosenthal’s inconsistencies and injury problems render him a question mark as well. Gordon calls for multiple arms capable of pitching high-leverage innings and makes his case that said relievers should be a focal point in the Cardinals’ mission to improve their run-prevention skills this winter.
- Outfielder Logan Schafer, who was outrighted off the Twins’ 40-man roster earlier this week, confirmed that he’ll elect free agency to Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. That was all but a foregone conclusion for a veteran of nine professional seasons that lost his roster spot. Schafer tells Berardino that the Twins “treated me well and with great respect” and says he’s open to a return, though he recognizes that they’re in for a busy offseason and he’s probably not on their list of priorities. The 30-year-old center fielder hit .238/.342/.317 in 75 PAs with the Twins after slashing .264/.340/.361 in 64 games for their Triple-A affiliate. Schafer should find the opportunity to compete for a bench spot with a big league club somewhere this winter. You can check out MLBTR’s full list of 2016-17 MLB free agents for a refresher on who’s available this offseason.
First, the Cards should look for a CF, I don’t think the bullpen needs a significant improvement
It really does, they don’t have a lefty
They have Siegrist, Lyons, Cooney, etc. Now I’m not a huge fan of those names, but for now that’s what they got. Number 1 priority is CF
They could just go cheap and get Jon Jay. He played fairly well for them before and wasn’t bad with the Padres in 2016 before he got hurt.
With young arms and recovering arms and aging arms, like cardinals have, I don’t think it’s possible to have too many arms, I would love to see them go to a super bullpen with rosie(if healthy), oh and melancon or similar all pitching high leverage innings, not the traditional set up/ closer roles. Good way to cut into innings on somewhat fragile arms. Doubt we have the manager for that forward way of thinking, though. Definitely pick up Garcias option, then trade him. If no suitable offers, then pitch the heck out of him in spring and trade him while he’s his typical lights out early on. Before his glass arm breaks again.
I think we’ll see more of this type of bullpen usage in the future, especially after the brilliant job Francona did this offseason. In the past the big dilemma with using the pen this way is that “saves = big paydays” and pitchers were reluctant to not be the guy who gets the (useless) stat.
I think teams are smarter now and recognize the importance of leverage. Technically Andrew Miller isn’t the Cleveland closer but it’s clear he is the best reliever in baseball and would get a massive contract were he a FA, even without the saves. Lack of saves still might hurt a pitcher in arbitration because that’s an old-fashioned process but teams are avoiding arb more and more with young players anyway.
schafer is definitely worthy of a bench spot with a major league team
Seriously a whole paragraph wasted on Logan Schafer?
Seriously, a whole post whining about it?
Seriously it was a short sentence
If the cards pick up garcias option thwn they better have a trade already in mind. If the cards start next year with leake and garcia in the rotation again then it’s going to be a long year. Not to mention wacha seems to be done as a starter. Waino has declined will he bounceback orwas this year a sign of things to come? The rotation is iffy enough without garcia in it. Therefore the cards need a new starter more than a reliever. Hear me out matheny is pathetic and incompetent using the bullpen. I’d rather have a good starter added to the rotation to avoid using the pen as much and avoid matheny’s inevitable bone headed/overly loyal moves with his relief pitchers. Plus, reyes will not start all of next year without being shut down due to an innings limit. What did he have a 110 or so inning all of last year? He is going max 150 next year. Then you have cmart and after him a shell of waino, leake a monumental wastw of money, wacha who hasn’t been the same since his first shoulder injury, questionable lynn because some people dominate after tj some need a season to shake off rust, and weaver who looked overwhelmed at times at the mlb level. Not exactly a world beater rotation. Cmart needs help, and mo needs his head examined for giving leake a no trade clause. Cf should also be a priority. Relievers not so much. Instead hire an assistant manager that makes bullpen management decisions so matheny doesn’t screw things up. Then our pen woes would be over.
There are too many starters to even begin to worry about adding one.
Martinez, Waino, Leake, and Lynn will def be in the rotation.
If they pick up Garcia, then him too.
That leave Wacha, who had the same periphs as the year before and should be allowed to start. And Reyes and weaver deserve chances.
Garcia to the pen could be an option, same with Leake, though that could be ugly. Wacha could dominate in the pen, but I don’t love that idea either.
There is no room to add an outside starter without unloading some of these guys first. As it stands, they want to see Wacha start more, and Reyes and weaver deserve the chance. Maybe they stretch Lynn out by having him in the pen first. I dunno what they’ll do, but it’s too many guys and too many questions to worry about finding another guy for the pen.
Wacha in the pen for sure. Reyes a no doubt starter along with Lynn.
Can the Cardinals release Duke over the off-season? He won’t play for them in 2017, likely, but his roster spot would be helpful, elsewhere.
Though, it would seem a bit hinky to release a guy (even though they’s still have to pay him.) over an injury the team caused by using him too much. St. Louis will have a hard time getting much below 35 players before the guys need to be added for the Rule 5 Draft.
Not being able to use Duke’s roster spot would be harmful in their efforts.
They just have to put him on the 60-day DL, right? Then he doesn’t count against the 40-man roster? They could also just outright him off the roster. But no, I don’t *think* they can release an injured player because his surgery and recovery are presumably being paid for by the team’s insurance provider and I doubt they would continue paying for an ex-employee. But I could be totally wrong. I know MLB used to have a prohibition on trading injured players and now that’s allowed.
Bank On It
Why would they pickup Garcia option he was HORRIBLE this year