Chris Archer was removed from his start on Saturday after just eight pitches due to forearm tightness, though the Rays ace told reporters (including Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times) that he feels better today, despite some lingering tightness on the outside of his right forearm. While Archer doesn’t feel the injury is particularly serious and he hopes to make his next start, more will be known on Monday when he is examined by the Rays’ team doctor. Losing Archer for any stretch of time would be a big blow to Tampa Bay club that is trying to stay in the wild card race, though obviously Archer’s overall health is of larger concern to the team, given the ominous nature of forearm injuries. Here’s more from around baseball…
- The Cardinals are attempting to rebuild and contend all at once, as Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch looks at how the team is trying the unusual tactic of using young players (rather than experienced veterans) as midseason and late-season roster upgrades. The plan requires a lot of faith in the minor league system, though many of the youngsters deployed by the Cards this year have been very productive. “We were able to start making some moves that look forward without detracting from today. We sort of jump-started our offseason a little early by opening up opportunities,” GM Michael Girsch said.
- Blue Jays team president Mark Shapiro discussed his experiences in the game with MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand, and the wide-ranging interview touched on the Jays’ immediate plans for 2018. Past reports have suggested that the Jays are still looking to contend next season, and Shapiro reiterated that by suggesting that there is a priority towards retaining the increased fan support that has surfaced from the team’s recent postseason success. “In this situation, the desire to win and to continue to give a relatively new fan base — because a lot of fans that are coming are new fans — a reason to cheer and to come to the ballpark is probably more important than just maybe pushing the express button on how to regenerate and reinvigorate the farm system,” Shapiro said.
- The Braves will likely call up left-hander Luiz Gohara as soon as Tuesday, David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes. The hard-throwing Gohara has posted strong numbers in each of the last two seasons, and is ranked by MLB.com as the eighth-best prospect in Atlanta’s system. Though GM John Coppolella didn’t rule out the idea of also promoting top prospect Ronald Acuna sometime in September, O’Brien feels the 19-year-old outfielder is likelier to make his MLB debut (and be placed on the 40-man roster) next spring, when Acuna will be competing for a regular job.
- Defense and the ability to make contact at the plate could be more attractive skillsets than power for teams looking for lineup help this offseason, ESPN’s Buster Olney writes (subscription required). We already saw sluggers get paid less than expected last winter, and some evaluators feel that trend could worsen in the coming offseason since home run hitters aren’t particularly hard to find, as more and more players are adjusting their swings to lift the ball to generate homers or extra-base hits. Olney and his ESPN colleague Keith Law also described this concept during a podcast earlier this week.