The Marlins are reportedly taking an interesting strategy in their attempts to court Cuban phenom Victor Victor Mesa, according to a tweet from Joe Frisaro of MLB.com. Frisaro suggests that the organization is trying to sell Miami as “home” to the free agent. They’re also hoping that being a component of a rebuild amidst an improving minors system will be additional incentive in bringing the elder Mesa brother into the fold. As Frisaro notes, the Marlins also have one of the highest international bonus pools by which to pay him, second only to that of the Orioles (with whom the opportunity to lead a rebuild is also present).
More items from around the league…
- Cardinals reliever Bud Norris left last night’s game with hamstring tightness, and it’s looking unlikely that he’ll pitch again during the regular season. Indeed, manager Mike Schildt indicated that to be the case yesterday, per Jennifer Langosch of MLB.com. “It seems to be a recurring issue,” Shildt lamented. “It would be surprising if he pitched again the next two days based on what he’s dealing with.” Norris served as the Cards’ closer for much of the season, accruing 28 saves to go along with a 3.59 ERA and 10.46 K/9. It’s uncertain whether he could be ready to pitch in time for a potential postseason berth, though with St. Louis on the brink of elimination as of today, that could possibly become irrelevant soon.
- Maria Torres of the LA Times writes that the performance of right-hander Felix Pena this season has put him firmly in the conversation for the Angels’ 2019 rotation. While he’ll be denied the chance at one final start this year, he’ll head into spring training in March with his eyes on a permanent role as a starter. “We like what we’ve seen and we’re encouraged that he can build upon this season and take it into 2019,” said general manager Billy Eppler. Pena capitalized on the opportunity presented to him by an avalanche of Angels pitching injuries this season, putting up a 4.18 ERA and 4.04 FIP across 17 starts for Los Angeles, racking up 85 strikeouts in 92 2/3 innings along the way. The 28-year-old was acquired from the Cubs last October after being designated for assignment.
- Cubs righty Pedro Strop is progressing in his return from a hamstring injury, Jesse Rogers of ESPN reports. He’s tested the hamstring twice off the mound recently, and while a return during the regular season has been ruled out, the Cubs will certainly be waiting with bated breath to see if one of their best relievers will be available for the NLDS. The next test for Strop will be his ability to cover first base. “I’ve been able to throw,” he said. “My arm is in shape so I don’t have to go through that. It’s going to make the process quicker. Good thing I’m able to throw…I feel it a little bit but nothing major.”