Some items from around the AL East…
- The Rays would “really would like to avoid” an injured list placement for Kevin Kiermaier, manager Kevin Cash told Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times and other reporters, though Kiermaier is still “in a significant amount of pain” following a collision with the outfield wall on Sunday. Kiermaier hasn’t taken the field since suffering the left rib cage contusion, though Cash was hopeful that the center fielder would be able to return on Friday. Kiermaier already spent ten days on the IL earlier this season due to a sprained left thumb, though 2019 has thus far been a relatively healthy season for the injury-plagued outfielder. His 109 games played is already the second-highest total of his seven-year career.
- Super-utilityman Brock Holt is enjoying the best season of his eight-year career, leaving MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo to wonder if the Red Sox will be able to affordably re-sign Holt in free agency this offseason. Despite missing over seven weeks due to shoulder and eye injuries, Holt has hit .320/.393/.455 over 206 plate appearances, playing mostly as a second baseman to help the Sox fill the void left by the injured Dustin Pedroia. Cotillo thinks the 31-year-old could find a three-year deal worth $27MM-$30MM on the open market, though “that might take a market rebound and some teams rewarding Holt for trending upward this season.” While Boston has a lot of money coming off the books this winter, the club still has roughly $159.35MM in projected salary commitments (as per Roster Resource) and that’s not counting big raises due to arbitration-eligible players like Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr. Andrew Benintendi, or Eduardo Rodriguez. The Red Sox have Marco Hernandez on hand as a possible heir apparent utility infielder, should they choose to let Holt go and spend elsewhere. For his part, Holt stated last spring that he “would love to stay here for the rest of my career.”
- In a radio interview on the Fan 590’s Good Show today, Blue Jays pitching prospect Nate Pearson said that he doesn’t think he’ll be making this MLB debut this season. “[The Blue Jays] haven’t really talked to me about anything,” Pearson said. “I’m just assuming I’m going home if we don’t make the [Triple-A] playoffs and just taking some time off. That’s all I really have planned right now.” Pearson has been dominant in working his way up the Jays’ minor league ladder this season, with an overall 2.05 ERA, 10.6 K/9, and 4.75 K/BB rate in 96 2/3 combined innings at the high-A, Double-A, and Triple-A levels. This performance has elevated Pearson’s already-high prospect stock, as he placed 14th and 15th on midseason top-100 prospect lists from MLB.com and Baseball America, respectively. Since Pearson has made only two Triple-A starts and missed almost all of 2018 due to injuries, the Jays are being cautious in bringing along the prized right-hander (plus, service time considerations are likely in mind). Given Pearson’s ability, however, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Pearson in the big leagues before the halfway point of the 2020 season.