As the “Rally Squirrel” becomes the latest hero of the Twins’ season, here are some items from around the AL Central…
- There have been multiple indications that a new contract between the White Sox and impending free agent Jose Abreu seems inevitable, and the first baseman gave another today, telling Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times that Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf has all but officially promised a new deal. “Jerry several times has told me and my family that I am not going to wear a jersey other than a White Sox jersey,” Abreu said via a translator. “I believe him. I believe in his word. And like I said, I’m very happy with and loyal to this organization. Hopefully everything is going to pan out.” The veteran slugger is still an above-average bat, though his 109 wRC+ (from a .273/.313/.496 slash line over 536 PA heading into today’s action) represents the lowest mark of Abreu’s six MLB seasons.
- Danny Duffy “felt good” after tossing a 65-pitch simulated game on Tuesday, the Royals southpaw told Lynn Worthy of the Kansas City Star and other reporters. Depending on how Duffy feels today, K.C. could activate him from the injured list or potentially get him into another sim game before he returns to the active roster. Since Duffy noted that he only started jogging on Monday and “probably the most I’ve ran was at 80 percent,” he and the team could decide to wait a bit longer before an activation. Duffy’s IL placement retroactively dates back to August 4, as the veteran left-hander is recovering from a left hamstring strain.
- Tigers right-hander Beau Burrows is recovering from a left oblique strain and has been shut down for the remainder of the season. As Chris McCosky of the Detroit News writes, the injury concludes what has been a trying season for the pitching prospect, as Burrows also dealt with a shoulder issue at the start of the year and posted a 5.51 ERA over 65 1/3 innings at Triple-A. Like many minor league hurlers this season, Burrows has had trouble keeping the ball in the park, surrendering 12 homers over those 65 1/3 frames. Burrows, the 22nd overall pick of the 2015 draft, received some top-100 prospect attention from Baseball Prospectus and MLB.com prior to the 2018 season, but his stock dropped after only a decent year at Double-A. It all adds up to a tricky offseason decision for the Tigers, who now have to choose whether or not to add Burrows to the 40-man roster in order to protect him from the Rule 5 Draft. Detroit has multiple prospects that are Rule 5-eligible and only a certain amount of open space, leading McCosky to wonder if they would still protect Burrows if his future (as some in the organization believe) is ultimately as a relief arm.
- Burrows isn’t the only question mark within the Tigers’ crop of young hurlers, as Franklin Perez is still trying to get on track from the shoulder problems that have essentially cost him two seasons, Lynn Henning of the Detroit News writes. Once seen as the centerpiece of the trade package the Tigers received for Justin Verlander two years ago, Perez was a consensus top-100 prospect heading into the 2018 season, and MLB.com still had him 78th on its top 100 list prior to this season. Since the start of the 2018 campaign, however, Perez has tossed just 27 total innings amidst multiple trips to the injured list. Adding to the frustration, Henning writes, is the fact that doctors have been unable to find any underlying structural issue that would explain the pain Perez has felt in game action. Perez doesn’t turn 22 until December, though it remains to be seen when (or even if) he’ll be able to pitch on a consistent basis, let alone effectively enough to get him back on a path to the big leagues.