Storylines: Twins closer shut down for season
Minnesota closer Glen Perkins season has come to an end
In this MLB News and Notes segment, I will be giving occasional reports on the latest news and rumors throughout the MLB. I also will try to tweet news and rumors as I see them, so feel free to follow me on Twitter: @AndrewIBI.
Here are the stories from Friday, Sept. 19.
- Twins closer Glen Perkins will be shut down for the rest of the year but ultimately received good news on his left arm, GM Terry Ryan told reporters including Phil Miller of the Star Tribune. Perkins will use a strength and conditioning program to deal with a forearm strain and nerve irritation, and is expected to be at full strength for the spring.
- Jason Kipnis was held out of the starting lineup on Friday due to a sore right hamstring, but Indians manager Terry Francona was optimistic that the second baseman would be able to return during the weekend series against the Twins, Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reported. Francona noted that Kipnis, who exited Thursday's game in Houston in the eighth inning with the injury, felt much improved by the time he arrived to Target Field on Friday in Minnesota. It is possible that Kipnis will be cleared to resume playing as early as Saturday.
- The phone inside the Indians' bullpen has rung more than any other in the history of the American League. When Indians manager Terry Francona exited the visitors' dugout at Target Field and strolled to the pitcher's mound in the seventh inning on Friday night, he set a new standard for bullpen usage. Marc Rzepczynski's outing against the Twins marked the 541st relief appearance by Cleveland this year, setting a league record.
- The Indians will send their top prospect, shortstop Francisco Lindor, to the Arizona Fall League next month. The 19-year-old Lindor, who will suit up for Peoria in the AFL, hit a combined .276/.338/.389 with 11 homers, 16 doubles, four triples, 62 RBIs, 28 stolen bases and 75 runs in 126 games with Double-A Akron and Triple-A Columbus this season.
News and Notes:
- The Mets will send three scouts to get a first-hand look at Yasmani Tomas for his showcase on Sunday, according to Newsday's Marc Carig. However, as has been documented recently, the team's payroll isn't likely to rise significantly next season, which could make Tomas a stretch, financially speaking. The 23-year-old could top Rusney Castillo's $72.5 million guarantee, and a $100 million commitment is certainly possible. Mets VP of player development and scouting Paul DePodesta told Carig that despite the team's lack of activity, they've been keeping close tabs on the Cuban market: "We have been very diligent about all of the free agents who have come available, there just hasn't been a fit yet."
- Despite their outfield logjam, the Red Sox will be in attendance for Yasmani Tomas' showcase in the Dominican Republic on Sunday, Rob Bradford of WEEI.com wrote. Bradford spoke with Boston's newest outfielder, Rusney Castillo, about his countryman and received strong reviews. "He's a really high quality baseball player, and a really good person," said Castillo through an interpreter. "He's got a ton of power. For his physique, he actually moves pretty well. He's pretty quick for a big guy." Castillo agreeed with scouting reports that say Tomas isn't the same athlete that Yasiel Puig or Yoenis Cespedes is, but likened his power to that of Jose Abreu.
- You can also count the Yankees among the teams taking a hard look at Yasmani Tomas, George A. King III of the New York Post reported. MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez provided an interesting look at the much-hyped young slugger, who is preparing for an important showcase on Sunday. "It was really difficult to leave Cuba," said Tomas (translation from Spanish via Sanchez). "It is for all of us who do it. But it's difficult there with the way the security is and how they control the players. I made an important decision to fulfill my dream and see if I was at the level of major league players. Here I am, and now I go forward."
- Though the Astros just went through the process of finding a new manager two years ago, GM Jeff Luhnow told Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle that he expects the list of candidates to be longer, not shorter, this time around. Luhnow wouldn't put a timeline on the first round of interviews beginning, though he acknowledged that the birth of his son this week pushed the start date back a bit. Drellich wrote that veteran managers Manny Acta and A.J. Hinch will be considered for the position. Drellich spoke with catcher Jason Castro about interim manager Tom Lawless' reception in the clubhouse, and Castro had good things to say about Lawless, though he noted that his managerial style was quite different from that of the departed Bo Porter. "Bo is definitely more of an active manager," said Castro. "Very involved in different aspects of the game, and intensity level is definitely a lot higher. Tom's kind of approach is just to observe."
- Mark Appel recently worked out at Minute Maid Park with special assistant Doug Brocail and big league pitching coach Brent Strom, both of whom came away with strong impressions, Mark Berman of FOX 26 in Houston reported. Brocail said he "saw some thunder" coming out of Appel's hand, while Strom noted that he saw fastballs that could play at the Major League level immediately. Appel, of course, experienced a dramatic turnaround upon his promotion to Double-A. After struggling greatly with Class-A Advanced Lancaster, he pitched to a 3.69 ERA with 8.8 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9 in 39 innings with Double-A Corpus Christi.
- Phil Hughes of the Twins has capped off one of the game's best turnarounds by topping 200 innings on the year after yesterday's outing. As Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press noted, Hughes picked up a $250,000 bonus after passing the 195 IP threshold. Needless to say, Minnesota is thrilled that it not only landed Hughes, who just turned 28, but that it did so on a three-year deal that promises him just $24 million in total. As Pedro Moura of the Orange County Register observed, going into his start last night, Hughes struck out 181 batters while issuing a mere 16 walks this year, meaning that he owned an absurd 11.3 K/BB ratio. That is a historically significant mark, and one that would surely have made the righty one of the offseason's most interesting free agents had he elected to take a one-year pillow contract last year.
- Rangers hurler Colby Lewis said that he was told "maybe" when he asked club GM Jon Daniels about the possibility of a return next year, Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star -Telegram reported. The 35-year-old righty has only a 5.12 ERA over 158 1/3 innings this year, but then again he had been out since July of 2012 with various injury issues. Lewis owns a 4.33 FIP and has notched 7.0 K/9 against 2.4 BB/9 on the season, making him a potentially appealing option for teams looking for a solid innings-eater.