The MLB Daily Dish is a daily feature we’re running here at MLBDD that rounds up roster-impacting news, rumors, and analysis. Have feedback or have something that should be the shared? Hit us up at @mlbdailydish on Twitter or @MLBDailyDish on Instagram.
- The Yankees find themselves in a bit of a pickle with their starting rotation with injuries to James Paxton and Luis Severino plus a suspension handed out to Domingo German. The team turned to an unexpected source apparently as they have talked to the Mets about potentially acquiring Steven Matz. While a deal doesn’t seem overly likely, never say never when the Yankees are looking to contend for a World Series spot and see a way to fill a need.
- Griffin Canning is likely to miss Opening Day, Angels skipper told reporters last week. Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports that Canning missed his most recent throwing session due to continuing issues in his elbow. He’ll undergo testing this week to zero in on the direct cause of these elbow issues. The 23-year old is no stranger to UCL pain, ending his college career at UCLA with similar elbow inflammation. As a rookie, Canning tossed a shaky 4.58 ERA over 90.1 innings, but also produced a promising 96 strikeouts.
- The Yankees were besieged by injuries throughout the 2019 season and the team still managed to put up an impressive season. It looks like they will have to do the same thing again as they are going to be without Giancarlo Stanton for a while due to a calf injury. Given that they have already lost Luis Severino for the season this spring, the 2020 season is not off to the best of starts so far.
- The Braves’ public financial info is a welcome break from taking MLB owners’ claims at face value.
- It is never too early to start looking at how MLB teams stack up against each other in power ranking form. Well, okay....maybe there is such a thing as doing so too early since “for real” baseball games haven’t even started yet, but our own Andersen Pickard did get that conversation in the first of what should be a series of rankings of the teams throughout the league.
- Need a pick-me-up to get you excited for Opening Day? These shots from MLB photo days are beautiful and perfect and will warmed your frozen, deprived heart and fill you with the joy that only baseball and spring can provide.
- The Yankees announced some news on last Tuesday that severely complicates their bid to get back to the World Series in 2020: Starter Luis Severino will undergo Tommy John surgery and miss the entire season. While he’s still young, this development is just as bad for the 26-year-old Severino as it is for the team, as he’ll return next season having pitched in just three games over the previous two years.
- After eight major-league seasons, Lonnie Chisenhall is calling it a career, reports J.J. Smith of the Carteret County News-Times. The 31-year old has a pretty decent career to look back on, averaging .268/.320/.427 with 64 home runs across 2,360 career plate appearances. A chronic calf issue significantly held Chisenhall back in recent years, and he played in just 29 games over his final two big-league seasons.
- Cardinals starter Miles Mikolas will begin the season on the injured list after receiving a platelet-rich plasma injection to treat a flexor tendon issue in his right arm. With the 2018 All-Star sidelined, Carlos Martínez and Kwang-hyun Kim are the favorites to win St. Louis’ fourth and fifth starter spots.
- It is pretty much par for the course at this point that the Astros simply lack the self-awareness and competence to handle the public relations surrounding, well, just about anything. However, MLB’s mishandling of the Astros scandal highlights what has been a truly terrible offseason for commissioner Rob Manfred. The sad part: a lot of it is his fault.
- The Padres have signed veteran Brian Dozier to a minor-league contract with an invitation to major-league spring training, reports AJ Cassavell of MLB.com. He’ll earn $2.2M if he cracks their big-league roster. While he won a World Series title last season, the 32-year-old looked like a player who’s past his prime, slashing .238/.340/.430 with 20 homers.
- The Braves are coming off back-to-back division titles and have one of the most exciting young cores in the game of baseball. As a reward for their recent success, they extended general manager Alex Anthopoulos, manager Brian Snitker, and the coaching staff.
- Rough news, Cleveland fans: Mike Clevinger will miss six to eight weeks as he recovers from knee surgery. I guess the bright side is that his left meniscus will be good as new. The not-so-bright side is that their pitching rotation, which has already taken a beating this offseason, is down its main man.
- Hunter Pence wants to be a ‘Magic: The Gathering’ champion. Let’s build him a deck. I mean if Madison Bumgarner can be a rodeo champion and David Price can be a Fortnite master, what makes Pence any different? Minus the fact that he’s university and unequivocally loved, that is.
- Reese McGuire has shown a lot of promise at the plate early in his career with the Blue Jays. However, one must question his judgment a bit as he was arrested for indecent exposure in a public parking lot. There are very few justifications for such behavior that make it not sound bad, but the details of his actions and explanation are, well, weird.
- Cole Hamels signed a one-year, $18 million deal with the Braves to be a reliable source of quality innings for the young team. That deal is not off to the best of starts, as Hamels is dealing with shoulder discomfort. Even if the issue resolves itself in the next couple of weeks (which is not certain), it does not sound like he will be ready to start the season.
- The Red Sox finally settled on a manager for the 2020, naming bench coach and former Brewers manager Ron Roenicke as their interim manager. Roenicke went 342-331 over four-plus seasons in Boston, so it’ll be interesting to see if he can make himself an intriguing full-time candidate over his year as a fill-in.
- MLB players are not pleased with the anemic and insincere apology from the Astros. And can you blame them?
- Major League Baseball has been trying its best to reshape itself in a way to help it get back to its former glory and popularity on a number of fronts in recent years. Whether it was the exploration of pace of play changes to the ability to steal first base to an automated strike zone, the league has at least been willing to talk about proposals that, until now, have been basically off the table. Now, they are floating an idea to increase the number of playoff teams and letting the higher seeds choose their opponents in the in the first round. A significant portion of the internet seems to hate it, but hey....it is at least something to talk about.
- After the deal was held up for almost a week, Mookie Betts and David Price were finally dealt to the Dodgers, with the Twins altering their end of the bargain. While it was initially reported that Brusdar Graterol would go to Boston, he instead ended up going to Los Angeles. In addition to the pitching prospect, the Dodgers also received outfield prospect Luke Raley and the 67th pick in the 2020 draft. Talk about taking the money and running. Kenta Maeda will still head to the Twins, and the pot is a little sweeter now for the Red Sox, who still receive Alex Verdugo but also add catching prospect Connor Wong and infield phenom Jeter Downs. Yes, a guy named Jeter is now on the Red Sox. Cue the alternate universe theories.
- Some guys are just dealt more bad luck than others. Case in point: James Paxton. While healthy, he has shown the ability to be one of the better pitchers in the league...but he has never really shown the ability to consistently stay on the field. The veteran starter had to undergo surgery to remove a cyst on his spine and will miss the next three or four months.
- The Giants have signed versatile infielder and lefty masher Wilmer Flores to a two-year deal with an option for a third year. Flores is a lifetime .387/.439/.639 hitter in 132 plate appearances against the Giants, so they’ll be glad to have him on their side in 2020 and beyond.
- In case you need a distraction from all the nonsense surrounding this MLB offseason, he’s a fantastically delightful story that feels like it’s right out of a rom com: Madison Bumgarner has been secretly competing in the rodeo circuit under an alias. Some truly incredible reporting by The Athletic here.
- The Astros have been dealing with a mess of their own making this offseason. After snagging Dusty Baker to fill in as their skipper in the wake of the sign stealing scandal that rocked the entire league, the organization made the move to bring on former Rays executive James Click to be their new general manager for what is going to be a very important time in the franchise’s history.
- The Rays have acquired Manuel Margot and Logan Driscoll from Padres in exchange for Emilio Pagán. While Tampa Bay reinforces their strong hold in centerfield and adds some depth behind the plate, the Padres will strengthen what it already a solid bullpen. It feels like everyone is just finding what makes them a good team and mercilessly adding onto it in the hopes of never running out of such talent. This begs a very important question: are the Rays okay????
- The Mariners are having to look long-term for their playoff aspirations, but things appear to be going well for them on that front as they have some exciting young talent on the way. To prepare themselves down the road, they locked up their durable young lefty Marco Gonzales with a four-year contract extension.
- The Cubs’ brazen use of MLB’s service time rules in order to gain an extra year of control over Kris Bryant was about as obvious of a case of service time manipulation as a team can do without outright saying that they were holding him down in the minors for that purpose. As a result, a decision on Bryant’s grievance regarding the matter took longer than expected, but he still came out on the losing side.