Central Notes: Abreu, Twins, Cardinals, Tigers, Royals
Even though the White Sox own the majors’ worst record (9-26), first baseman Jose Abreu tells Scott Merkin of MLB.com that he supports Chicago’s rebuilding effort and would like to remain with the team for the rest of his career. “Of course, there is not any doubt about it,” the 31-year-old said through an interpreter. “My mom and dad, they taught me to always be
grateful, and I’m really grateful for this organization because of all the things they have done for me and the opportunities they gave me.” The White Sox are the only major league franchise Abreu has known since emigrating from Cuba in 2013 for a six-year, $68MM guarantee. Since then, not only has Abreu delivered positive on-field results for the Sox, but he has emerged as a key
leader for the young team, according to vice president Ken Williams. “He’s like having an extra coach on hand,” said Williams. “I cannot overstate the quality person that he is. I hope he really hears and
understands how we feel about him.” If the White Sox continue to elect against trading Abreu, they’ll soon have a decision to make on whether to extend him. Although Abreu only has one more year of arbitration eligibility left after the current season, Merkin suggests there haven’t been contract talks between him and the club.
More from the game’s Central divisions…
Twins right-hander Ervin Santana seems to be progressing toward his 2018 debut. Santana, out since undergoing finger surgery in February, is slated to make his first rehab start May 26, Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press tweets. It’ll be a four-inning, 60-pitch appearance for Santana. Before that, he’ll throw
live batting practice Monday and then make an extended spring training start May 21. Meanwhile, catcher Jason Castro will head to Colorado for a second opinion on his injured right knee, Berardino adds. Castro went on the disabled list last weekend with a torn meniscus.
The Cardinals have activated left-handed reliever Brett Cecil from the disabled list and placed fellow southpaw Tyler Lyons on the DL with a mild back strain, per Joe Trezza of MLB.com. Cecil only made one appearance this year, on Opening Day (March 29), before landing on the shelf with shoulder
soreness. Cecil, who’s in the second season of the four-year, $30.5MM deal he signed with the Cards in November 2016, logged a 3.88 ERA with 8.82 K/9 against 2.14 BB/9 across 67 1/3 innings in 2017. Lyons was also an effective piece of the Redbirds’ bullpen last year, though he began this season with an ugly ERA (6.17) in 11 2/3 frames prior to his DL placement.
Veteran reliever Louis Coleman is back in the majors after the Tigers selected his contract Saturday, though he may not be in this position if not for his college coach, Evan Woodbery of MLive.com relays. A “frustrated” Coleman was unable to find a job in the offseason until he spoke with Paul Mainieri,
whom he played under at LSU, a couple weeks before spring training began. Mainieri then called his friend, Tigers general manager Al Avila, who signed Coleman to a minors pact Feb. 23. “I guess they had an opening (in spring training), I don’t know. But if it wasn’t for coach and Al, I don’t know if we’d be standing here,” said the 32-year-old Coleman, who recorded a 2.40 ERA in 15 Triple-A innings before his promotion.
Royals minor league outfielder Bubba Starling could miss upward of a month with an oblique strain, Rustin Dodd of The Athletic tweets. As Dodd notes, oblique strains have been a consistent problem for Starling, a former top prospect who still hasn’t gotten to the majors since the Royals chose him fifth overall in the 2011 draft. The 25-year-old struggled to produce at Triple-A this season before his injury, evidenced by a .257/.350/.314 line and no home runs in 41 plate appearances, though he did draw five walks against just six strikeouts.