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MLB News and Notes for Monday, May 9, 2022

Approximately one-fifth of the way through the season now, teams around MLB are starting to settle in for the long haul, and while it is too early to determine postseason contenders, teams are trying to separate themselves.

Interestingly, the East and West have been dominated by just two cities to this point. In the East, the New York Yankees (American) and New York Mets (National) lead their respective leagues. In the West, it is the Los Angeles Angels (American) and Los Angeles Dodgers (National) that hold first place.

While most of the focus is on the play early on, let’s take a look at some of the other major stories from around the league this week.

Mets Release Cano

Ever since Steve Cohen took control of the Mets, he has brought the financial flexibility for the club to be aggressive while also making moves that are best for the baseball team. This week, that meant eating a lot of money as the team released veteran second baseman Robinson Cano.

Through the 2023 season, the Mets still owe Cano a little over $37 million, but as the 39-year-old has struggled in recent years, Cohen and the Mets decided it was time to move on.

He was originally designated for assignment on May 2, but Tim Healey of Newsday officially reported that Cano was released on Sunday.

Cano was acquired back in 2018 along with closer Edwin Diaz for five players, including outfielder Jarred Kelenic and former outfielder Jay Bruce.

Unfortunately for Mets’ fans, Cano really never hit his stride with the Mets. In 41 at bats this season, he hit just .195/.233/.268 with a single home run. Now a free agent, it wouldn’t be shocking to see a team take a flier on Cano, but at 39-years-old, it is obvious his best days are behind him.

Stars Returning From Injury

While many stars around the league were able to get their season started on time, there are a couple that will be returning on Monday for the first time this season.

For the struggling Cincinnati Reds, their rotation will get a decent boost as ace Luis Castillo is expected to make his season debut on Monday. After dealing with shoulder soreness in spring training, Castillo has been on the injured list throughout the first part of the season.

Last year, the 29-year-old Castillo went 8-16 with a 3.98 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, and had 192 strikeouts in 187.2 innings pitched. While he won’t be able to single-handedly turn around the struggling franchise, he should help a team who ranks dead last in earned run average at 6.71.

At 5-23, the Reds have the worst record in all of baseball and already sit 13.5 games behind the first-place Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Central. They are +50000 to win the division.

Elsewhere, the Chicago White Sox will welcome back third baseman Yoan Moncada on Monday. Towards the end of spring training, Moncada suffered an oblique strain that has put him on the injured list ever since.

Last year, Moncada hit .263/.375/.412 with 14 home runs, 61 runs batted in, and 74 runs scored in 520 at bats. He should hopefully help a White Sox team that ranks 28th in runs per game at 3.31.

Despite their mediocrity on offense, the White Sox are 14-13, just three games back of the Minnesota Twins in the AL Central. Despite their current standings, the White Sox are still the favorites to win the division at -115.

In addition to Moncada, the White Sox will also welcome back relief pitcher Joe Kelly Monday. Last season, with the Dodgers, Kelly went 2-0 with a 2.86 ERA, 0.977 WHIP, and 50 strikeouts in 44 innings pitched.

Stroman Hits The Injured List

While the Chicago White Sox are getting a couple of players back, the Chicago Cubs lost a major piece of their rotation on Sunday as starting pitcher Marcus Stroman has been put on the injured list. According to 670 The Score’s Bruce Levine, it may be COVID related since there was no injury designation given.

Outside of Seiya Suzuki, Stroman might have been the biggest offseason addition for the Cubs. The 31-year-old has struggled early on, though, as he is just 1-3 with a 5.13 ERA.

At 9-18, the Cubs sit in fourth in the NL Central. They are currently +2100 to win the division.

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