MLB news and rumors: St. Louis Cardinals, Cincinnati Reds, Philadelphia Phillies

Let’s take a look at some of the latest MLB news, notes, and rumors, including tidbits surrounding the St. Louis Cardinals, Cincinnati Reds, and Philadelphia Phillies.

St. Louis Cardinals injury news: Paul DeJong may not be ready for Opening Day

According to FanGraphs, the 29-year-old DeJong is scheduled to be a part of the Opening Day bench unit for the Cardinals. However, any issues with his back that would prevent him from doing that could well open up a spot on the roster for a number of players, including top prospect Jordan Walker, who is already being projected as the team’s Opening Day designated hitter.

DeJong’s status is something for Cardinals fans to keep an eye on as spring training enters its final few games.

MLB rumors: Cincinnati Reds would only trade Joey Votto if…

Votto is entering his 17th season as a member of the Reds roster, and is the face of the franchise for this century. However, there is one scenario where the 39-year-old Votto, who will see his 10-year contract with the Reds come to an end at the conclusion of this season (a team option for 2024 is in place), could end his MLB career with another team.

Born in Toronto, the move would make sense on a number of levels. However, the Blue Jays have a stacked lineup heading into this season and Votto is coming off an injury-filled 2022 which was the worst of his career (slashing .205/.319/.370 with an OPS+ of 87). A lot would have to go right for that scenario to happen, but Votto to Toronto and taking part in the postseason is certainly an interesting thought.

MLB news: Philadelphia Phillies release Mark Appel

After finally realizing his dream of pitching on an MLB mound last season, the Phillies have released Appel, who was the top overall pick in the 2013 MLB draft.

The 31-year-old right-hander pitched in six games for the Phillies last season, posting a 1.74 ERA/3.02 FIP/1.161 WHIP in 10.1 innings of work. This spring, however, he had struggled for Philadelphia, giving up three homers in 5.2 innings of work on his way to an 11.12 ERA and 2.824 WHIP.

Appel posted a long thread on Twitter the day before being released, calling this season “likely my last.”