Albert Almora is a former top prospect who hit at an above-average level in his age-23 season (103 wRC+), but he benefitted from limited exposure to right-handed pitching. He did most of his damage against lefties, slashing .342/.411/.486 against southpaws compared to .271/.291/.420 against righties. Almora is a plus defender in center field and Jon Jay is a free agent this winter, but a competing team like the Cubs may be inclined to keep Almora on the short side of a platoon rather than deploy him in the everyday lineup and let him learn on the job. While he makes consistent contact, Almora doesn't walk much, the power is middling (.147 ISO) and he doesn't run. There will be some appeal if Almora works his way into a more regular role, but the interest will probably be greater than is warranted given the inherent optimism of such a large fanbase. If he sticks in a platoon role, Almora remains merely a deep-mixed and NL-only option.
Almora went 1-for-2 with a solo home run in Sunday's loss to the Reds. Almora came off the bench in this one and, after grounding out in his first at-bat, touched up Reds closer Raisel Iglesias in the ninth. He missed time earlier in the week with a bruised shoulder after colliding with the outfield wall in St. Louis. The 23-year-old is a strong defender and puts bat to ball with consistency, but it seems like a stretch to think Almora's role will grow significantly in 2018.
Almora said he felt discomfort in his back when he tried to swing, Carrie Muskat of MLB.com reports. Almora suffered a shoulder contusion after colliding with the outfield wall Tuesday. The issue isn't thought to be anything overly serious -- X-rays came back negative -- but he's apparently still dealing with some soreness and should be considered day-to-day. If he fails to improve in the coming days, it could possibly affect his status for the playoffs.
Almora, who exited Tuesday's game early, was diagnosed with a right shoulder contusion. X-rays on Almora's shoulder came back negative after he was forced to exit Tuesday's contest following a collision with the outfield wall. He fortunately avoided a serious injury but is dealing with some soreness and should be considered day-to-day moving forward.
Almora exited Tuesday's game against the Cardinals early with an apparent injury, Bruce Miles of the Chicago Daily Herald reports. Almora slammed awkwardly into the center field wall at Busch Stadium while attempting to track down a hard-hit ball in the fifth inning. Manager Joe Maddon and the team's trainer came out to meet with Almora following the play and ultimately removed him from the game. It appeared to be a shoulder injury, but we'll have to await word from the Cubs with regards to the exact injury diagnosis.
Almora is in the lineup for Saturday's game against the Brewers. Almora will start Saturday for just the seventh time in September, but he will get the nod as manager Joe Maddon loads up on right-handed hitters against Brewers southpaw Brent Suter. Almora, who has 14 RBI this month despite the limited opportunities, will man center field and hit fifth in the batting order.