February 13, 2017
Staring Out the Window, Waiting for Spring
Rodriguez set to undergo shoulder surgery
It’s been a rough offseason for Sean Rodriguez. The Braves’ infielder was involved in a serious car crash in late January, one that hospitalized his wife and two of his children after the family’s SUV was t-boned by a stolen police cruiser. While Rodriguez left the scene with “minor injuries,” according to an initial report from WSVN.com’s Ann Kiel, he is scheduled to undergo shoulder surgery later this week.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the estimated recovery period will span 3-5 months. Returning to a full-time role on the field is another story, however, especially considering the club’s acquisition of Brandon Phillips on Sunday. While extent of Rodriguez’s injuries have not been disclosed, David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution cited an anonymous source who believes that the 31-year-old could be out for the entire season.
It’s a tough blow for both Rodriguez and the Braves, who signed the utility man to a two-year, $11.5 million contract in November. In the interim, they’ll fall back on some combination of Phillips and 26-year-old Jace Peterson, as well as no. 3 prospect Ozzie Albies, but whether Rodriguez can salvage some portion of the 2017 season remains to be seen.
Wright, Pomeranz due to miss start of spring training
Knuckleballer Steven Wright and left-hander Drew Pomeranz will miss at least one week of spring training, according to comments made by Red Sox manager John Farrell on Sunday. Both pitchers suffered aggravating injuries during the 2016 season and have yet to progress as rapidly or thoroughly in their recoveries as the club anticipated.
Wright was sidelined in August after getting diagnosed with bursitis in his right shoulder. He’s resumed throwing off flat ground, Farrell notes, but will need to build up his arm strength before competing for a rotation spot against Pomeranz and left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez.
Pomeranz is in a similar situation after experiencing forearm soreness at the end of the 2016 campaign. The 28-year-old received a stem cell injection in his left elbow following the team’s playoff run last October. The treatment was recommended as an alternative to intensive surgery, which the lefty told the press he had not considered a necessary path to recovery. Farrell said he’ll know more about the starters’ timetables once they undergo physicals on Monday, but expects that they’ll have plenty of time to build up to a regular routine before the start of the season.
Padres, Cubs interested in Wood
Free agent left-hander Travis Wood has been fielding interest from as many as four teams, according to multiple reports from Ken Rosenthal. The Cubs are thought to have extended multiple offers to Wood, but have yet to ink anything permanent with the 30-year-old. The Padres and two undisclosed teams have also inquired about the lefty’s services.
Wood pitched his first full season from the bullpen in 2016 for the Cubs, delivering a 5.28 DRA and logging -0.2 WARP over 61 innings. It was a different look for the left-hander, who predominantly profiled as a starting pitcher through the first five years of his major-league career and enjoyed career-high numbers during his initial transition to the ‘pen in 2015.
Rosenthal adds that the Cubs would be open to utilizing Wood in a swingman role in 2017, perhaps hoping to return him to the modest 4.04 DRA and 1.0 WARP output they received back in 2015. The Padres, on the other hand, would rather see Wood operate exclusively out of their starting rotation, and it’s thought that the two mystery teams in play feel the same way. San Diego is also expected to be in the mix for right-handers Jered Weaver and Jake Peavy, though it appears unlikely that they’ll pursue multiple acquisitions in the weeks to come.