Pitching Notes: Winston, Verlander, Johan, Yankees, Brewers

Florida State quarterback and pitcher/outfielder Jameis Winston may not ultimately be long for the game of baseball, but he has potential first-round talent, J.J. Cooper of Baseball America writes in an interesting piece. If Winston were to end up pursuing baseball, he has legitimate ability both as a switch-hitting position player and as a pitcher. But his developmental process may mean he now has more value through his arm, Cooper writes. One scout says that, if he sees enough time on the mound, Winston is a top-20 draft candidate given his low-to-mid-90's fastball and solid slider.

Here are some pitching notes from around the league:

  • The Tigers announced today that former American League Cy Young winner Justin Verlander underwent successful core muscle surgery in Philadelphia this morning. Verlander injured himself in late December during his regular offseason conditioning and will undergo rehab for the next six weeks. "We fully anticipate Justin to participate in spring training and be in a position to compete at the beginning of the 2014 season," said GM Dave Dombrowski in the press release. Here's more from around the league…
  • Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports (via Twitter) that Johan Santana expects to throw off a mound this month and could either sign with a team to complete his rehab or wait until he is healthy to showcase for teams. The two-time Cy Young Award winner is still deciding the best course of action, it seems.
  • The Yankees are among several teams keeping an eye on Santana's rehab progress, reports Andy McCullough of the Star-Ledger. He may audition for scouts before Spring Training, McCullough adds. 
  • The Brewers have been running quietly in free agency thus far, but GM Doug Melvin says that the team is talking with several relievers, reports MLB.com's Adam McCalvy, who breaks down the remaining options. On the other hand, Melvin seems content taking his current array of relievers into Spring Training without a significant addition. "Right now, we're just going to [fill the bullpen] internally," said Melvin, "unless that changes." 

Jeff Todd contributed to this post.

24 Responses to Pitching Notes: Winston, Verlander, Johan, Yankees, Brewers Leave a Reply

  1. Frittoman626 2 years ago

    I would like Santana if it were for a non-guaranteed minor league contract and a Spring Training Invite. Could battle for the fifth starter spot with Pineda, Phelps, Nuno, and Warren. I prefer Phelps in the bullpen and Pineda to go to the minors and work on his control. It’s a low risk seeing as they could just release Santana if he injures himself again or he just outright sucks.

    • GD 2 years ago

      Pineda to the minors to work on control, AND a 3rd pitch!

  2. Kayrall 2 years ago

    Verlander has put so many innings on that arm every year. I hope he can come back to full form.

  3. kungfucampby 2 years ago

    The CBA discourages a lot of 2 sport athletes from playing baseball. Which is a real shame.

    • pft2 2 years ago

      Not sure its the CBA. In NBA and NFL you can be drafted and start in the NBA and NFL right away. In baseball you spend a couple of years in the minors. Financially, MLB is a better sport than the NFL if you make it big, due to the guaranteed contracts, but even top 20 draft picks are not guaranteed to make it big, and then of course, you have to wait 3 years before you make more than the minimum. Perhaps that what you are alluding to. MLB teams also have a tendency to hold players back to maximize their 6 years cost control so players don’t make it to free agency till they are 30 and then are labelled as being in decline

      • Ferrariman 2 years ago

        on the flip side though, a MLB players’s playing life is substantially longer (and generally more productive per year) than that of an NBA player and especially an NFL where some guys are washed up at 30.

        • Paul Shailor 2 years ago

          This is true however most just look at short term value. Sure if you are a pitcher and stay healthy you can go until you are 40 in some cases(esp if you are a reliever). However if you go to the NBA or NFL you get a ton more endorsement opportunities at a younger age and more money at a younger age.

      • Ben Roth 2 years ago

        I believe he was referencing the slot values, which scarcely allow for overpayments, allowing for other sports to field more competitive offers and potentially steering them away from baseball.

    • LazerTown 2 years ago

      A big part is that he may have a better shot in NFL to make it. Many first round picks dont make it in mlb, nfl they have instant impact.

      You often have a better shot at making the few million you need to live your life in the NFL if you are at the top.

  4. pft2 2 years ago

    Core surgery is pretty vague. If its a hernia or oblique they can be tricky, If he pitches w/o his core 100% he risks arm injury since he would have to use his arm more to generate the velocity. Tigers might regret trading Fister now. Might need to jump in on Tanaka like they did with Fielder when V-Mart got injured.

  5. Matlock 2 years ago

    Best option for brewers is trading for carp, signing jeff baker, and platooning them at 1b

    • I don’t think it really pays for them. The slight upgrade they’d gain at 1B over what they have already wouldn’t be worth the value given up, since it doesn’t come close to pushing them over the top contention-wise.

      • daveineg 2 years ago

        They can be competitive Novak and that’s their goal. If by pushing over the top, you mean assuring playoff spot, then dream on. That’s not the real world for 90% of the league. If Khris Davis and Gennett perform close to what they did in Aug-Sept, it’s a solid lineup everywhere but 1B. Francisco/Halton combined at the very least would provide power there. I’d favor signing Michael Young myself, to play both at 1B and give them a better option when resting Ramirez and overall upgrading the 25 man roster. That won’t push them over the top either, but it would add another guy that if they don’t contend, they can move later on.

    • Sage 2 years ago

      Interesting concept, and I like the idea of signing Jeff Baker. He’d be a good right-handed half of a platoon. The only problem is that the price on Carp is probably going to be rather high. I’d rather trade less for a guy like Smoak or even just stick with Juan Francisco (ugh, can’t believe I’m actually saying that) and platoon that lefty with signing Baker. But I definitely think signing Baker and having a platoon at 1B is not a bad idea for us right now.

    • orbrewer 2 years ago

      A platoon of Baker/Carp is a such a minor upgrade over the platoon the Brewers will likely use next season (Halton/Francisco), unless the Sox are willing to give up Carp for a non-prospect minor leaguer, it doesn’t make sense for the Brewers.

  6. WazBazbo 2 years ago

    “Right now, we’re just going to [fill the bullpen] internally,” said Melvin, “unless that changes.”

    An impossible statement to dispute! I see a career in politics ahead…

    • orbrewer 2 years ago

      I thought that was a great quote also.

      “It’s going to be the same, unless it’s different.”

  7. Korflock 2 years ago


  8. phillies1102 2 years ago

    “…Justin Verlander underwent successful core muscle surgery in Philadelphia this morning.”

    I think that was the first and last time I’ve heard Verlander and Philadelphia used in the same sentence.

  9. Tigers72 2 years ago

    I hope The Tigers get Johan.

  10. Tigers72 2 years ago

    I hope The Tigers get Johan.

  11. Zak A 2 years ago

    What’s a rookie deal for the # 1 overall pick in the NFL? like 5 years 28 MM? I think he’ll stick to football.

  12. suomynona 2 years ago

    Why are the Mariners tagged in this? (Just making sure I didn’t miss anything.)

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