Lucas Giolito Rumors

Lucas Giolito Talks Elbow, Nationals

The Nationals selected high schooler Lucas Giolito with their top pick in this year’s draft despite uncertainty surrounding his pitching elbow, and the right-hander sounds confident that he’ll justify the team’s decision. Considered one of the most talented players available in this year’s draft, Giolito suffered an elbow injury this March and waited last night as half of baseball’s 30 teams passed on him.

“I had no idea where I was going to go off of the board,” he told reporters on a conference call this afternoon.

Giolito has started throwing long toss — he’s up to 300 feet — and is also throwing “pretty hard” on flat ground. He said he expects rehabilitation, not surgery, to be the answer to his recent ligament injury.

“I’m confident that this issue is behind me,” he said, sounding more poised than most 17-year-old prospects. “I’m looking forward to getting on the mound soon.”

Giolito said he considers the Nationals a “great organization” and that he admires Stephen Strasburg's pitching style. He said he’ll join the Nationals by next month’s signing deadline if the situation is right, but noted that UCLA has an appealing baseball program that remains “a really big option” for him. 

This marks the fourth consecutive season that the Nationals have drafted a player tabbed as a potential first overall talent with their top pick. They selected Anthony Rendon sixth overall last year after selecting Strasburg and Bryce Harper with the first overall selections in 2009 and 2010, respectively. Scouting director Kris Kline and general manager Mike Rizzo made Giolito the 16th overall selection last night. MLB recommends a bonus of $2.1MM for that slot; the sides have until July 13th to work out an agreement.


Quick Hits: Jackson, Perkins, Lane, Nitkowski

Happy birthday to Hall-of-Famer Jim Rice, who turns 59 today.  On a more somber note, it was on this day in 1999 that the legendary Joe DiMaggio passed away at age 84 after a battle with lung cancer.

Here's some news from around the majors as we head into the end of the work week…

  • Edwin Jackson tells Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he didn't receive any interest from the Cardinals about returning to the team.  "There was no involvement with the Cardinals. Pitching wasn't a department they needed help in. Their rotation is pretty much set," Jackson said.  "It was a place I wouldn't have minded going back to…but, coming into the offseason, it was never a place I realistically thought I had a chance to go back to."
  • Phil Mackey of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities radio details Glen Perkins' path from filing a grievance against the Twins in 2009 and seemingly being on the outs with the club to today's three-year extension that keeps the southpaw in Minnesota through 2015.
  • Jason Lane talks to Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic about his attempt to return to the Major Leagues as a pitcher, and how a chance meeting with Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers last summer led to Lane getting a minor league deal with Arizona.
  • C.J. Nitkowski, who last pitched in the majors in 2005, threw a bullpen session with the Mets on Thursday, reports MLB.com's Anthony DiComo.  Nitkowski pitched in Japan and Korea from 2007-2010 and, as MLB.com's Anthony Castrovince details, underwent a controversial blood-and-stem cell treatment last year.  Nitkowski was the ninth overall pick of the 1994 amateur draft and pitched for eight teams in a 10-year Major League career, including a five-game stint with the Mets in 2001.
  • The long-term effects of Lucas Giolito's UCL strain have yet to be determined, but Baseball America's Conor Glassey examines how the injury could impact Giolito's position in the 2012 amateur draft.
  • The Mexican Baseball League has announced that Jose Canseco will not play for Quintana Roo Tigers after the slugger allegedly took a banned substance and refused to take a drug test, reports ESPN's news news services.  League president Plinio Escalante told ESPN Deportes that testosterone was the banned substance.  Canseco has denied the charge on his Twitter account.

Quick Hits: Guerrero, Lee, Gordon, Giolito

The Yankees signed Orlando Hernandez to a four-year, $6.6MM contract on this date 14 years ago. El Duque posted a 3.96 ERA in six seasons with New York and also made a number of memorable postseason starts as the Yankees won three consecutive World Series titles. Hernandez expressed interest in making a comeback as recently as last year, before officially retiring in August. Here are today's links…

  • Agent Fern Cuza told Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports that Vladimir Guerrero “still wants to play.” Guerrero is waiting the right opportunity and has a strong preference for contenders (Twitter links).
  • Free agent first baseman Derrek Lee is open to the right opportunity and doesn’t plan to officially retire, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets.
  • Negotiations between the Royals and Alex Gordon are in their early stages, but are expected to pick up later this spring, according to Rosenthal. Gordon will almost certainly look to sign for more than $55MM, the current Royals record, Rosenthal writes.
  • It’s too early to predict which team will select high school right-hander Lucas Giolito, according to Jim Callis of Baseball America (on Twitter). Giolito sprained the ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching elbow yesterday.


Potential Top Draft Pick Giolito Sprains Elbow

Highly-regarded high school righty Lucas Giolito sprained the ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow yesterday and will be out six to ten weeks, reports Eric Sondheimer of the L.A. Times.  The hard-throwing senior doesn't need surgery, coach Matt LaCour told Sondheimer, but he and his teammates are crushed.  Giolito was regarded as the best high school player in the 2012 draft, but now he may be more likely to honor a commitment to UCLA.  As Baseball America notes, the new collective bargaining agreement's draft restrictions make it much harder for Giolito to fall in draft position and still receive a ton of money.


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Quick Hits: Playoffs, Giolito, White Sox

MLB will expand the playoffs starting this season and the reaction has generally seemed positive. Here are a few more links to cap off the leap day, starting with reaction to the upcoming postseason format…

  • Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports says the changes are good for the game, because they will add excitement with minimal intrusion. Plus, the new format will provide teams with an incentive to win their divisions.
  • Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com says the changes make sense. Commissioner Bud Selig has made the right call, Heyman writes.
  • High school right-hander Lucas Giolito hit 100 mph in a start last night, Baseball America’s Nathan Rode confirms. Giolito is the top high school prospect for the 2012 draft, according to Rode.
  • South Side Sox interviewed Dan Fabian, director of baseball operations for the White Sox, about his role with the team, trades, stats and scouting.