In a piece for ESPN The Magazine, Sam Miller speaks with Scott Boras about pitching injuries — focusing, particularly, on several key NL East former TJ patients who are repped by the super agent. It’s an interesting piece, and I recommend you give it a full read. Boras says that his sometimes rather public discussion of the care of arms is “not an authority-driven exercise,” but rather “an education exercise” designed to draw attention to the issue. He explains that he hopes only to help ensure that all involved — including teams and, especially, his players — are able to “make an informed decision” for themselves. As Miller notes, that was precisely the purpose of the recent Tommy John study of MLBTR contributor Bradley Woodrum, which endeavored to identify statistical clues of UCL tear susceptibility.
Here’s more from the National League East:
- Speaking of key injury situations, Mets third baseman David Wright faces an ongoing battle to overcome spinal stenosis, as Ron Berler writes in an excellent article for Men’s Fitness. New York will hope that he is able to remain productive and healthy, but it’s going to take a continued effort from the veteran — who has certainly been up to the task thus far, as the piece details.
- The Marlins announced several camp decisions today; among them, the team is optioning righty Kyle Barraclough and southpaw Justin Nicolino to Triple-A. Barraclough had an impressive debut last year after coming over in the Steve Cishek trade, and looked to be a power pen option to help fill in for the injured Carter Capps. He still may have that chance, but will need to keep working on refining his command after permitting eight walks to go with eight strikeouts in 6 1/3 spring innings. Nicolino, meanwhile, had good results in the earned run department but only managed two strikeouts in his 8 1/3 frames, but he’ll likely be the first man up if and when a rotation need arises.
- The Nationals have an interesting potential dilemma brewing in the outfield, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports writes. Michael Taylor has had a strong camp, and seems clearly ready for a full test at the MLB level, but Ben Revere is now in the fold at center while Jayson Werth’s contract (and, it might be added, standing in the organization) make it difficult to create space. From my perspective, Werth’s injury history makes him a prime candidate for regular rest, which ought to provide plenty of opportunity for all of these players. It’s interesting to note, though, that Rosenthal says the Nats likely would have traded Taylor had the club managed to sign Jason Heyward or Yoenis Cespedes over the winter.
- Off the field, but relating to it, the Nationals are engaged in a renewed effort to sell their ballpark’s naming rights, Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post reports. Valerie Camillo, the organization’s chief revenue and marketing officer, explained that “this is a major revenue opportunity that was untapped by the team, when you look at overall picture of revenue growth potential.” Particularly with the MASN television dispute still proving a tough nut to crack, it obviously makes sense to pursue all avenues to improve the bottom line. While that may require some difficult tradeoffs with the Nationals Park name fairly entrenched, Camillo says that the club is doing it for a good reason: “It’s not as if we’ll be maximizing revenue without a competitive product on the field. We’re doing what we can to keep the fans happy, and I think the predominant thing fans want is winning.”
- Braves righty Jhoulys Chacin is making a push for a rotation job, as Michael Kolligian reports for MLB.com. He has generally been expected to land in the pen after signing a minor league pact, but skipper Fredi Gonzalez says that Chacin is “really making a case.” Gonzalez continued: “he is definitely a guy who, if he keeps pitching like he is, he’ll be in the rotation someplace.” Utilizing Chacin and other veterans in the starting staff would certainly allow the organization to be conservative in deploying its younger options — a topic I discussed in reviewing the Braves’ offseason earlier this morning.