Athletics righty J.B. Wendelken is likely to undergo Tommy John surgery, as Joe Stiglich of CSNBayArea.com reports. The 23-year-old, who came over as part of last winter’s Brett Lawrie trade, had received scattered major league work in Oakland, allowing 14 earned runs with a dozen strikeouts and nine walks over 12 2/3 innings. He showed more promise at Triple-A, with a 4.11 ERA and 12.7 K/9 in his 46 frames, but he also experienced control problems (5.1 BB/9) for the first time in his professional career.
Here are some more pitching health notes:
- The Mets plan to put lefty Steven Matz on the hill tomorrow after he showed well in a bullpen session yesterday, MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo tweets. “He looked very good,” said manager Terry Collins. “He looked nice and easy.” New York’s most recent attempt to ease a starter back into the rotation did not end well, and the team is certainly hoping for a smoother transition this time around. If he can stay healthy, Matz would represent a key asset over the final ten days of the regular season as well as a hopeful postseason berth beyond that.
- While their own rotation health situation is generally on the upswing, the Dodgers will be looking to see whether southpaw Scott Kazmir can hold up in a major league start, as MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick tweets. The 32-year-old last appeared a month ago and carries a 4.59 ERA in 135 1/3 innings on the year. He’ll follow Brett Anderson, who goes today, as the team looks to assess its options for the playoffs.
- Also facing postseason roster decisions with a key arm are the Indians, who are hoping that righty Danny Salazar can return — albeit as a reliever, per MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian. Salazar is still not ready for mound work, but has begun rebuilding arm strength in hopes that he can be ready for a possible relief role in the ALDS. For now, it’s still a measured process. “If he starts to feel real good, they can speed it up,” said manager Terry Francona.
- It’s unclear whether the Red Sox will give serious consideration to using right-hander Steven Wright in the postseason, if he’s able to return, but there’s some hope that he’ll soon present that option. As Scott Lauber of ESPN.com tweets, Wright is set to meet up with the team and may be ready for a pen session as he continues to test his balky shoulder.
- It’s also not apparent what plans the Nationals may have for left-handed reliever Sammy Solis, who has been sidelined with his own shoulder troubles. But it seems he’s now making forward progress, as Dan Kolko of MASN tweets that Solis felt good after a 25-pitch session on the mound. He could soon face hitters, which might pave the way for a return to the majors right at the end of the regular season, conceivably making him a playoff option.