Health considerations can certainly have a major impact on the development of the player market. Here are the latest notes on several hurlers whose medical reports bear watching:
- Astros GM Jeff Luhnow acknowledged yesterday that the team is awaiting word on the status of righty Lance McCullers Jr., Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle writes. McCullers has dealt with forearm problems that have created plenty of uncertainty entering the offseason. Luhnow acknowledged that a surgical outcome is on the table. When asked whether he anticipates McCullers being with the club in 2019, the GM responded: “If he has surgery, no. If he doesn’t, yes. Any time you’re talking about an elbow injury, [surgery] is one path to resolving it.” That isn’t the most optimistic stance, even if it is still possible that McCullers will avoid surgery, as it clearly suggests he’s dealing with a significant injury. Needless to say, losing the 25-year-old would create a major opening in a rotation that is already bidding adieu to several notable pieces.
- The news on veteran southpaw Andrew Miller is generally more promising. Agent Mark Rodgers tells Joel Sherman of the New York Post that Miller has been given a clean bill of health after a 2018 campaign that was marred by ongoing knee issues. If that is indeed the case, then Miller could be an immense value in free agency. Of course, he’s also closing in on 34 years of age and has endured plenty of wear and tear, so interested clubs will surely take a close look for themselves at the medicals. MLBTR has taken a rather bullish stance on Miller’s earning potential, predicting he’ll be capable of securing a three-year deal with a $9MM AAV.
- The Angels provided updates on two notable righties today, as Maria Torres reports on Twitter. Shohei Ohtani is said to be on track in his Tommy John rehab, though certainly it’s only at an early stage. He’s expected not to pitch at all in 2019, regardless, but his rehab progress will dictate whether and when he’s able to function as a DH. Meanwhile, Alex Meyer has suffered a setback in his efforts to make it back from shoulder surgery. For now, he’ll rest for four to six weeks before attempting to resume throwing. It has been more than a year since Meyer went under the knife to repair a torn labrum, so there’s cause to hope that the towering righty will be able to get up to speed and contribute in 2019. Of course, recovery from surgical intervention in that joint is often not a straightforward proposition. The Halos will surely not make any assumptions about his availability for the coming season in making offseason decisions.