The latest on several notable players from the majors’ West divisions…
- Although Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval is set for Tommy John surgery, his season doesn’t look over quite yet. Manager Bruce Bochy told Kerry Crowley of the Bay Area News Group and other reporters Thursday that Sandoval could at least make some pinch-hit appearances before he goes under the knife. In the meantime, Sandoval will test out his swing to see if he’ll be able to contribute more this season. The longtime Giant, 33, is a strong bet to hit free agency in the offseason, meaning his run in San Francisco could be on the verge of concluding.
- Diamondbacks right-hander Luke Weaver continues progressing toward a 2019 return, Richard Morin of the Arizona Republic relays. Weaver, out since late May with a UCL strain and a flexor sprain in his pitching arm, will throw a 25-pitch bullpen session on Friday, and the club will determine where to go from there. While Weaver was eminently effective out of the Diamondbacks’ rotation earlier this season, the lack of time left in the campaign will force him to pitch from their bullpen if he does return. Meantime, the news is less encouraging for fellow righty Taijuan Walker, whose 2018 Tommy John surgery and ’19 shoulder problems have stopped him from taking a major league mound this season. Walker is throwing, but it’s “unlikely” that he’ll come back this year, Morin writes.
- In welcome news for the Astros’ bullpen, injured reliever Ryan Pressly is doing “quite well” in his recovery from knee surgery, according to manager A.J. Hinch (via Brian McTaggart of MLB.com). Pressly could resume light throwing over the weekend. His absence dating back to Aug. 21 has deprived the title-contending Astros of arguably their best reliever as the postseason approaches. The right-handed Pressly has logged a 2.50 ERA/2.83 FIP with tremendous strikeout and walk rates (11.62 K/9, 1.97 BB/9) over 50 1/3 innings this season. Teammate and fellow righty reliever Josh James could come off the IL this weekend, meanwhile, per McTaggart. The promising 26-year-old has fanned a prolific 14.03 batters per nine across 51 1/3 frames this season, though a bloated walk rate (5.03 per nine) has helped lead to a 4.73 ERA/4.11 FIP.
- Rockies reliever Scott Oberg explained to Thomas Harding of MLB.com why he recently underwent surgery to address blood clots in his right arm, saying, “It just felt really heavy.” It’s the second instance of blood clots for Oberg, but fortunately, he’s not suffering from any kind of major medical condition. The soon-to-be 30-year-old expects to be ready to go for 2020, when he’ll try to build on a second straight impressive campaign. This season has been anything but impressive for Rockies lefty Kyle Freeland, who’s currently on the IL with a strained groin, but he’s working toward a return; however, there’s no timetable for a possible comeback, Harding relays. Freeland went from Cy Young candidate a year ago to someone who has faced a minor league demotion this season and pitched to a ghastly 6.98 ERA/6.12 FIP over 20 starts and 99 1/3 innings in the bigs.