It’s been nearly two months since Tommy John surgery was initially recommended for Astros closer Roberto Osuna. A couple weeks later, however, Houston skipper Dusty Baker revealed that Osuna was opting for a rest-and-rehab route. Osuna elaborated on the decision to FOX 26’s Mark Berman, revealing that a second opinion offered him a different conclusion: a forearm strain that could benefit from four weeks or so of rest. Osuna shut down from throwing for the recommended four weeks and resumed throwing three weeks ago. He’s optimistic that he’ll be able to avoid surgery based on the way his arm feels and his most recent input from doctors.
Even with a deep postseason run for Houston, it’s hard to imagine a scenario where he builds up to the point of being able to pitch in 2020. And given that he’s eligible for a raise on this year’s $10MM salary in arbitration before becoming a free agent next winter, he doesn’t appear to be a lock to be tendered a contract. Even if he were to simply repeat this year’s salary, that’d be a rather sizable gamble to take on a reliever who is just months removed from a Tommy John recommendation.
A couple more injury notes from around the game…
- The Rays have been without Austin Meadows since Sept. 17 due to an oblique strain, but Tampa Bay general manager Erik Neander tells reporters that it’s possible Meadows will be able to rejoin the club for its upcoming ALDS date against the Yankees (Twitter link via Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times). The 25-year-old Meadows opened the season on the Covid-19 IL after testing positive and experiencing symptoms in July. He didn’t look like himself when on the field, struggling to a .205/.296/.371 slash with a bloated 33 percent strikeout rate in 152 plate appearances. That’s miles away from last year’s .291/.364/.558 slash and 22.2 percent strikeout rate. If Meadows is able to return to that 2019 form, it’d obviously represent a major boost to the Rays in a division series that could pit them against Gerrit Cole twice. With Meadows absent, the Rays’ only left-handed-hitting outfield options have been Kevin Kiermaier and Brett Phillips.
- Brewers skipper Craig Counsell didn’t give a particularly positive update on Brett Anderson when asked by reporters last night (Twitter link via Adam McCalvy of MLB.com). The veteran lefty, who is not on the Wild Card roster due to a blister, hadn’t improved much since the end of the regular season and was “not close” to being considered for the team’s roster in round one of postseason play. Right-hander Devin Williams, meanwhile, said he believes he’d be able to rejoin the roster in the next round of postseason play, should the Brewers qualify (Twitter link from McCalvy). The breakout changeup artist was left off Milwaukee’s Wild Card roster due to shoulder soreness. Any Brewers injury news could be rendered mostly moot, of course, as they’ll fight for their playoff lives tonight in an elimination showdown with the Dodgers and Clayton Kershaw.