Astros third baseman Alex Bregman was cleared to hit today for the first time since undergoing surgery on his right wrist in November, reports Mark Berman of Houston’s Fox26 (Twitter link with video). Though he played through it, Bregman injured his wrist in September, an issue that came to light only when teammate Carlos Correa told Sports Illustrated’s Stephanie Apstein about it during the World Series. The extent to which the injury played a role in Bregman’s postseason struggles isn’t entirely clear, but it’s likely to have had at least some effect given his .217/.304/.300 postseason line across 69 plate appearances, including a meager .095/.200/.143 in 25 trips to the plate during the Astros’ World Series loss to the Braves.
The injury came at the end of what was a forgettable season by Bregman’s high standards. After following a second-place MVP finish in 2019 with a solid but unspectacular 2020, Bregman missed the first two months of the 2021 season with a quadriceps injury and saw a major dip in his power numbers, posting only a .422 slugging percentage against a .507 career mark (and a top-notch .592 in 2019).
Some other baseball tidbits from around the league…
- Yankees pitcher Jameson Taillon discussed his ongoing ankle rehab with former Yankees workhorse David Cone on the latter’s podcast this week. The 30-year-old Taillon once again acknowledged that he remains about a month behind his typical offseason throwing program, jiving with the report he gave last December. More encouragingly however, is the right-hander’s claim that he isn’t feeling any lingering pain from his surgically repaired ankle. While his current regimen consists of throwing 3-4 times a week at much less than full, mid-90’s velocity, this marks another positive step forward in the right-hander’s rehab process. Taillon was a league average arm last year, sporting a 4.30 ERA in 144 plus innings, but has demonstrated the ability to be more than that throughout his career. More positive news as Taillon ramps back up will be welcome for a Yankees club that has a number of solid rotation options but only a few that don’t come with health concerns of their own.
- Per a report from Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, longtime Marlins radio announcer Dave Van Horne announced that he is “essentially retiring” after declining the team’s offer to return to the organization in 2022 in a reduced capacity. The 82-year-old Van Horne retires after 53 years of broadcasting at the major league level. After a 33-year tenure broadcasting for the Montreal Expos, Van Horne pivoted to an upstart Marlins team at the end of 2000. In his lengthy career, the veteran sportscaster called three perfect games, thirteen no-hitters, narrated the 2003 Marlins successful World Series run, and was awarded the Ford C. Frick Award from the Baseball Hall of Fame in recognition of his broadcasting contributions. We at MLBTR extend a hearty congratulations to Van Horne for an illustrious career.