Boston’s rotation took a hit it may not recover from in 2020 with this week’s news that ace Chris Sale will undergo Tommy John surgery. Chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom, who has been faced with no shortage of adversity during his first several months atop the Red Sox’s baseball department, addressed the surgery decision this week, as Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald details. The left-handed Sale dealt with elbow problems last season, but Bloom and the Red Sox don’t regret putting off his procedure. “Based on everything that went on last summer, the symptoms, the imaging, it seemed very reasonable to me to take that time off and try to rest, strengthen everything and hope for a successful path forward,” Bloom said. “Obviously up until (he felt pain) in early March, there was every indication that he was doing great.” Indeed, it was just this Wednesday that Sale seemed to be progressing in his recovery from a flexor strain. That changed a day later, and now Boston will have to go without its best pitcher until sometime in 2021.
- The Mets have optioned shortstop Andres Gimenez, right-hander Tyler Bashlor and catcher Ali Sanchez to Triple-A Syracuse, Mike Puma of the New York Post tweets. Bashlor’s the lone member of the trio with major league experience, but he endured immense struggles as a Met last year. The most promising player in the group is the 21-year-old Gimenez, whom MLB.com ranks as the sport’s 84th-best prospect. Gimenez could be a long-term factor in the Mets’ infield, though he hasn’t advanced past Double-A ball yet. He batted .250/.309/.387 with nine home runs and 28 stolen bases over 479 plate appearances at that level last season.
- The Nationals released reliever Hunter Strickland last weekend, and it turns out that the move was somewhat costly for the club. Had the Nats cut ties with Strickland a week earlier, they would have only had to pay him one-sixth of his $1.6MM salary, Mark Zuckerman of MASNsports.com notes. By parting with Strickland when it did, though, Washington had to fork over a fourth of his money; as a result, it lost $133K or so, per Zuckerman.
- The coronavirus led the Criminal Court Complex in Clearwater, Fla., to push back Blue Jays catcher Reese McGuire’s court date to April 20, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet relays. McGuire had been scheduled to appear in court Monday as a result of his Feb. 7 arrest on a charge of “exposure of sexual organs,” a first-degree misdemeanor. He could face one year in jail and fines up to $1K.