Rangers lefty Jake Diekman underwent successful surgery to remove his colon, with several more procedures to come as he battles ulcerative colitis. Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News has the latest, including video diary entries from Diekman himself. It’s well worth a watch to learn more about the unfortunate affliction and Diekman’s fight. We hope to see him back on the mound as soon as possible.
There won’t be a return in the offing for Phillies lefty Matt Imhof, who lost his eye in a terrible accident involving exercise bands. As Imhof himself writes in a moving piece for ESPN.com, he’s returning to finish his degree at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and will retire from the sport. He says it’s not just due to the injury, though; as he writes, “the truth is I need a change of pace after 20 years of doing the same thing.” You’ll want to give a full read to the southpaw’s powerful story of coming to grips with — and not being defined by — his injury.
As we wish the best to Diekman and Imhof, here’s the latest on the market for pitching:
- As the Mets look to bolster their bullpen, the team is still weighing a variety of free agents, per Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (via Twitter). In addition to keeping open the possibility of a reunion with lefty Jerry Blevins, the Mets are also considering righties Sergio Romo and Joe Smith.
- The Blue Jays are also keeping in touch with Blevins, according to Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca. Toronto’s search for a southpaw reliever has also led it to consider Craig Breslow, per the report. The team was among those to check out his new mechanics recently.
- The Reds are exploring a reunion with former starter Bronson Arroyo, as Buster Olney of ESPN.com reports (Twitter links). Unsurprisingly, the team is not interested in guaranteeing him a roster spot, as Arroyo is two full years removed from appearing in the majors and has dealt with significant arm issues of late. GM Dick Williams confirms that the team has watched Arroyo throw and is weighing a signing, per MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon (Twitter links). Beyond a move on Arroyo or other candidates for minor-league deals, Cincinnati is done with its free-agent signings, Williams adds.
- Speaking of longstanding veterans weighing returns, righty Jason Marquis suggested in an appearance on MLB Network Radio on Sirius XM (Twitter link) that he’s open to reviving his career. The 38-year-old last appeared in a nine-start stint with Cincy in 2015, but he’s set to pitch for Team Israel in the upcoming World Baseball Classic.
- While Dodgers lefty Julio Urias showed plenty in 2016 to warrant a rotation spot in the coming season, innings considerations may hold him back to start the year. As Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times tweets, skipper Dave Roberts says that the organization may keep him in extended Spring Training at the beginning of the 2017 campaign. Such an approach would not only ensure that Urias is available for good once he does make it up, but would afford more opportunities for the organization to see what it has in its variety of interesting, injury-plagued arms. Over at Fangraphs, Craig Edwards takes a look at what’s shaping up to be a fascinating staff.
- There’s an argument to be made that the Nationals not only need to address their closer situation, but also ought to bolster their rotation depth, as Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post writes. While the team’s five-man starting unit is likely set, which perhaps limits their ability to promise opportunities to free agents, a swingman could make sense. Janes mentions Travis Wood as at least a hypothetical match, and he would indeed seem to make a sensible fit.
- 31-year-old Cardinals reliever Mitch Harris is hoping to join former teammate Seth Maness in bouncing back from a “primary repair” procedure to his right elbow, as Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. Harris last pitched competitively in 2015, but will be ramping up for a full spring after undergoing the surgery last summer. Because his surgeon was able to attempt that less-invasive approach, as opposed to a full UCL replacement, there’s a possibility of a much swifter return to the hill — though Harris will first need to earn his way into MLB camp after failing to receive an invite.