Right-hander Jon Garland, 37, hasn’t pitched professionally since the Rockies released him in June 2013. Four years later, Garland is mulling a comeback, according to Scott Merkin of MLB.com. Garland threw Sunday for White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper, as Bruce Levine of 670thescore.com was first to report (via Twitter). Before that, Garland told Levine that his arm feels the best it has in three years. However, he also informed Merkin that he’s unsure if he’s committed to returning because it would mean spending less time with his family. Garland pitched to a 4.37 ERA over 2,100-plus innings with six teams (mostly the White Sox) from 2000-13. He exceeded the 200-inning plateau in six seasons during that span, including a career-high 221 as a member of the World Series-winning White Sox in 2005.
More from around baseball:
- At 33-40, the Cardinals are already 12 games out of a wild-card spot in the National League. Consequently, their only realistic avenue to the playoffs is to erase a 5.5-game deficit in the NL Central. They’re going to have to start making up ground by next month’s trade deadline, Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak admitted to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com. “This team has a chance to do good things, but we have to get it going,” said Mozeliak. “Urgency has to be on the forefront of our thinking. There is no clock in baseball, but time is moving.” Mozeliak revealed that the Cardinals are “open-minded” to buying or selling, but Crasnick argues that taking the latter path could be difficult because they’re not exactly chock-full of trade chips. They already sold one veteran last month, sending first baseman Matt Adams to the Braves for minor league infielder Juan Yepez. While Adams has caught fire since the trade, Mozeliak doesn’t regret shipping him out. “Sometimes a change of scenery for players is what they need,” he noted. “Matt’s killed it, but that’s not to say he didn’t get opportunities a year ago. Sometimes when you make decisions, you know there might be more upside in a player. But unless you can create that availability [for playing time], it’s pretty tough.”
- The Yankees, mired in their worst stretch of the season, are likely to place outfielder Aaron Hicks on the DL, manager Joe Girardi announced Sunday (Twitter links via Bryan Hoch of MLB.com). Hicks left the Yankees’ loss to the Rangers on Sunday with right oblique tightness and will undergo an MRI on Monday, relays Hoch, but the player indicated that he’ll miss three to four weeks. Hicks has surprisingly been among the majors’ most valuable players this year, with a .290/.398/.515 batting line and a 2.7 fWAR. Fortunately for the Yankees, they have a quality replacement in Jacoby Ellsbury, who could come off the DL on Monday. Ellsbury has been out since late May with a concussion. Meanwhile, another of the Yankees’ top performers, second baseman Starlin Castro, has been dealing with a wrist issue for six weeks, tweets Hoch, who adds that he received a cortisone shot Sunday.
- In better news for the Yankees, left-hander C.C. Sabathia is “progressing very, very well” as he works back from a Grade 2 left hamstring strain, Girardi said (via Matthew Martell of MLB.com). Sabathia threw 35 pitches Sunday in his first bullpen session since hitting the DL on June 15, relays Martell, who writes that the former ace could be back in New York’s rotation by month’s end. Sabathia has been one of the Yankees’ steadiest starters this year, having logged a 3.46 ERA, 7.41 K/9, 2.87 BB/9 and a 49.8 percent ground-ball rate over 75 1/3 innings.
- The goal is for Orioles closer Zach Britton to return by July 5, manager Buck Showalter told Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com and other reporters on Sunday. Forearm problems have forced Britton to the disabled list twice this year, limiting the two-time All-Star to just nine innings (he last pitched on May 4). While Brad Brach has filled in with aplomb as Baltimore’s closer, the team’s Britton-less bullpen hasn’t been great overall. Orioles relievers entered Sunday ranked 13th in the majors in ERA and 23rd in fWAR.