The Five Spot: Ranking MLB's top pitchers

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We’ve just rolled out a new section on called The Five Spot.

We throw out a topic, rank the top five, and let the readers have their
turn. Sort of like our own little place for bar arguments, only
hopefully a little more coherent.

Anyway, the debut topic for “The Spot” is baseball’s top five pitchers. The list?

1. Johan Santana
2. Roy Halladay
3. Tim Lincecum
4. CC Sabathia
5. Cole Hamels

So who got left off? Should the order be changed? For the record, I’d put Zack Greinke on there. But that’s just me.

David Phelps to undergo Tommy John surgery

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Pitcher David Phelps has a torn UCL and will undergo Tommy John surgery, ending his 2018 season, the Mariners announced on Wednesday. Phelps was making brief one-inning stints in the Cactus League as he worked his way back from a procedure to remove a bone spur from his elbow last September. He said he felt the ligament tear on his final pitch against the Angels in his March 17 appearance.

Phelps, 31, was expected to set up for closer Edwin Diaz. The right-hander, between the Marlins and Mariners last season, posted a 3.40 ERA with a 62/26 K/BB ratio in 55 2/3 innings. He and the Mariners avoided arbitration in January, agreeing on a $5.55 million salary for the 2018 campaign. Phelps will become eligible to become a free agent at the end of the season.

As the Mariners noted in their statement, the expected recovery period for Tommy John surgery is 12-15 months, so this very likely cuts into Phelps’ 2019 season as well.