A few weeks ago I questioned Dontrelle Willis’ diagnosis (and subsequent DL stint) of social anxiety disorder.
My basis? Nothing scientific or anything — I’m certainly no doctor —
just the words Willis used to describe how he felt, which didn’t sound
a thing like that which you would expect from someone suffering from an
anxiety disorder. Stuff like “I was just playing bad” and “Even when I
went on the DL, I felt fine.” Turns out I’m not the only skeptic:
While few doubt the pressure of playing at the major league level,
at least one mental-health professional raised an eyebrow at the
growing number of social anxiety disorder diagnoses.
“I’m very suspicious of that diagnosis,” said Dr. Allan Lans, a
psychiatrist who practices in New York and has worked with athletes
throughout his career, most notably as a member of the Mets’ staff.
“It’s not like catching the chickenpox; there has to be a history.”
Lans goes on to talk about how rare it would be for someone with a
Major League career path to only begin experiencing the disorder after
making the big leagues. Especially so long after making the big leagues
like Willis and Khalil Greene.
This Lans fellow is only one doctor, and sure, what one doctor says
isn’t determinative of anything, but it certainly makes me wonder about
Infielder Brett Lawrie successfully avoided arbitration and signed a one-year contract with the White Sox on Friday, per a team announcement. FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman added that the deal was for $3.5 million, significantly lower than the $4.125 million Lawrie was paid by the White Sox in 2016.
The White Sox acquired Lawrie last December in a swap for minor league arms Zack Erwin and J.B. Wendelken. After splitting time at second and third base for the Athletics in 2015, Lawrie slotted in at second base and DH for the White Sox and batted .248/.310/.413 with 12 home runs in 384 PA. While it’s strange to see a healthy, fairly productive player receive a salary reduction in arbitration, Lawrie missed nearly half of the season with a strain in his left hamstring, though he’s projected to return at full health by the start of the 2017 season.
Left-hander Brian Duensing signed a one-year, $2 million contract with the Cubs on Friday, per a report from FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman.
The free agent spent the bulk of his 2016 season with the Orioles after receiving a call-up from Triple-A Norfolk in early June. He underwent elbow surgery several weeks later when a freak bullpen injury revealed cartilage chips and inflammation in his pitching elbow, but recovered to finish the season with a 4.05 ERA and 10 strikeouts in 13 1/3 innings for the club. The Orioles utilized him for a final out during the AL Wild Card game, during which Duensing recorded a five-pitch strikeout in the ninth inning of their 5-2 loss to the Blue Jays.
The 33-year-old is currently expected to bulk up the Cubs’ left-handed relief corps, with fellow left-hander Mike Montgomery slated for the rotation in 2017.