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
Free agent left-hander Wade Miley is among several offseason targets for the Twins, according to a report from Darren Wolfson of KSTP. Miley’s $12 million option was declined by the Orioles back in November, and while he’s expected to attract another major league deal in 2018, he hasn’t exactly been highly sought after this offseason.
The 31-year-old lefty finished his second campaign with the Orioles in 2017, producing an 8-15 record in 32 starts and ranking second-to-last among all AL starters with a 5.61 ERA, 5.3 BB/9 and 8.1 SO/9 in 157 1/3 innings. Even taking Miley’s undeniable durability into account — he remained healthy for the bulk of the season and completed his sixth straight year with 30+ starts — his declining value and career-worst numbers may lower his price tag as the 2018 season approaches.
Wolfson notes that the Twins have engaged in “regular dialogue” with Miley’s agent this winter, but he’s far from the only starting pitcher they have their eye on. Right-handers Yu Darvish, Lance Lynn, Alex Cobb and Chris Tillman are still on their radar, among several others, and club owner Jim Pohlad said Saturday that he was “totally on board” with the idea of signing a big-name free agent like Darvish or another available starter. “There are some interesting names and some interesting opportunities there,” Pohlad told a crowd at TwinsFest. “I’m as intrigued by it as anybody and attracted to it as anybody.”