Aviles set for season-ending Tommy John surgery

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After six years in the minors Mike Aviles came out of nowhere last
season to hit .325 in 102 games as a 27-year-old rookie, finishing
fourth in the AL Rookie of the Year balloting and seemingly
establishing himself as the Royals’ shortstop for the near future.

This season has unfortunately been a completely different story for
Aviles, as he batted just .183 through 36 games before landing on the
disabled list in mid-May with a strained forearm. His forearm soreness
turned out to be a torn elbow ligament and the Royals announced this afternoon that Aviles will undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery.

While hitters tend to come back from Tommy John surgery sooner and more
easily than pitchers, Aviles is still facing at least nine months of
rehab and an uncertain future. He’s unlikely to be ready for Opening
Day next April and could easily be sidelined for much of the first
half, which means that Aviles will be 29 years old by the time he puts
on a Royals uniform again.

Aviles’ minor-league resume suggested that he was playing quite a
bit over his head as a rookie, but his track record definitely showed
that he was capable of being a solid player. Sadly, after playing over
600 games in the minors before making it the big leagues he’s now
facing a long road back to the majors and the Royals are left with the motley crew of Willie Bloomquist, Tony Pena Jr., and Luis Hernandez at shortstop.

CC Sabathia wants to pitch beyond 2017

BOSTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 18: CC Sabathia #52 of the New York Yankees pitches during the fifth inning against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on September 18, 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Red Sox won 5-4. (Photo by Rich Gagnon/Getty Images)
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CC Sabathia‘s contract with the Yankees expires after the 2017 season but the lefty feels that he has enough left in the tank to pitch in 2018 and beyond, Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News reports.

Sabathia said, “I just know myself. I know I feel like it’s not my time yet. Barring any crazy injuries I know I can pitch past next year. I feel like this is just the beginning of what I’m trying to do. I feel like there’s a lot more still to learn and a lot better to get. It’s exciting.”

The 36-year-old lefty currently holds a 4.02 ERA and a 144/63 K/BB ratio in 172 1/3 innings. It’s his best and healthiest season since 2012. He battled a knee injury last season and checked into rehab for alcohol addiction last October. Sabathia said that being treated for his addiction put him “in a good spot.”

Sabathia is owed $25 million through a vesting option for the 2017 season.

Red Sox lose on Mark Teixeira’s walkoff grand slam, but still clinch AL East

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 28:  Dustin Pedroia #15 and pinch runner Marco Hernandez #41 of the Boston Red Sox celebrate after both scored in the eighth inning against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on September 28, 2016 in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
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The Red Sox can thank the Orioles for not having to fight to clinch the division on Thursday or later. The Orioles came from behind to defeat the Blue Jays 3-2 on Wednesday evening, clinching the AL East for the Red Sox.

A few minutes after that game went final, the Red Sox squandered a 3-0 lead taken in the eighth inning, culminating in a walk-off grand slam by Mark Teixeira in the bottom of the ninth inning. Closer Craig Kimbrel started the ninth, but didn’t have control over any of his pitches. He allowed a leadoff single followed by three consecutive walks to force in a run. Joe Kelly relieved Kimbrel and seemed to be close to wriggling out of the jam, getting Starlin Castro to strike out looking and Didi Gregorius to pop up. But after starting Teixeira with a first-pitch curve ball for a strike, Teixera clobbered a 99 MPH fastball, sending it over the fence in right-center to end the game.

For the Yankees, the come-from-behind victory was crucial as it staved off Wild Card elimination for one more day.

This is the first time the Red Sox have clinched the AL East since 2013, also the last year they won the World Series.