Daily Dose: Tommy John surgery for Nady

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Xavier Nady felt a “sharp pain” in his elbow on April 14 and reports
immediately surfaced that he’d need surgery. He opted instead to rehab
the injury and looked to be making good progress, but suffered a
setback during a minor-league game last week and the Yankees confirmed
Thursday that he’ll undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery.

A fluky .330 batting average had Nady’s value at an all-time high
when New York acquired him last July, but he was a career
.272/.327/.441 hitter heading into the season and hit a nearly
identical .270/.319/.469 in 66 post-trade games. Damaso Marte was
included in the deal along with Nady and has been awful since, so the
Yankees got little value for Jose Tabata, Ross Ohlendorf, and Jeff
Karstens.

Nady faces 9-12 months on the sidelines and is an impending free
agent, so he’s unlikely to re-sign with the Yankees and may have
trouble securing more than an incentive-laden deal on the open market.
Tabata was the centerpiece of the deal and has struggled at Double-A,
but he’s still just 20 years old and Pittsburgh has already gotten 238
innings of 4.57 ERA pitching from Ohlendorf and Karstens.

While the Nady trade looks a whole lot different now than it did at the time, here are some other notes from around baseball …

* If you watched the World Baseball Classic the name Aroldis Chapman
should ring a bell, as the 21-year-old southpaw flashed a high-90s
fastball while pitching for Cuba. Earlier this week he defected while
the Cuban national team was in the Netherlands for a tournament.
Chapman explained afterward that he just walked right out of the team
hotel and hopped into a waiting car.

“Now the plan is to sign with a major-league team,” Chapman said.
Seven years ago Jose Contreras defected in a very similar manner before
signing a four-year, $32 million contract with the Yankees. Contreras
was already 30 years old at the time and the consensus has Chapman as a
vastly superior talent, so speculation is that he could command upwards
of $60 million in a bidding war.

Chapman should be targeted heavily in any keeper league where he’s
available, because after watching him in the WBC there’s no doubt that
his raw stuff is elite and has the potential to make him an ace.
However, even with a 100-mph heater and promising off-speed pitches
he’s far from ready to thrive at the age of 21. He had a 5.68 ERA
during the WBC and a 4.03 ERA in Cuba last season.

* Perhaps regretting their decision to trade Mark DeRosa in
December, the Cubs traded for a poor man’s version Thursday by getting
Jeff Baker from the Rockies. Baker isn’t as versatile defensively or as
potent offensively, but can play second base, third base, and the
outfield corners while hitting .257/.313/.458. Of course, he’s batted
just .205/.266/.343 away from Coors Field, so don’t expect too much.

AL Quick Hits: CC Sabathia allowed six runs on 10 hits in 5.2
innings Thursday, giving up more than four runs for the first time
since mid-April … Despite his 7-1 record, Matt Palmer has been demoted
to the Angels’ bullpen to make room for Ervin Santana (triceps) in the
rotation … Vicente Padilla’s next outing has been pushed back to
Tuesday because of shoulder soreness … Mark Buehrle took a shutout into
the ninth inning Thursday while improving to 8-2 … Alexei Ramirez sat
out Thursday’s game after bruising his finger the night before … Tampa
Bay added former top prospect John Meloan to the bullpen mix Thursday,
hoping that the 25-year-old can rediscover his once dominant stuff …
Ichiro Suzuki swiped a base and doubled twice Thursday, boosting his
batting average to .370 … After never playing an inning at the position
prior to this year, Ty Wigginton appeared at shortstop Thursday for the
fifth time this season.

NL Quick Hits: Raul Ibanez (groin) has had his rehab assignment
pushed back twice, so he won’t be rejoining the Phillies until at least
next week … Joey Votto went 4-for-6 with a walk-off single Thursday and
is 15-for-38 (.395) since coming off the disabled list … Tim Redding
allowed five runs while recording seven outs Thursday, as his ERA rose
to 6.99 … Alfonso Soriano was a healthy scratch for the second straight
game Thursday, with Sam Fuld starting in his place … About one month
removed from hip surgery, Brett Myers will begin a throwing program
next week … Derrek Lee went deep twice and drove in a career-high seven
runs Thursday … Matt Diaz had another strong game Thursday, going
3-for-4 with a double and a steal … Doug Davis got stuck with a
no-decision for seven innings of one-run ball Thursday, making him 3-8
despite a 3.15 ERA … Mark DeRosa (wrist) is unlikely to start again
until Tuesday, according to Tony La Russa.

Zack Greinke named the Dbacks’ Opening Day starter

SCOTTSDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 21:  Pitcher Zack Greinke #21 of the Arizona Diamondbacks poses for a portrait during photo day at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick on February 21, 2017 in Scottsdale, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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Not a surprise, but a news item on a slow news day is a news item on a slow news day: Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo has named Zack Greinke as the club’s Opening Day starter.

Greinke’s first season with the Diamondbacks is not exactly what the club hoped for when he signed a six-year, $206.5 million deal in December of 2015. He dealt with oblique and shoulder issues while struggling to a 4.37 ERA over 26 starts. Greinke hasn’t pitched yet this spring, but will make his spring debut on Friday. He and the club are obviously hoping for a quiet March and a strong beginning to the season.

Either for its own sake or to increase the trade value of a player who was acquired by the previous front office regime.

“La Vida Baseball,” celebrating Latino baseball, launches

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A new website has launched. It’s called “La Vida Baseball,” and it’s all about celebrating the past, present and future of Latino baseball from a Latino perspective.

The site, produced in partnership with the Hall of Fame, has four general areas of focus:

  • Who’s Now: Focusing on current Latino players;
  • Who’s Next: Focusing on top prospects here, in the Caribbean and in Central and South America;
  • Our Life: Off-the-Field stuff, including player’s lives, lifestyles and hobbies; and
  • Our Legends: Focusing on Latino baseball history, Hall of Famers and overlooked players.

As the site has just launched there aren’t yet a ton of stories up there, but there is one about Roberto Clemente, another about Felix Hernandez and some other stuff.

The site is much-needed. Baseball reporters for American outlets are overwhelmingly white, non-Spanish speakers. Reporters, who, generally, gravitate to the players who are the most like they are. Which is understandable on some level. When you’re writing stories about people you need to be able to communicate with them and relate to them on more than a mere perfunctory level. As such, no matter how good the intentions of baseball media, we tend to see the clubhouse and the culture of baseball from a distinctly American perspective. And we tend to paint Latino players with a broad, broad brush.

La Vida Baseball will, hopefully, remedy all of that and will, hopefully, give us a fresh and insightful depiction Latino players and their culture.