Broken toes, twisted testicles, and Spaghettios

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Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune notes that perhaps Ryan Dempster’s broken toe is actually the dugout’s revenge for Carlos Zambrano beating up the Gatorade machine
last month. And in the spirit of busting your toe while trying to
celebrate a victory, Sullivan also passes along 10 “of the more foolish
Cubs injuries in history”:

1. Sammy Sosa went on the disabled list with back spasms after sneezing.

2. Kerry Wood injured his back while slipping in his hot tub.

3. Jose Cardenal couldn’t play one day because he said his eyelids were swollen shut when he woke up.

4. Zambrano suffered an elbow injury the Cubs said was related to spending too much time on his laptop.

5. Alfonso Soriano strained a calf while making a hop during a catch, though he denied the two were related.

6. Mike Harkey injured his knee while turning a cartwheel on the field before a game.

7. Kyle Farnsworth injured a knee after kicking an electric fan in the tunnel between the clubhouse and the dugout.

8. Steve Trout went on the disabled list after falling off an exercise bike.

9. Felix Pie twisted a testicle in spring training.

10. Mike Remlinger sprained his pinkie finger when he got it caught between two recliners while relaxing in the Cubs clubhouse.

Normally this is where I’d make a snarky comment about swollen
eyelids or twisted testicles, but two months ago I burned both of my
hands–to the point that the skin was bubbling off and the marks are
still somewhat visible–while trying to transport a bowl of Spaghettios
from the kitchen to the couch. Seriously. Life is dangerous, people.
Wear a helmet.

Nick Williams has been trying to sell Jake Arrieta on the Phillies

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CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury reports that Phillies outfielder Nick Williams has been working out daily with free agent starter Jake Arrieta in Austin. The right-hander, who won the 2015 National League Cy Young Award, still remains teamless with spring training less than a month away. Williams has been trying to sell Arrieta on joining the Phillies.

Williams said of Arrieta, “He loves it here [Austin]. He has told me he likes working with young guys. I’m like, ‘All right, come on up.’ But I’m not writing the check. I don’t know what he wants. I don’t really dig into that because I’m not really in his position.”

On GM Matt Klentak’s hunt for pitching help, new manager Gabe Kapler said, “The pursuit is very real. I have a lot of trust that we’ll either go in [to spring training] with a new toy or we will pass on the opportunity because we’re better off giving this collection of pitchers a really healthy look because we thought that we could go acquire that piece a little bit later on this season or in the offseason next year.”

Arrieta, who turns 32 years old in March, went 14-10 with a 3.53 ERA and a 163/55 K/BB ratio in 168 1/3 innings last season with the Cubs. The Cubs, Cardinals, and Brewers have been linked to Arrieta this month.

Presently, the Phillies’ starting rotation figures to include Aaron Nola, Jerad Eickhoff, and Vince Velasquez along with some combination of Nick Pivetta, Ben Lively, Zach Eflin, Mark Leiter, and Jake Thompson. Arrieta would certainly amount to a big upgrade in the starting rotation and could make the Phillies a more attractive landing spot for Bryce Harper or Manny Machado, who become free agents after the 2018 campaign. The Phillies are expected to be in the mix for either or both players.