Potentially bad news coming out of Washington.
Rookie Jordan Zimmermann has been on the disabled list due to soreness in
his pitching elbow since July 19, which was concerning enough, but on
Saturday afternoon the Nationals announced that they were sending the
results of a second MRI to Dr. James Andrews.
Naturally, anytime you
hear elbow and Dr. James Andrews in the same sentence, it’s not a good
“There was some concerning facts on the MRI that was read by our team
Dr. Wiemi Douoguih,” interim GM Mike Rizzo said. “We’ve sent the films
over to Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, who is going to read them
Monday and we’ll have a more definitive answer on Monday where Jordan
is with his elbow.”
Rizzo couldn’t elaborate about what Dr. Douoguih saw, but it’s
clearly of great concern for the organization. Rizzo said his concern
about Zimmermann is “ramped up.”
The 3-5 record and 4.63 ERA might not show it, but the 23-year-old
right-hander has managed a pretty nice rookie season,
compiling 9.1 K/9 and a 92/29 K/BB ratio in 91 1/3 innings. What I find
most encouraging about his long-term potential is the fact that he
pitched that well with the league’s worst defense behind him, suffering through an unlucky 67.5% strand rate and .339 BABIP. If we
were to take defense out of the equation, he actually pitched to a 3.57 FIP. Hopefully he can still realize that potential.
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.