Top prospect Parker to miss season after surgery

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So much for the promising start to Arizona’s offseason. They’ve learned that they’re saving about $5 million because Mark Reynolds just missed qualifying for arbitration and it looks like they’ll hold on to assistants Jerry DiPoto and Peter Woodfork with the Padres set to name Boston’s Jed Hoyer as their new GM. However, they received a big blow Thursday with the news that top prospect Jarrod Parker would undergo Tommy John surgery.
The procedure doesn’t come as a complete surprise, as there had been rumors that it would be necessary ever since the right-hander was shut down in early August. The Diamondbacks said two weeks ago that he had been making progress in his throwing program, but obviously, he had experienced a setback since.
Parker, 20, was the ninth overall pick in the 2007 draft. Before being shut down this year, he went 5-6 with a 3.14 ERA and a 95/38 K/BB ratio in 97 1/3 innings, most of them coming in Double-A. With a big fastball and a high-80s slider, the Diamondbacks view him as a potential ace. Ideally, this will be a mere one-year setback for him. Still, if he had stayed healthy, he was a definite threat to come up next June and perhaps contend for Rookie of the Year honors.

Alex Dickerson to miss 2017 season after undergoing back surgery

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Padres’ outfielder Alex Dickerson won’t see PETCO Park anytime soon — at least, not as its starting left fielder. The 27-year-old was diagnosed with a bulging disc in his lower back prior to the start of the 2017 season, and hasn’t made any kind of substantial progress in the months since. According to Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune, he suffered a setback in his recovery process last week and is set to undergo a season-ending discectomy next Wednesday.

Over 285 plate appearances, Dickerson batted .257/.333/.455 with 10 home runs and a .788 OPS for the Padres in 2016. He missed several days with a right hip contusion last July, but hasn’t experienced any substantial health problems since undergoing surgery in 2014 to repair a torn ligament in his left ankle.

The expected recovery period for lower back surgery is 3-4 months, according to Lin, which puts Dickerson’s estimated return just a few days before the end of the regular season. The Padres aren’t scraping the bottom of the NL West, but their 29-44 record doesn’t bode well for a postseason run this year. Assuming Dickerson rehabs his back in a timely manner, he should be in fine form to enter the competition for left field next spring.

Video: Hanley Ramirez’s No. 250 career home run barely left the field

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Hanley Ramirez played a pivotal role during the Red Sox’ 9-4 win over the Angels on Friday night, crushing a two-run homer off of Alex Meyer to bring the Sox up to a four-run lead in the fourth inning.

Well, crushed might be the wrong word. The ball cleared the right field fence with a mere 350 feet, landing just beyond Pesky’s Pole to bring Ramirez’s career home run total to an even 250.

According to the ESPN Home Run Tracker, Ramirez’s milestone blast wasn’t the shortest home run of the year — not by a long shot. That distinction currently belongs to Rays’ outfielder Corey Dickerson, who skimmed the left field fence at Rogers Centre with a 326-foot homer back in April.