Cliff Lee gave Mariners fans a scare earlier this month by undergoing surgery to remove bone spurs from his left foot, but it looks like reports of the operation being “minor” will prove accurate.
Lee is scheduled to throw his first bullpen session of the spring next Wednesday, which would actually put him slightly ahead of the initial recovery timetable issued by the Mariners. Here’s how Lee explained the situation to Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times:
The doctor looked at it and found this bony mass at the top of my foot. I was told I could do two things: either have surgery on it right away or start taking these shots to numb the pain and keep taking them all season. No way I was going to do that, so I had the surgery. I’m getting around pretty good on it right now.
Definitely the right decision, because trying to pitch through the pain would have been a mistake and there’s still more than enough time for Lee to get ready for Opening Day. In fact, if he can get on a mound next week and avoid a setback he’ll basically be right on schedule with the rest of the pitching staff.
Cardinal closer Trevor Rosenthal was taken out of last night’s game against the Red Sox after he gave up a big homer and a walk. He velocity was down as well, and Mike Mathney said after the game that he didn’t look right. Now the Cardinals are going to take a closer look at him, and he’ll be examined today for what is being described as “tightness” in his right arm.
Rosenthal is 3-4 with a 3.40 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 76/20 in 47.2 innings. He has 11 saves after regaining the closer’s job from Seung Hwan Oh. Now some combination of Oh, Tyler Lyons, and John Brebbia will fill in for Rosenthal to the extent he needs to miss time.
Aaron Judge hit a monster home run in last night’s win over the Mets, but he also set a dubious record. Judge struck out for the 33rd consecutive game, setting a new mark for a position player in a single season.
Yes, that’s qualified. No pitchers, of course, as I assume many of them have struck out in more than 33 straight games. Also, Adam Dunn once struck out in 36 straight games, but that straddled two seasons: he struck out in the final four games of 2011 and the first 32 games of 2012. Still, Judge’s feat is impressive, and given the nature of his game and the state of baseball these days, it’s not hard to imagine him striking out in three or four more straight games anyway.
None of which, by the way, should be all that much of a slight on Judge. The guy is still hitting .291/.420/.614, even with his second half slump. If I was a manager I’d happily accept his whiffs in exchange for everything else he brings to the table. It’s not 1959 anymore, and strikeouts are not the worst thing that can happen.