Guzman not at full strength after shoulder surgery

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I tuned into yesterday afternoon’s Nationals-Tigers game just to see Stephen Strasburg’s spring training debut, but also got a look at Cristian Guzman’s surgically repaired right shoulder as he lobbed a weak, high-arcing throw to first base after fielding a Strasburg-induced grounder.
Even before the injury Guzman was pretty lax with his throws to first base, dating all the way back to his time with the Twins from 1999-2004, but yesterday’s effort looked like it had a parachute attached and sure enough today manager Jim Riggleman told Ben Goessling of that the shortstop “is a little concerned to air it out.”
Riggleman estimated that Guzman’s shoulder is “probably at about 90 percent” strength, which if true should worry the Nationals quite a bit because adding 10 percent to yesterday’s throws still equals a whole lot of infield hits.
Shortstop prospect Ian Desmond has been impressive early in camp, but Goessling notes that Guzman likely isn’t in any danger of losing his starting job. Instead the Nationals have been giving Desmond reps as a right fielder in addition to moving him around the infield. Desmond may begin the year as a utility man, but there’s a strong chance he’ll have unseated Guzman or second baseman Adam Kennedy by midseason.

Dexter Fowler becomes first black player to play for the Cubs in the World Series

CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 25:  Dexter Fowler #24 of the Chicago Cubs reacts after striking out in the first inning against the Cleveland Indians in Game One of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on October 25, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Tim Bradbury/Getty Images)
Tim Bradbury/Getty Images

The last time the Cubs were in the World Series was 1945, two years before Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in baseball. As such, until Tuesday night, the Cubs never had a black player play for them in the World Series.

Dexter Fowler changed that, leading off the ballgame at Progressive Field against the Indians. Fowler was made aware of this fact three days ago by Rany Jazayerli of The Ringer:

Fowler, in that at-bat, went ahead in the count 2-1 but ended up striking out looking on a Corey Kluber sinker.

Drew Pomeranz does not need arm surgery

BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 10:  Drew Pomeranz #31 of the Boston Red Sox throws a pitch in the fifth inning against the Cleveland Indians during game three of the American League Divison Series at Fenway Park on October 10, 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Red Sox lefty Drew Pomeranz was of limited utility during the postseason as he began experiencing soreness in his left forearm near the end of the 2016 season. There was some thought that he might need offseason surgery but Pomeranz was examined by doctors who determined that he does not need any surgery, Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald reports. President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said:

He has seen the doctor, the doctor looked at him. I can’t really disclose totally everything that was done, but the doctor said no surgical procedure and the doctor feels he will be ready for next spring training for us.

Pomeranz, 27, finished the 2016 regular season with an aggregate 3.32 ERA and a 186/65 K/BB ratio in 170 2/3 innings between the Padres and Red Sox. He operated out of the bullpen during the playoffs, allowing two runs on four hits and two walks with seven strikeouts over 3 2/3 innings.

The Red Sox acquired Pomeranz in a trade with the Padres in July. It was a trade that earned Padres GM A.J. Preller a 30-day suspension from Major League Baseball, as he reportedly kept two sets of medical records in order to deceive trade partners.