Nathan's surgery scheduled for Friday

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ESPN’s Amy Nelson reports that Joe Nathan’s Tommy John surgery is set for Friday:

Minnesota Twins closer Joe Nathan will have Tommy John surgery on his right elbow on Friday in
New York, a source familiar with the situation said.

The surgery will be performed by the New York Mets’
team physician, Dr. David Altchek, according to the source.

I know you all are expecting me to make an easy joke about the Mets’ medical staff here, but I’m not going to. Mostly because, for all the fuss thrown up over the last year or two, I haven’t seen anything written criticizing the actual medical skills of anyone connected with the team. Nothing credible, anyway.  A sports team’s health is a lot more complicated a thing than the tabloids and the angry fans who find themselves in front of a cameras like to admit. An easy scapegoat, really, in the face of what are obviously frustrating problems.

Of course God help Nathan if Omar Minaya and the Mets’ PR team comes out after the surgery and declares it a success, because those guys stink on ice.

Royals sign Clay Buchholz to minor league deal

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Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports reports that the Royals have signed pitcher Clay Buchholz to a minor league deal. Buchholz will earn a $1.5 million salary if he makes the club’s major league roster and can earn an additional $250,000 through incentives. Buchholz has an opt-out date set for May 1, which means if he isn’t on the Royals’ 25-man roster by then, he can request his release.

Buchholz, 33, was acquired by the Phillies from the Red Sox in December 2016, but he made only two starts before an MRI revealed he had a partial tear of his right flexor pronator mass. He underwent surgery in April and missed the rest of the season.

The Royals recently lost Jesse Hahn, who was diagnosed with a sprained right UCL. Buchholz would likely be in consideration for a rotation spot if another starter were to suffer an injury. Presently, the Royals’ rotation appears set with Danny Duffy, Ian Kennedy, Jason Hammel, Jake Junis, and Nate Karns.