Just don’t call it a setback. According to what Rockies general manager Dan O’Dowd told Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post, Huston Street was simply seeking a second opinion on his nagging right shoulder.
“Everything looked great. I was told they
didn’t see any issues at all, so we are going to keep doing the same
thing with him,” O’Dowd said after the Rockies’ 5-3 opening day win over
Milwaukee. “He wanted a second opinion and everything came back good.”
Street has already suffered multiple setbacks due to inflammation on his right shoulder this spring. According to Renck, Street plans to push ahead with his current program of strengthening the shoulder. He’ll have to progress to playing catch and throwing bullpen sessions before he embarks on a minor league rehab assignment. Given his previous setbacks, we shouldn’t count on him jumping these hurdles before the start of May.
In the interim, Franklin Morales will continue to serve as closer. Not surprisingly, the young left-hander was shaky in his first save opportunity against the Brewers on Monday, hitting Rickie Weeks and throwing a wild pitch, however he was eventually able to shut the door. He’ll make things interesting over the next few weeks, but Morales has the powerful stuff to dominate.
The Astros remain in contact with the Athletics on starting pitcher Sonny Gray, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. The Astros have added Charlie Morton this offseason, but the club has been trying to add a big-name starting pitcher to put at the top of the rotation behind Dallas Keuchel.
Gray, 27, was limited to 22 starts in the 2016 season due to a forearm issue. His stats left a lot to be desired, as he finished with a 5-11 record, a 5.69 ERA, and a 94/42 K/BB ratio over 117 innings. Considering how Gray pitched in the previous three years, he’s a good bet to bounce back.
Gray is under team control through 2019, which is a big draw for the Astros. Needless to say, the Athletics would want a haul in terms of prospects. Gray will earn $3.575 million in 2017, having avoided arbitration in his first year of eligibility.
As we noted last week, The Chicago Cubs took the unusual step of not waiting until the summer after winning the World Series to make their customary White House visit to meet the president. They did it today, seeing President Obama a few short days before he leaves office.
Despite the fact that Obama is a White Sox fan, he met the Cubs with diplomacy and grace. It’s almost as if he’s been in that business for the past eight years. In return, he was given some gifts by the Cubs: Theo Epstein presented Obama with a No. 44 Cubs jersey, a tile from the center field scoreboard at Wrigley Field, and a lifetime pass to Wrigley as well.
Obama is staying in D.C. after he leaves office this week, hanging around so his daughter can finish high school in the same place she started. Even so, he’s likely going to be back to Chicago a good bit over the rest of his life, so he’ll likely be able to put the free pass to work. Assuming it comes with, like, six companion passes for his Secret Service detail.