Ryan Sweeney tried to play through a knee injury, receiving a cortisone shot and platelet-rich injections within the past two weeks, but ultimately decided to undergo season-ending surgery.
A couple different doctors looked at the knee and it wasn’t a matter of if I needed the surgery. It was a matter of when I was going to get it. So we just had to make that decision. I just felt like I’m a young player and to try to finish the year and play in pain, then get it done after the season and miss parts of next year, that’s not what I want to do. I don’t want to miss any of next year. It’s just one of those things I knew I needed to get done now.
He’s expected to need 4-6 months of rehab and Jane Lee of MLB.com reports that Sweeney may yet opt for surgery on his other knee as long as he’s sidelined anyway.
Sweeney leads the A’s with a .294 batting average, but has just one homer in 331 plate appearances and has managed a measly .386 slugging percentage through 1,382 career trips to the plate. Despite the lack of power he’s been valuable thanks to getting on base at a solid clip and playing very good defense, so how his range recovers from going under the knife will be key for the 25-year-old’s long-term outlook.
MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Twins say minor league pitcher Yorman Landa has died in Venezuela. He was 22.
The club said in a statement that the Twins are “deeply saddened by the heartbreaking loss.” The team did not say how he died.
Landa pitched in the 2016 season with the Fort Meyers Miracle, going 2-2 with 7 saves and a 3.24 ERA in 41 2/3 innings pitched. His career minor-league ERA was 2.66.
Landa had been on the Twins’ 40-man roster, but was dropped after the season. The organization signed him to a minor-league contract last week.
Landa was signed by the Twins in 2010 as a 16-year old from Santa Teresa, Venezuela.
A report from the Baltimore Sun’s Dan Connolly suggests that free agent catcher Welington Castillo currently tops the Orioles’ list of potential backstop targets for the 2017 season. With Matt Wieters on the market, the Orioles lack a suitable platoon partner for Caleb Joseph behind the dish, and Connolly adds that the club has been discussing a multi-year deal with Castillo’s representatives since the Winter Meetings.
Castillo batted .264/.322/.423 with the Diamondbacks in 2016, racking up 14 home runs and driving in a career-high 68 RBI in 457 PA. His bat provides much of his upside, and Connolly quoted an anonymous National League scout who believes that the 29-year-old’s defensive profile has fallen short of his potential in recent years.
For better or worse, both the Orioles and Castillo appear far from locking in a deal for 2017. Both the Rays and Braves have expressed interest in the veteran catcher during the past week, while the Orioles are reportedly considering Wieters, Nick Hundley and Chris Iannetta as alternatives behind the plate.