Kyle Lohse purchases ping-pong table for AA clubhouse

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It’s common for rehabbing major leaguers to spoil the fellas in the minor league clubhouses that they visit.  Whether it’s a meal, a new recliner or a flat-screen television, the big leaguers throw down some cash and the underpaid farm hands live in luxury for a moment. 

Kyle Lohse underwent surgery on his right forearm in late May and is making a final minor league rehab start on Thursday night at the Cardinals’ Double-A affiliate in Springfield, Missouri. 

B.J. Rains of FOX Sports Midwest is on hand for the rehab outing and passes along word that Lohse bought the Double-A clubhouse a ping-pong table at the request of Springfield’s regulars.

The 31-year-old right-hander signed a four-year, $41 million contract with the Cardinals after a solid 2008 season, so it’s no skin off his back.  He will rejoin the big-league rotation next week if all goes well on Thursday evening.  Lohse had a 5.89 ERA and 1.71 WHIP in nine starts before landing on the disabled list.

David Phelps to undergo Tommy John surgery

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Pitcher David Phelps has a torn UCL and will undergo Tommy John surgery, ending his 2018 season, the Mariners announced on Wednesday. Phelps was making brief one-inning stints in the Cactus League as he worked his way back from a procedure to remove a bone spur from his elbow last September. He said he felt the ligament tear on his final pitch against the Angels in his March 17 appearance.

Phelps, 31, was expected to set up for closer Edwin Diaz. The right-hander, between the Marlins and Mariners last season, posted a 3.40 ERA with a 62/26 K/BB ratio in 55 2/3 innings. He and the Mariners avoided arbitration in January, agreeing on a $5.55 million salary for the 2018 campaign. Phelps will become eligible to become a free agent at the end of the season.

As the Mariners noted in their statement, the expected recovery period for Tommy John surgery is 12-15 months, so this very likely cuts into Phelps’ 2019 season as well.