Dr. Lewis Yocum advises rehab over surgery for Jake Arrieta

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Orioles rookie Jake Arrieta was tentatively scheduled to have a bone spur removed from his elbow this week, but instead he sought a second opinion from renowned orthopedic surgeon Dr. Lewis Yocum, who advised him to rehab rather than going under the knife.
Obviously avoiding surgery is always the preference, particularly for a 24-year-old pitcher, but generally speaking the removal of a bone spur is considered a minor procedure with few long-term risks associated. Dozens of big-league pitchers have it done every season without much fanfare.
According to Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com, after looking at the MRI results Yocum concluded that the bone spur “doesn’t hamper him at all.” Arrieta finishes his rookie campaign with a 4.66 ERA and 52/48 K/BB ratio in 100 innings spread over 18 starts. Assuming that Yocum is right, Arrieta will have a full-time spot in the Orioles’ rotation next season.

Justin Verlander named ALCS MVP

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Following the Astros’ decisive 4-0 shutout over the Yankees on Saturday night, Justin Verlander was named the Most Valuable Player of the American League Championship Series. Hall of Fame outfielder and former MLB manager Frank Robinson handed the award to Verlander, who was beaming as he thanked his teammates and members of the Astros’ organization.

“I’ve got to say, it came down to the wire, and one thing kept going off in my head was Dallas,” Verlander told the crowd gathered at Minute Maid Park. “When he called me, he said that I won’t regret my decision to join the Houston Astros. And here we are right now, it’s the best feeling in the world. We’ve got four more wins to win a World Series, and I do not regret my decision to come here. This is the best feeling a player can have. So, thank you.”

Among a cast that boasted the likes of Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa and Dallas Keuchel, among others, Verlander was spectacular. He locked down a complete game win in Game 2, holding the Yankees to one run on five hits and a walk and striking out a postseason-high 13 batters. In Game 6, he saved the Astros from elimination with seven scoreless innings, helping propel the club to their eventual 7-1 finish that set up their series-clinching finale on Saturday.

The 34-year-old righty also took his place among some postseason greats. Thanks to an eight-strikeout outing on Friday night, his collective 136 postseason strikeouts are good for sixth-most in MLB playoff history, just a smidgen shy of Tom Glavine (143), Mike Mussina (145), Roger Clemens (173), Andy Pettitte (183) and John Smoltz (199). He also joined Bob Gibson, Curt Schilling and Sandy Koufax as one of just four hurlers to strike out 20+ Yankees in a postseason series.