Johan Santana moves to have the sexual assault case against him dismissed

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A year ago,  Johan Santana was accused of rape. The police investigated, found the accuser’s statements “to be inconsistent with that of other witnesses” and declined to file charges.  Back in August, Santana’s accuser filed a civil suit in Florida.  Santana is now asking that it be dismissed. Why? Because the accuser filed it anonymously, using a Jane Doe, rather than using her real name.

Those of you who have filed high profile trials involving rape or sexual abuse may be wondering why Santana would be asking this, given how common it is for alleged victims to be given anonymity. But that’s mostly in criminal cases, where the victims are merely witnesses, not parties to the suit. In civil suits, such as this one, the accuser is a party seeking money damages. In such cases, the presumption of our legal system is that it is open to the public, and that anonymity is only granted a party if his or her interest in maintaining their privacy outweighs the public interests invoked by an open legal system.

While this is a matter that continues to be litigated, the burden to remain anonymous in a civil lawsuit is pretty high, and it’s not at all uncommon for courts to require that a Jane Doe plaintiff either sue under her own name or else drop the suit, even in sexual assault and rape cases.

And yeah, I realize this has little to do with baseball, but there are a handful of legal issues in the world that still hold my interest, and this is one of them, so you get my ramblings on it.  Wait around a while and I’m sure someone’s option will be picked up.

Julio Urias to undergo season-ending shoulder surgery

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The news has gone from bad to worse for Dodgers’ left-hander Julio Urias, who is scheduled for anterior capsule surgery on his left shoulder next Tuesday and expected to be sidelined through the middle of the 2018 season. His MRI came back negative on Wednesday, giving the Dodgers some hope that the 20-year-old’s bout of shoulder inflammation wasn’t masking any structural damage, but the pain lingered several days later and prompted further concern from the club. The procedure will be performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache.

Urias was optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City in late May and placed on the disabled list with left shoulder discomfort several weeks into his assignment. At the major league level, he owned a 5.40 ERA, 5.4 BB/9 and 4.2 SO/9 through 23 1/3 innings, going 0-2 in five starts with Los Angeles. He made a brief rebound in Triple-A, posting three wins and striking out 17 of 67 batters in 17 1/3 innings before landing on the DL.

It’s a tough blow for the southpaw, who had yet to hit his stride in the majors before getting sidelined with shoulder issues. The Dodgers were especially mindful of this outcome for Urias, and had taken preventative measures to protect his arm by establishing a strict innings limit last season. According to club president Andrew Friedman, there’s a small silver lining here: while Urias’ injury will keep him out of work for at least 12 months, he doesn’t appear to have sustained any damage to his labrum or rotator cuff, and could be facing a much more streamlined recovery process as a result. Whether he’ll be able to rebound once he takes the mound again remains to be seen.

Tigers release Francisco Rodriguez

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Tigers’ right-handed reliever Francisco Rodriguez was released on Friday, per a team announcement. The club recalled fellow right-hander Bruce Rondon from Triple-A Toledo in a corresponding move.

The former closer got the boot after losing his closing role in early May, giving left-hander Justin Wilson a chance to impress at the back end of the bullpen. It’s been a rough year for Rodriguez, who manufactured six blown saves and a 7.82 ERA, 3.9 BB/9 and 8.2 SO/9 over 25 1/3 innings for the Tigers. The final straw, it seemed, came with Robinson Cano‘s grand slam in the seventh inning of the Tigers’ 6-9 loss to the Mariners on Thursday.

While the demotion to a clean-up role and an apparent lack of communication caused Rodriguez considerable frustration, he’s two years removed from his last dominant performance as a major league closer and has shown few signs of returning to form. His recent slump doesn’t diminish the impressive totals he’s racked up over his 16-year career — 437 saves and six All-Star nominations among them — but if he can’t break out of it soon, he may not receive the kind of high leverage role he’s seeking with another big league team, either.