Must-click link: Kevin Correia, coping with his brother’s death

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Last May, Padres starter Kevin Correia lost his 21-year-old brother in a hiking accident. As far as you and I were concerned, that meant he missed a few starts on the bereavement list and we likely didn’t think much else about it because that’s how these things go.  Obviously, however, this was Earth-shattering for Correia.

Today ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick has a story up about Kevin Correia’s struggles to come to grips with his brother’s death these past few months and how difficult such a thing is to do in the decided unnatural context of a baseball career.  It’s a must read, if for no other reason, than because of Correia’s comments about how he was not dedicating his season to his brother’s memory or scrawling his number on the bill of his cap because, really, what would be the point?  I’ve long had a problem with that kind of symbolism because I think, if anything, it causes us to disengage with our grief rather than confront it.  That may just me a quirk of mine.

Anyway, it’s a good, though occasionally painful read.

 

Nick Williams has been trying to sell Jake Arrieta on the Phillies

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CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury reports that Phillies outfielder Nick Williams has been working out daily with free agent starter Jake Arrieta in Austin. The right-hander, who won the 2015 National League Cy Young Award, still remains teamless with spring training less than a month away. Williams has been trying to sell Arrieta on joining the Phillies.

Williams said of Arrieta, “He loves it here [Austin]. He has told me he likes working with young guys. I’m like, ‘All right, come on up.’ But I’m not writing the check. I don’t know what he wants. I don’t really dig into that because I’m not really in his position.”

On GM Matt Klentak’s hunt for pitching help, new manager Gabe Kapler said, “The pursuit is very real. I have a lot of trust that we’ll either go in [to spring training] with a new toy or we will pass on the opportunity because we’re better off giving this collection of pitchers a really healthy look because we thought that we could go acquire that piece a little bit later on this season or in the offseason next year.”

Arrieta, who turns 32 years old in March, went 14-10 with a 3.53 ERA and a 163/55 K/BB ratio in 168 1/3 innings last season with the Cubs. The Cubs, Cardinals, and Brewers have been linked to Arrieta this month.

Presently, the Phillies’ starting rotation figures to include Aaron Nola, Jerad Eickhoff, and Vince Velasquez along with some combination of Nick Pivetta, Ben Lively, Zach Eflin, Mark Leiter, and Jake Thompson. Arrieta would certainly amount to a big upgrade in the starting rotation and could make the Phillies a more attractive landing spot for Bryce Harper or Manny Machado, who become free agents after the 2018 campaign. The Phillies are expected to be in the mix for either or both players.