Gil Meche announces his retirement

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This is kind of a shocker: Royals starter Gil Meche has announced his retirement.  This despite the fact that he has about $12 million left on his contract.

Of course Meche has had chronic shoulder trouble since 2009.  Much of it due, one presumes, to Trey Hillman absolutely grinding him into dust.  Rany Jazayerli has chronicled this, the most notorious example of which was Hillman sending Meche out for 121 pitches in a game in 2009 as Meche was suffering from dead arm and trying to overcome various ailments. Maybe Meche goes down anyway, but it was pretty inexcusable all the same.

That aside, Meche gave Kansas City their money’s worth for the first two years of the deal, putting up an ERA+ of 125 and 110, respectively, while pitching over 200 innings.  In the past two seasons Meche only made 43 appearances, 32 of which were starts. He had certainly lost effectiveness and velocity.  He apparently believes that it’s not coming back. Sad to see it end for Gil Meche, but it’s good to see someone comfortable enough with himself and his place in the game to where he can walk away like this.

Ask yourself, though: would you leave $12 million on the table like this? When you could simply hang around the team, sit in the dugout and collect the checks? Most of us would probably say that we couldn’t do that if we knew we couldn’t pitch anymore, but most of us would probably be lying.

Enjoy retirement, Gil.

Report: Shohei Ohtani has sprained UCL in pitching elbow

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The Angels signed Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani for a $2.3 million signing bonus last weekend. They may have damaged goods on their hands. Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that Ohtani underwent a physical that revealed a first-degree sprain of his ulnar collateral ligament. As a result, he got a platelet-rich plasma injection on October 20. This was made known to teams after Ohtani entered MLB’s posting system, so it wasn’t like the Angels went into this blind.

Ohtani’s report said, “Although partial damage of UCL in deep layer of his right UCL exists, he is able to continue full baseball participation with sufficient elbow care program.” It also said Ohtani “will most likely be available to start his throwing program approximately a month from the PRP.”

Passan notes that the report also mentioned that a “small free body” floats in Ohtani’s elbow near his UCL.

Ohtani isn’t without other injuries. He battled hamstring and ankle issues throughout 2017 and underwent right ankle surgery back in October. Thankfully for the Angels, this diagnosis is about as good as it could be considering the circumstances. However, if Ohtani does exacerbate his UCL issue, he may ultimately need Tommy John surgery at some point, which would take him out of action for at least a year.