Pedro Alvarez is not in the best shape of his life

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Pedro, Pedro, Pedro:

It will take a big man to carry the Pirates offense next season, but not quite as big as Pedro Alvarez happens to be at the moment, apparently. Alvarez has put on a few pounds this off-season, and more than one team official isn’t thrilled about it. At last report, the third baseman had ballooned in excess of 240 pounds, at least 15 pounds more than he finished last season.

He’s young and he’ll lose it if he tries so this is no big whoop. And of course, he’s destined for first base anyway.  But really, dude. This is not what any Pirates fans wanted to hear in late January.

UPDATE:  Some readers are telling me that the source of this report — Piratesreport.com — is not reliable.  I’m not familiar with them, so I really don’t know.  Probably worth taking this with a grain of salt, though.  Presumably MLB.com or the Post-Gazette or someone will follow up on this soon and we’ll know for sure.

(link via Big League Stew)

Rubby De La Rosa to undergo a second Tommy John Surgery

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This is unfortunate: Diamondbacks reliever Rubby De La Rosa will undergo Tommy John surgery. This will be the second Tommy John procedure of his career, the first coming back in 2011.

De La Rosa has had elbow  issues for his entire career. Last year his UCL was barking again and he underwent stem cell therapy to try to avoid a second surgery, but it obviously hasn’t worked out. He’s pitched in only nine games this year, allowing four earned runs in seven and two-thirds innings, striking out 12.

I first saw De La Rosa in spring training in 2011. I thought his stuff was pretty phenomenal and figured he’d be a good one. Great stuff is often a function of heavy strain on an elbow, however, and pitchers breaking is, unfortunately, the rule in baseball far more than the exception.

He’ll miss a year at least. We likely won’t see him until spring of 2019, most likely on a minor league deal.

Cardinals closer Trevor Rosenthal to be examined for arm tightness

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Cardinal closer Trevor Rosenthal was taken out of last night’s game against the Red Sox after he gave up a big homer and a walk. He velocity was down as well, and Mike Mathney said after the game that he didn’t look right. Now the Cardinals are going to take a closer look at him, and he’ll be examined today for what is being described as “tightness” in his right arm.

Rosenthal is 3-4 with a 3.40 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 76/20 in 47.2 innings. He has 11 saves after regaining the closer’s job from Seung Hwan Oh. Now some combination of Oh, Tyler Lyons, and John Brebbia will fill in for Rosenthal to the extent he needs to miss time.