Angels pitching coach Mike Butcher had surgery Thursday to remove a cancerous nodule from his thyroid gland and is expected to make a full recovery, according to Mark Saxon of ESPNLA.com.
In fact, Butcher was already back at work Sunday for the final team meetings before pitchers and catchers arrive at spring training, albeit while wearing a neck brace.
Butcher was examined by a doctor after complaining of neck pain and a specialist recommended surgery when a biopsy showed the cancerous growth. As a player Butcher spent parts of four seasons with the Angels as a reliever in the 1990s and the 45-year-old took over as the team’s pitching coach following the 2006 season when Bud Black left to become the Padres’ manager.
Orioles DH Mark Trumbo drilled a two-run home run to left-center field off of reliever Ben Heller in the eighth inning of Sunday afternoon’s game against the Yankees. In doing so, he became the first player to reach the 40-homer plateau this season.
Trumbo finished 1-for-4 on the afternoon. Along with the 40 dingers, he’s hitting .257/.317/.541 with 96 RBI. He has already set a career-high in homers and is four RBI away from tying his career high in that regard.
Trumbo is eligible for free agency after the season. Needless to say, his performance in 2016 bodes well for his ability to secure a hefty contract.
Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported on Sunday that Pirates starter Gerrit Cole was scratched from Monday’s start against the Cubs. Cole instead has flown to Los Angeles to have his sore right elbow examined by a specialist, Dr. Neal ElAttrache.
Cole struggled in Wednesday’s start against the Astros, yielding five runs in five innings. He did not throw his regular between-starts bullpen. An MRI didn’t reveal any ligament damage, but a bone spur remains a possibility.
Cole, 25, has a 3.55 ERA and a 95/32 K/BB ratio in 144 innings over 20 starts this season. The right-hander missed some time earlier this season with a triceps injury.