Angels pitching coach Mike Butcher underwent surgery to remove cancerous growth

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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.

Yankees acquire A.J. Cole from the Nats

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The New York Yankees have acquired reliever A.J. Cole from the Washington Nationals for cash considerations.

Cole was supposed to be the Nats’ fifth starter this year but that didn’t work out too well. He pitched in four games for the Nats, starting two, to the tune of a 13.06 ERA, having given up six home runs in 10.1 innings. That’s . . . something.

Don’t get too used to Cole on the New York roster, as this seems like one of those “give us an arm” for a couple of days deals, after which Cole will be DFA’d and will either accept an assignment to Scranton or be cut loose. Such is life at the fringes for a guy who is out of minor league options.