To no one’s surprise, A’s pitcher Rich Harden came down with a bit of soreness in his right lat muscle last week after throwing 10-15 pitches in one of his first bullpen sessions of the spring.
The oft-injured starter hasn’t tallied over 150 innings in a season since 2004 and it seemed plausible that this early-spring injury might turn into something more. So far, though, everything is positive.
Harden told the Associated Press, via CSN Bay Area, on Thursday that he is no longer feeling discomfort in the area of his once-sore lat muscle.
He wants to get back on a mound soon, despite the A’s decision to shut him down for two whole weeks.
“It’s coming along,” Harden said Thursday. “I want to get out there, but it’s on the trainers. I’m 100 percent pain-free.”
The A’s will probably play it safe with Harden given his injury history and keep him sidelined through all of next week, but it’s nice to hear that he is feeling better. The right-hander signed a one-year, $1.5 million contract with Oakland this winter and is expected to compete for the final spot in the club’s starting rotation this spring.
The Reds announced earlier that they plan to extend the protective netting at Great American Ball Park in time for Opening Day next season. You can add the Padres and Mariners to what will surely be a growing list.
A young fan was struck in the face by a foul ball at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday, which gave new life to the netting debate. Some fans and media types think Major League Baseball is not doing enough to protect fans. While Major League Baseball has issued guidelines for protective netting, it is ultimately up to the teams to decide just how much netting to use.
Orioles closer Zach Britton is likely done for the remainder of the 2017 season after receiving a stem cell injection in his left knee, Peter Schmuck and Jon Meoli of the Baltimore Sun report. Britton has been battling knee problems for most of the season.
The Orioles are still technically in the AL Wild Card race, entering play Thursday 5.5 games behind the Twins for the second Wild Card slot. With only nine games remaining, however, the 73-80 Orioles are likely being realistic about their chances and not taking any unnecessary risks with Britton.
Britton, 29, put up a 2.89 ERA with 15 saves and a 29/18 K/BB ratio in 37 1/3 innings this season. He will be eligible for arbitration for the fourth and final time this offseason.