The Brewers will already be without Zack Greinke for the first couple weeks of the 2011 season because of a fractured rib. Might another one of their top starters be on the sidelines for Opening Day?
According to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, right-hander Shaun Marcum was pulled after just three innings Thursday against the White Sox due to tightness in his throwing shoulder. Marcum was supposed to throw 75 pitches, but he fell well short of that goal.
The 29-year-old former Blue Jay told Haudricourt and the other reporters in Brewers camp that he doesn’t anticipate missing his next start and that he would have continued had it been a regular season outing:
“We don’t want to push it and take a chance of doing something stupid,” said Marcum. “We thought it would be best to come out now and go about it that route. It felt good the first two innings and in between the second and third it started tightening up. We just decided it would be in the best interest to not go back out. If this is regular season, especially August or September, I’m pitching through it and not saying a word.”
For now we have to take Marcum at his word, but ESPN’s Buster Olney heard from Brewers manager Ron Roenicke that the organization is at least somewhat concerned that this could be a lingering issue.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports provides an interesting window into how teams handle a player’s contract after he has died in an accident. It was reported on Sunday that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura died in a car accident in the Dominican Republic. He had three guaranteed years at a combined $19.25 million as well as two $12 million club options with a $1 million buyout each for the 2020-21 seasons.
What happens to that money? Well, that depends on the results of a toxicology report, Rosenthal explains. If it is revealed that Ventura was driving under the influence, payment to his estate can be nullified. The Royals may still choose to pay his estate some money as a gesture of good will, but they would be under no obligation to do so. However, if Ventura’s death was accidental and not caused by his driving under the influence, then his contract remains fully guaranteed and the Royals would have to pay it towards his estate. The Royals would be reimbursed by insurance for an as yet unknown portion of that contract.
The results of the toxicology report won’t be known for another three weeks, according to Royals GM Dayton Moore. Dominican Republic authorities said that there was no alcohol found at the scene.
Ventura’s situation is different than that of Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, who died in a boating accident this past September. Fernandez was not under contract beyond 2016. He was also legally drunk and cocaine was found in his system after the accident. Still, it is unclear whether or not Fernandez was driving the boat. As a result, his estate will receive an accidental death payment of $1.05 million as well as $450,000 through the players’ standard benefits package, Rosenthal points out.
The Associated Press is reporting that the spring training schedule will be shortened by two days starting in 2018. That change comes as part of the new collective bargaining agreement, which was agreed to last month.
Specifically, the voluntary reporting date for pitchers, catchers, and injured players has been changed to 43 days before the start of the regular season, down from 45. For the rest of the players, the reporting date is 38 days before the start of the regular season, down from 40.
The change goes hand-in-hand with allowing teams 187 days, rather than 183, to complete their 162-game regular season schedule.
While just about everyone seems to be in agreement that the spring training exhibition schedule is too long, team owners are likely very hesitant to shorten that part of the spring schedule because it would cost them money. So they’re just allowing players to arrive to camp a couple of days later.