Often when a pitcher travels to Dr. James Andrews’ office is Alabama for an examination the next news is announcement that arm surgery is needed, but in Frank Francisco’s case his visit to Dr. Andrews is for a sore right pectoral muscle.
That doesn’t mean he won’t need surgery, of course, but an MRI exam showed no structural damage over the weekend and manager John Farrell expressed optimism that the injury will prove minor, telling Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com:
I think more than anything this is to give us as much information as possible to give him peace of mind and just make sure there’s nothing in there. We have every reason to believe there isn’t, to date, because of the MRI we’ve received, so there’s no structural issues. But we just want to be sure we do the right thing by Frankie and get him checked out by Dr. Andrews.
Octavio Dotel is also sidelined by a hamstring injury, so if the season were starting today the Blue Jays’ closer would likely be Jon Rauch, who held his own as the Twins’ closer for much of last year.
Red Sox DH Hanley Ramirez announced via Twitter on Tuesday that he underwent surgery — left shoulder arthroscopy and debridement, per Tim Britton of the Providence Journal. Evan Drellich of NBC Sports Boston reports that the operation is considered relatively minor.
Ramirez, 33, has been dealing with shoulder issues for a while, which explains his lackluster regular season numbers. He hit .242/.320/.429 with 23 home runs, 62 RBI, and 58 runs scored in 553 plate appearances. He turned things on in the postseason, though, racking up eight hits in 15 trips to the plate in the ALDS against the Astros.
Ramirez should be good to go heading into spring training. He has one more guaranteed year left on his contract at $22 million and has a vesting option for the 2019 season worth another $22 million.
Pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez also had surgery, Britton reports. The procedure was right knee patellofemoral ligament reconstruction and it was performed by Dr. James Andrews. Rodriguez has a six-month timetable, which Britton estimates will allow him to make his 2018 regular season debut around the All-Star break.
Rodriguez, 24, posted a 4.19 ERA with a 150/50 K/BB ratio in 137 1/3 innings this past season. He’ll be entering his first of four years of arbitration eligibility this offseason.