I’m not sure if this qualifies as a jinx, since I haven’t actually posted the article yet, but Brandon Morrow is one of my “breakout” picks for this season (along with, among others, Carlos Santana) and … well, the Blue Jays just announced that he’ll begin the year on the disabled list with right forearm inflammation.
It’s a tough break for a pitching staff that will likely also be without Frank Francisco and Octavio Dotel early on, and it’s doubly unfortunate because Morrow was dominant in the second half last season and looked ready to take the next step into ace territory.
Hopefully it proves to be a minor roadblock–John Lott of the National Post reports that Morrow may miss only one start–but in the meantime Toronto’s pitching depth will be tested and top prospect Kyle Drabek’s odds of cracking the Opening Day rotation continue to rise.
ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reported on Monday that the Angels have received inquiries from multiple teams concerning starter Hector Santiago. He adds that the club is willing to listen to offers. Jon Morosi of FOX Sports and MLB Network reports that the Marlins are among the teams that have inquired.
Santiago, 28, has pitched to a 4.32 ERA with 96 strikeouts and 47 walks in 110 1/3 innings. Sabermetric statistics such as FIP, xFIP, and SIERA think the lefty has pitched even worse than his ERA indicates however, pitting 2016 as his worst performance to date.
Santiago is earning $5 million this season and will enter his third and final year of arbitration eligibility going into 2017.
We also learned earlier that, in an effort to bolster their starting rotation, the Marlins have also shown interest in Wade Miley of the Mariners and Jeremy Hellickson of the Phillies.
The Rangers placed DH Prince Fielder on the disabled list last week due to more neck discomfort. On Friday, Fielder met with Dr. Drew Dossett, who performed spinal fusion surgery on Fielder in 2014 for a herniated disk in his neck. Dossett has recommended another procedure, so Fielder will undergo season-ending surgery this week, Jeff Wilson of the Fort-Worth Star Telegram reports.
Fielder was having a rough season, batting .212/.292/.334 with eight home runs and 44 RBI in 370 plate appearances. He played in only 42 games in 2014, but returned in 2015 looking more like his old self. Unfortunately, neck and back issues are notoriously difficult to fix. Hopefully, this upcoming procedure does the trick for Fielder.
Fielder is owed $24 million per season through 2020, with the Tigers paying $6 million of it per season.