You know what I can’t wait for? I can’t wait for teams that ridiculously put promising young starting pitchers in the bullpen to start complaining about how they don’t have enough starting pitching. That’s what I can’t wait for.
In the meantime, the non-deluded teams out there realize that there isn’t anything as valuable as a solid starter. And this is brought home when they lose one, like the Braves might:
Right-hander Jair Jurrjens left his start against the Blue Jays after just one inning on Thursday afternoon because of discomfort in his right side. Jurrjens said the soreness originated near his rib cage, but was not related to his oblique muscle. He believed it was a cramp and that he could have continued pitching, but he left the game for precautionary reasons.
It doesn’t sound serious. And if it does — hey! — the Braves just sent down a guy who could do a pretty decent job of filling in if Jurrjens has to miss some time. He’s available as a starter, you see, because no one overthought things and convinced someone that he should be in the bullpen. Because the Braves understand that you can string together a bullpen if you have to, but that a young starting pitcher is a valuable asset.
And if you think I’m a bit animated about this, well, you’re right. Because I just wrote my damn Texas Rangers preview in which I pegged everything to Neftali Feliz starting the year in the rotation, and now the Rangers have gone and made that inoperative. Craigy isn’t big on timing. Craigy isn’t big on editing. Craigy is big on holding petty grudges, though, so yeah, I’m gonna stew for a while.
Rangers reliever Jake Diekman will have surgery on January 25 to help alleviate ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease. As a result, the lefty will miss at least half of the 2017 regular season, Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. Diekman was diagnosed with the illness when he was 11 years old. He has brought awareness to the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America with a “Gut It Out” campaign.
Diekman, who turns 30 years old on Saturday, finished the 2016 campaign with a 3.40 ERA and a 59/26 K/BB ratio in 53 innings. He came to the Rangers from the Phillies in the Cole Hamels trade on July 31, 2015.
The Rangers and Diekman avoided arbitration last Friday, agreeing to a $2.55 million salary for the 2017 season.
It’s been on the verge of happening for a few days now, but now it’s official: the Toronto Blue Jays and Jose Bautista have reached a one-year deal with a mutual option. The deal is pending physical. An announcement making the deal official is expected later in week.
The exact financial figures have not been disclosed, but Jon Heyman reports that it will be in excess of the $17.2 million Bautista turned down when he turned down the Jays’ qualifying offer.
Bautista had a tough 2016, hitting .234/.366/.452 with 22 home runs and 69 RBI, and some clubs likely considered a long-term deal for the 36-year-old too risky, this leading to the relative lack of reported interest in Bautista by other clubs. But back-to-back ALCS appearances by the Jays and the success and popularity Bautista has experienced in Toronto make his re-signing there a pretty sensible move for all involved.