Rafael Furcal “just not ready” for minor league rehab stint

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Rafael Furcal is four weeks into what was supposed to be a 4-6 week recovery from a broken left thumb, but manager Don Mattingly told Ken Gurnick of MLB.com that he “won’t be sent out on a minor-league rehab assignment until he’s able to swing right-handed without discomfort.”

According to Mattingly that means the earliest Furcal could see game action in the minors is Thursday or Friday, adding that “he’s just not ready.”

Furcal has been taking batting practice as a left-handed hitter for several days and fielded some ground balls yesterday, so the Dodgers are hopeful that any rehab assignment will be a brief one whenever he’s cleared to swing right-handed.

Jamey Carroll has done a solid job as the primary shortstop fill-in.

Jharel Cotton to undergo Tommy John surgery

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Athletics right-hander Jharel Cotton will undergo Tommy John surgery, per an announcement on Saturday. Cotton initially experienced some elbow soreness during a Cactus League start earlier this week and was officially diagnosed with a strained ulnar collateral ligament and strained flexor muscle on Thursday. He’ll be out of commission until 2019 at the earliest.

This isn’t the first time Cotton has dealt with elbow issues. According to MLB.com’s Jane Lee, he had screws inserted in his right elbow after sustaining a stress fracture in 2013 and suffered some minor elbow discomfort again last fall. Prior to his diagnosis, the 24-year-old was poised for his third run with the A’s in 2018. He pitched his first full season with the club in 2017, turning in a 5.58 ERA, 3.7 BB/9 and 7.3 SO/9 in 24 starts and 129 innings.

Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle adds that the team is open to adding pitching depth this spring, though they’ll wait to see if the price goes down on some free agents first. Barring that, right-handed long reliever Andrew Triggs could be tabbed to fill the fifth spot in the rotation.