Scratched from his Thursday start and placed on the disabled list with the same elbow problems that shelved him earlier this season, Joe Blanton will now get a second opinion from Dr. James Andrews.
Meeting with Dr. Andrews is never a good thing for a pitcher and beyond that Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that “the Phillies are still unsure of the problems inside Blanton’s right elbow” and “Blanton expressed some doubt as to what is going on in his elbow.”
In other words no one knows what’s going on, although at this point the decision to let Blanton pitch through elbow pain previously looks like a very questionable call for the pitcher and the team. In between the DL stints Blanton had a 5.50 ERA in six starts.
At the very least he figures to miss a few weeks and even if Dr. Andrews doesn’t discover anything that requires surgery you can be sure the Phillies will be a lot more patient bringing Blanton back this time.
Infielder Brett Lawrie successfully avoided arbitration and signed a one-year contract with the White Sox on Friday, per a team announcement. FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman added that the deal was for $3.5 million, significantly lower than the $4.125 million Lawrie was paid by the White Sox in 2016.
The White Sox acquired Lawrie last December in a swap for minor league arms Zack Erwin and J.B. Wendelken. After splitting time at second and third base for the Athletics in 2015, Lawrie slotted in at second base and DH for the White Sox and batted .248/.310/.413 with 12 home runs in 384 PA. While it’s strange to see a healthy, fairly productive player receive a salary reduction in arbitration, Lawrie missed nearly half of the season with a strain in his left hamstring, though he’s projected to return at full health by the start of the 2017 season.
Left-hander Brian Duensing signed a one-year, $2 million contract with the Cubs on Friday, per a report from FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman.
The free agent spent the bulk of his 2016 season with the Orioles after receiving a call-up from Triple-A Norfolk in early June. He underwent elbow surgery several weeks later when a freak bullpen injury revealed cartilage chips and inflammation in his pitching elbow, but recovered to finish the season with a 4.05 ERA and 10 strikeouts in 13 1/3 innings for the club. The Orioles utilized him for a final out during the AL Wild Card game, during which Duensing recorded a five-pitch strikeout in the ninth inning of their 5-2 loss to the Blue Jays.
The 33-year-old is currently expected to bulk up the Cubs’ left-handed relief corps, with fellow left-hander Mike Montgomery slated for the rotation in 2017.