The deed is done.
According to Allan Ryan of ESPN Boston, Red Sox right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka underwent Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery Friday in L.A.
The procedure was performed by Dr. Lewis Yocum and was deemed a success, though just about every surgery is deemed successful one day after.
Red Sox manager Terry Francona provided an update to reporters Saturday on what he heard from Yocum and where Dice-K plans to do most of his rehabbing:
“Dr. Yocum said he was real pleased with how it went,” Francona told the press. “(Matsuzaka’s) got another appointment with Dr. Yocum in 10 days and, after that, we’ll see if he can start doing some things to get started on his journey back. (Dice-K) understands, and probably agrees, that he needs to stay in Boston. It’s not like he can just go home. Keeping track of things is so important.”
The recovery time for Tommy John surgery can vary, but most pitchers need at least a full year and some cases require 15 months. There’s a chance that Dice-K, who will be a free agent after 2012, has thrown his last baseball as a member of the Red Sox. That’s quite unfortunate given his $103.1 million original price tag.
Last night Robinson Cano hit a solo homer in the ninth inning of the Mariners’ loss to the Texas Rangers. It was his 22nd on the season. Though it was insignificant to the outcome of that game, it was significant to Cano: it was his 300th career homer.
While we’ve become accustomed to not caring much about home run milestones south of, say, 500, 300 homers for Cano is a big deal, as he’s only the third second baseman to cross that threshold in baseball history. The other two: Jeff Kent, at 377, and Rogers Hornsby at 301.
Cano, who turns 35 next month, has a career line of .305/.354/.495 and 1,179 RBI, 512 doubles and 33 triples to go with those bombs. He’s in his 13th big league season and still has six more years left on his deal with the Mariners. He’s averaged 24 homers a year since coming to the Mariners. While he’ll obviously trail off at some point — and while great second baseman’s have this weird habit of just suddenly falling off a cliff — it’s highly likely that he’ll finish his career as the all-time home run leader among second baseman. If he remains healthy he should also get over 3,000 hits in his career.
Cooperstown, here he comes.
Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports that the Reds have signed catcher Tucker Barnhart to a four-year contract extension. The terms: $16 million total, with a $7.5 million club option for the 2022 season that has a $500,000 buyout. He also received a $1.75 million signing bonus.
The deal buys out all three of his arbitration years — he was going to be eligible for the first time this offseason — and the first year of his potential free agency. The club option buys a second. Barnhart made $575,000 this season.
Barnhart, 26, is finishing his second season as the Reds primary catcher. This year he’s hitting .272/.349/.399 with six homers and 42 RBI in 113 games. For his career he has a line of .257/.328/.366 in 330 major league games. His real value is defensive, however. He leads the National League in caught stealing percentage and number of base stealers caught (31-for-70, 44%) and leads all players at any position in the league in defensive WAR according to Baseball-Reference.com.