The dreaded oblique strain has claimed another victim, with the Rays placing starting catcher John Jaso on the disabled list.
Jose Lobaton has been called up to take his spot on the roster after hitting well at Triple-A, but veteran Kelly Shoppach figures to see most of the playing time behind the plate.
Jaso and Shoppach were basically splitting time, although it wasn’t quite a true platoon, with the left-handed-hitting Jaso in the lineup 50 times and the right-handed-hitting Shoppach getting the nod 40 times.
Jaso has struggled following a very strong rookie season, with his batting average dropping from .263 to .222, his on-base percentage falling from .372 to .300, and his OPS declining from .750 to .639. And he’s also thrown out just 15 percent of stolen base attempts.
The big presidential pardon news today concerns the commutation of Chelsea Manning’s sentence. We’ll leave that aside. For our purposes, know that someone in the world of baseball was pardoned: Willie McCovey.
Yes, Hall of Famer Willie McCovey, who in 1995 pleaded guilty to income tax fraud related to the non-reporting of income received from memorabilia and autograph shows. Duke Snider pleaded guilty alongside McCovey. They were given two years probation and fines of $5,000. Snider died in 2011. McCovey still works with the San Francisco Giants as a senior advisor and goodwill ambassador.
President Obama’s release of McCovey’s pardon was pretty succinct. But it’s enough to scrub the record of one of the greatest sluggers of all time.
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.