David Aardsma to undergo Tommy John surgery next week

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David Aardsma hasn’t thrown a pitch in the big leagues this season. And now it’s very likely we won’t see him again until latter part of the 2012 season at the earliest.

Greg Johns of MLB.com reports that Aardsma will undergo Tommy John surgery late next week in California. The 29-year-old right-hander has been rehabbing a sprained ulnar collateral ligament over the past two months, but surgery was deemed necessary following an MRI exam on Thursday.

Aardsma took to his Twitter account this evening to confirm the news.

Unfortunately my season is over. I guess I wasn’t meant to pitch this year. I will undergo elbow surgery next week.

I can say we’ve exhausted every avenue before we made this decision. But I WILL BE back and ready next year. Thank you all for your support.

Aardsma posted a 2.90 ERA and saved 69 games from 2009-2010. He injured his elbow in May while on a rehab assignment from January hip surgery.

Brandon League has run away with the closer’s job during his absence, posting a 3.44 ERA, 25/7 K/BB ratio and 23 saves over 36 2/3 innings this season. He was recently named to his first All-Star team.

Imagining Theo Epstein in politics

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“When Alexander saw the breadth of his domain, he wept for there were no more worlds to conquer.”

Or: “When Theo Epstein won World Series championships with the two most championship-starved franchises in baseball history, he got bored, and decided to run for the Senate or something.”

That latter bit is the premise of a Politico piece speculating that the Cubs president could go into politics one day. The story features an interview with former Obama chief strategist David Axlerod, who thinks Theo has what it takes. Mostly what he has is fame, popularity, good looks and money. No idea what his positions on issue are, but that other stuff goes a long way in politics these days.

Bonus: given what we just elected last fall, a guy who once had a little temper tantrum and dressed up in a gorilla suit is just as viable a candidate as anyone.

Another interestingly named player is promoted by the Pirates

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When you promote a player from the minors, the first and foremost consideration is whether or not he can help your ball club. But, assuming that’s taken care of, teams should really, really make it a priority to call up dudes with cool sounding names because it makes life more interesting for the rest of us.

The Pirates are doing that. The other night Dovydas Neverauskas made his big league debut. In addition to being the first Lithuanian born-and-raised player in major league history, it’s a solid, solid name. Now the Pirates are making another promotion: Gift Ngoepe.

Yep, Gift Ngoepe. He’s an infielder from South Africa, making the leap to the bigs due to David Freese‘s hamstring injury. Ngoepe, 27, was batting just .241/.308/.379 through 66 plate appearances this season with Triple-A Indianapolis, his ninth in the minors, so he’s not exactly a prospect. But man, that’s a killer name.

It’s also worth mentioning that Gift and Neverauskas were arrested together in a bar fight last August in Toledo, so there is already a good basis for some bonding here.

Good luck, Gift. Gift Ngoepe. Mr. Ngoepe. G-Ngo. Man, I could do this all day.