C.J. Nitkowski pitched in the bigs for ten years but had to hang it up due to shoulder problems. Because of those problems, and because of the example of Bartolo Colon’s rather startling comeback, Nitkowski decided to undergo the same stem cell treatment Colon famously received.
Nitkowski writes about it in Sports Illustrated, and it’s well worth a read. I’m struck by how ho-hum this allegedly controversial medical procedure is. Because it can be accompanied by HGH — though Colon and Nitkowski’s were not — it gave everyone a case of the vapors when Colon’s therapy was discussed. But really, this sounds like less of a big deal than laser eye surgery and most kinds of dental work.
At the end of the article Nitkowski speculates that this sort of therapy may be useful as routine offseason maintenance for pitchers one day, and he makes a lot of sense.
Knowledge is power. Reading about this procedure from a guy who had it done to him will do an awful lot to silence the Bartolo Colon worrywarts.
(thanks to churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged for the link)
Red Sox lefty Drew Pomeranz was of limited utility during the postseason as he began experiencing soreness in his left forearm near the end of the 2016 season. There was some thought that he might need offseason surgery but Pomeranz was examined by doctors who determined that he does not need any surgery, Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald reports. President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said:
He has seen the doctor, the doctor looked at him. I can’t really disclose totally everything that was done, but the doctor said no surgical procedure and the doctor feels he will be ready for next spring training for us.
Pomeranz, 27, finished the 2016 regular season with an aggregate 3.32 ERA and a 186/65 K/BB ratio in 170 2/3 innings between the Padres and Red Sox. He operated out of the bullpen during the playoffs, allowing two runs on four hits and two walks with seven strikeouts over 3 2/3 innings.
The Red Sox acquired Pomeranz in a trade with the Padres in July. It was a trade that earned Padres GM A.J. Preller a 30-day suspension from Major League Baseball, as he reportedly kept two sets of medical records in order to deceive trade partners.
After managing the Pirates’ Double-A affiliate to a 76-64 record this past season, the organization has promoted Joey Cora to third base coach for the major league club, Cory Giger of the Altoona Mirror reports. The Pirates fired previous third base coach Rick Sofield over the weekend.
Cora, 51, has plenty of coaching experience since retiring as a player in 1998. In the majors, he coached for the White Sox from 2004-11 and for the Marlins in 2012.
Cora briefly served as interim manager for the Marlins in 2012 when Ozzie Guillen was suspended, but has otherwise not been given a managerial position yet. He interviewed with the Brewers after the 2010 season and was a finalist but the organization ultimately chose Ron Roenicke. It’s easy to see Cora being a manager in the very near future, however.