Jorge De La Rosa pitched through pain, lied about injury before Tommy John surgery

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As Jorge De La Rosa progresses in his comeback from Tommy John elbow surgery Thomas Harding of MLB.com revealed some interesting details about how the veteran left-hander pitched through the pain initially and lied to the Rockies about the injury.

Harding of course doesn’t frame the information that way, calling it merely “stretching the truth,” but you can judge for yourself:

“It was real cold that day in Pittsburgh, and I felt something in my arm,” said De La Rosa. “I said it was a blister and they took me out of the game. I told them I would be OK. But I was not. It was weakness. The next day, I felt pain when I woke up.”

De La Rosa toughed out eight more starts, until May 24 when his elbow went during a start against the D-backs at Coors Field. He tried telling Rockies manager Jim Tracy and head athletic trainer Keith Dugger that the problem was his groin, but this time no one was fooled. Shortly thereafter, De La Rosa underwent season-ending Tommy John ligament transfer surgery.

Athletes are constantly praised for playing through injuries and in this case De La Rosa somehow managed to continue pitching relatively well, but he also lied about a significant elbow problem and told the people paying him $10 million per season that it was a blister and then a groin injury.

Yet based on Harding’s article you’d almost think the lies were a positive thing, because he writes that De La Rosa is “no longer burdened with harboring a secret impossible to keep” and “now the Rockies are making sure the gritty attitude that led De La Rosa to hide his injury doesn’t work against him in his comeback.”

Well, that’s certainly one way to put it. He’ll make $10 million this season and is aiming to return in late May or early June.

Rob Manfred says Tampa Bay must pick up pace on new stadium

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred wants Tampa Bay to work a little quicker on getting the Rays a new ballpark.

Rays Principal Owner Stuart Sternberg has been working for nearly a decade to get a new stadium for the club and signed a three-year agreement with the City of St. Petersburg early in 2016 to search for a site in the Tampa Bay area. Manfred wants that search to pick up some steam.

“I think it’s fair to say we want the process to take on a better pace moving forward,” Manfred said Wednesday night at Tropicana Field, home of the Rays since their first season in 1998.

The Rays were averaging 15,815 fans per game before Wednesday night’s contest against the Toronto Blue Jays. That is just over half the major league average of 30,470. Tropicana Field and its location have been almost universally blamed as the reason for the poor attendance.

“I’ve been pretty clear that they need a new facility here, a major league quality facility in an A-plus location,” Manfred said. “It is time to move that decision to the front burner here in Tampa.”

The matter of how a stadium would be financed has been tabled until a site is determined, but Sternberg continued to express confidence in the Tampa Bay market.

“I’ve had the opportunity to bail on it many times over the years,” he said. “I won’t say this is a slam dunk, it’s certainly not. But I think we can do something that’ll at least double our attendance. That’s a lot to ask for.”

Manfred said Major League Baseball “doesn’t have a firm timetable” for what steps to take if the Rays fail to get an agreement to build a new stadium in the Tampa Bay area, but but added that “it is a topic of discussion in the industry, the lack of progress.”

More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

Robinson Cano leaves game with hamstring tightness

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Bad news for the Mariners this evening: Robinson Cano left Seattle’s game against the Atlanta Braves with tightness in his left hamstring.

Cano walked off the field after legging out a double — his second of the game — in the third inning. He pulled up as he approached second base and walked off the field, accompanied by a trainer. There was no immediate word on the severity of the injury. The Mariners have a day off Thursday before opening a series at the Yankees on Friday night, so they have some time to evaluate him.

Cano is hitting .277/.377/.460 with 19 homers and 78 RBI on the year.