Matt Gelb of Philly.com reports that Ryan Howard has suffered a setback. Specifically, on Monday he underwent a procedure to clean an infection from his original wound, and the healing from that procedure will sideline him from action indefinitely.
We first caught wind of this last week when Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com reported that Howard had “a little setback.” At the time, Ruben Amaro said his visit to the doctor on Monday was routine. Not so routine after all, it seems.
The most distressing thing about all of this is how the story even got out. I’m led to understand that Amaro has mastered the Jedi mind trick. When he said “it is but a routine procedure … move along,” why did anyone keep digging? Why did they not, due to Amaro’s irresistible persuasion, go on to something else? I can only assume that Matt Gelb is a Jedi himself and such sorcery does not work on him. We must be wary in Master Gelb’s presence.
Anyway, more Ty Wigginton and Jim Thome for us. So we’re all lucky.
The Braves have signed reliever Blaine Boyer to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports. Bowman adds that the right-hander has a “good chance” to make the Braves’ bullpen out of spring training.
Boyer, 35, spent the past season with the Brewers, finishing with a 3.95 ERA and a 26/17 K/BB ratio in 66 innings.
Boyer, of course, started his professional baseball career with the Braves as they selected him in the third round of the 2000 draft. Since the Braves traded him in 2009, Boyer has pitched for the Cardinals, Diamondbacks, Mets, Padres, and Twins along with the Brewers.
Update (6:48 PM EST): Topkin reports the contract will be of the major league variety.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays and free agent reliever Shawn Tolleson are close to finalizing a contract.
Tolleson, who turns 29 years old on Thursday, had an ugly 2016 season, finishing with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He was one of the Rangers’ best relievers in the two seasons prior to that, however, which included saving 35 games in 2015.