From beat reporter Pete Caldera of the Bergen Record comes word that Yankees outfielder Nick Swisher is back in the starting lineup for Sunday afternoon’s series finale against the Royals.
(Though the forecast looks nasty in Kansas City).
Swisher had missed six straight games because of a tweaked left hamstring. He is slated to serve as New York’s designated hitter on Sunday and should return to his usual spot in right field on Tuesday night.
The 31-year-old boasts a .284/.355/.617 batting line, six home runs, nine doubles and 23 RBI through 93 plate appearances this season for the fourth-place Bombers. DeWayne Wise drew the start in right field on Saturday and Andruw Jones played there Friday.
Athletics right-hander Jharel Cotton will undergo Tommy John surgery, per an announcement on Saturday. Cotton initially experienced some elbow soreness during a Cactus League start earlier this week and was officially diagnosed with a strained ulnar collateral ligament and strained flexor muscle on Thursday. He’ll be out of commission until 2019 at the earliest.
This isn’t the first time Cotton has dealt with elbow issues. According to MLB.com’s Jane Lee, he had screws inserted in his right elbow after sustaining a stress fracture in 2013 and suffered some minor elbow discomfort again last fall. Prior to his diagnosis, the 26-year-old was poised for his third run with the A’s in 2018. He pitched his first full season with the club in 2017, turning in a 5.58 ERA, 3.7 BB/9 and 7.3 SO/9 in 24 starts and 129 innings.
Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle adds that the team is open to adding pitching depth this spring, though they’ll wait to see if the price goes down on some free agents first. Barring that, right-handed long reliever Andrew Triggs could be tabbed to fill the fifth spot in the rotation.