Dan Osterbrock was never viewed as a big-time prospect, but he did make a bit of a name for himself with the Twins. After being drafted in the seventh round in 2008, he pitched 75 innings in Rookie ball with an incredible 104/8 K/BB ratio. In 2010, he went 7-8 with a 2.73 ERA and a 79/23 K/BB ratio in 112 innings for high-A Fort Myers.
Unfortunately, that was about it for Osterbrock’s Twins career. The former Cincinnati Bearcat got off to an awful start in Double-A in 2011, got demoted back to Fort Myers and then was shut down with a shoulder injury. The Twins released him this spring.
Rather than simply fading away, though, as most released prospects tend to do, Osterbrock has had a few things to say on Twitter about his experience. On Tuesday, he underwent his second shoulder surgery and was plenty eager to share the results:
surgery went well. should be throwing soon. special thanks to the Twins for completely neglecting the obvious injury i had.
Osterbrock also has made some replies in recent weeks that demonstrate his frustration:
@csattballin Twins released me. My shoulder was hurting so instead of helping me out, they got rid of me. @SethTweets Wait, the Twins allowed an injury to linger longer than a year without taking care of it?! Shocker. #sarasm
Osterbrock is currently doing some high school coaching, according to his Twitter feed, but it sounds like he hasn’t given up on his major league dream. Here’s a guess: he’ll be looking to hook up with an AL Central team if he gets the chance.
According to Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post, Nationals infielder Danny Espinosa declined to attend the team’s annual Winterfest because of his dissatisfaction with management following their trade for outfielder Adam Eaton.
A source told Castillo that Espinosa’s unhappiness stemmed from a belief that the acquisition would jeopardize his starting role in 2017. With Eaton in center field, Trea Turner will likely return to his post at shortstop, leaving Espinosa out in the cold — or, as the case may be, on the bench. The move shouldn’t come as a big surprise to Espinosa, however, as Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo spoke to the possibility of trading the infielder or reassigning him to a utility role back in early November.
Offensively, the 29-year-old had a down year in 2016, slashing just .209/.306/.378 with 24 home runs in 601 PA. Defensively, he still profiles among the top shortstops in the National League, with eight DRS (Defensive Runs Saved) and 8.3 Def (Defensive Runs Above Average) in his seventh year with the club.
Espinosa will reach free agency after the 2017 season.
The Red Sox might be trying to move the wrong pitcher, according to the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo. Cafardo revealed that while the Sox have been trying to market right-hander Clay Buchholz, more teams would be interested in trades involving southpaw Drew Pomeranz.
The club appears reluctant to deal Pomeranz, especially because his price tag comes in at a cool $4.7 million to Buchholz’s $13.5 million in 2017. Those who have already expressed interest in the veteran hurlers, including the Twins, Mariners and Royals, also seem put off by Buchholz’s salary requirements as he enters his 32nd year.
Health could be another factor preventing teams from jumping to make trade offers, as Cafardo quotes an AL executive who believes the “medicals on both Pomeranz and Buchholz probably aren’t that great.” Neither pitcher suffered any major injuries during the 2016 season, though Pomeranz missed just over a week of play due to forearm soreness.
Pomeranz outperformed his fellow starter in 2016, pitching to a 3.32 ERA and career-best 9.8 K/9 through 170 2/3 innings with the Padres and Red Sox. He got off to an exceptionally strong start in San Diego, where his ERA dropped to 2.47 through the first half of the year before the Padres dealt him to Boston for minor league right-hander Anderson Espinoza. Buchholz, on the other hand, struggled with a 4.78 ERA and saw a decline in both his BB/9 and K/9 rates as he worked out a career-low 1.69 K/BB through 139 1/3 innings with the Sox.