Pirates’ top pick Mark Appel rocked in College World Series


It’s been a rough week for Stanford’s Mark Appel.

On Monday night he fell to the eighth spot in the MLB Amateur Draft after being mocked by most experts to go in the top three.

And he was selected by an organization (the Pirates) that he clearly isn’t thrilled about joining.

Now his dream of an NCAA championship is in jeopardy.

Appel was shelled for seven runs (five earned) over four innings Friday in Game 1 of Stanford’s first-round matchup with Florida State. He yielded five hits and walked four while throwing only 55 of his 95 pitches for strikes.

His upside remains sky-high and his body of work with the Cardinal speaks for itself, but you can bet Pirates management was watching the rough outing. And may bring it up in negotiations with Appel’s agent, Scott Boras.

Stanford must now win two straight games over the Seminoles to advance to the second round.

David Phelps to undergo Tommy John surgery

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Pitcher David Phelps has a torn UCL and will undergo Tommy John surgery, ending his 2018 season, the Mariners announced on Wednesday. Phelps was making brief one-inning stints in the Cactus League as he worked his way back from a procedure to remove a bone spur from his elbow last September. He said he felt the ligament tear on his final pitch against the Angels in his March 17 appearance.

Phelps, 31, was expected to set up for closer Edwin Diaz. The right-hander, between the Marlins and Mariners last season, posted a 3.40 ERA with a 62/26 K/BB ratio in 55 2/3 innings. He and the Mariners avoided arbitration in January, agreeing on a $5.55 million salary for the 2018 campaign. Phelps will become eligible to become a free agent at the end of the season.

As the Mariners noted in their statement, the expected recovery period for Tommy John surgery is 12-15 months, so this very likely cuts into Phelps’ 2019 season as well.