Kyle Drabek’s sprained UCL will require Tommy John surgery, Blue Jays manager John Farrell said Monday.
Drabek had his first Tommy John surgery in high school before the Phillies made him the 18th overall pick in the 2006 draft. He was sent to Toronto in the Roy Halladay trade and he made his major league debut at the end of the 2010 season.
While Drabek was a major bust in 2011, he was back showing plenty of promise this year, particularly in the spring and in April, a month he finished 3-2 with a 2.40 ERA. Unfortunately, wildness took hold after that, possibly because something was going wrong in his elbow. At the time he was placed on the DL this month, he was 4-7 with a 4.67 ERA and an ugly 47/47 K/BB ratio in 71 1/3 innings.
Drabek probably won’t be back with the Jays until mid-2013. He, Brian Wilson, Joakim Soria and Joey Devine will all attempt to come back from their second Tommy John surgeries next year. It’s not at all common, but Chris Capuano, Jason Isringhausen and Hong-Chih Kuo are among the pitchers to have success after two Tommy Johns.
Free agent right-hander Tim Lincecum isn’t ready to hang up his cleats just yet. At least, that’s the word from Lincecum’s agent, Rick Thurman, who says the 32-year-old is still “throwing and getting ready for the season” (via Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News).
Lincecum may not be ready to enter retirement, but another quote from Thurman suggests that he’ll be picky about where he pitches next. He doesn’t appear open to pitching overseas, and despite not having a contract for 2017 (or even any serious suitors), the right-hander is set on pitching in the big leagues this year. Whether or not he’s willing to take a bullpen role to do so remains to be seen.
While Baggarly predicts some interest in the veteran righty, there’s not much in Lincecum’s recent history to inspire faith in him as a starter, or even a reliever. He picked up a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the Angels following his hip surgery in 2015, and went 2-6 in 2016 with a 9.16 ERA, 5.4 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 over 38 1/3 innings. At this point, a minor league contract seems like the surest path back to major league success, though he’s unlikely to find an open spot on the Giants’ or Angels’ rosters anytime soon.
Free agent right-hander Jeff Manship has reportedly signed with the NC Dinos of the Korea Baseball Organization, according to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The righty was non-tendered by the Indians in December.
Manship, 32, completed his second season with Cleveland in 2016. He delivered a 3.12 ERA, 4.6 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 rate over 43 1/3 innings, a slight decline after posting an 0.92 ERA with the club the year before. During eight years in the major leagues, Manship carries a 4.82 career ERA, 3.6 BB/9 and 6.4 SO/9 in multiple stints with the Twins, Rockies, Phillies and Indians.
The right-hander will be joined by fellow MLB transplants Eric Hacker and Xavier Scruggs, each of whom took one-year deals with the Dinos last month. Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors notes that each KBO team is allowed up to three foreign players, so Manship will round out the trio when he joins the roster. Any salary terms have yet to be disclosed.