Out since June 5 with a strained oblique muscle, Reds center fielder Drew Stubbs is scheduled to begin a minor-league rehab assignment tomorrow at Single-A.
There’s no official timetable for his return, but Mark Sheldon of MLB.com speculates that Stubbs will likely be back after just 2-3 rehab games if all goes well.
He’s eligible to come off the disabled list tomorrow and reported no problems after taking batting practice yesterday. Chris Heisey has been subbing for Stubbs in center field, but has struggled offensively and is better suited for a corner spot defensively.
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.