Ian Stewart’s tenure with the Cubs could be brief.
According to Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times, Stewart will undergo exploratory arthroscopic surgery on his left wrist next week in Cleveland and is expected to miss the rest of the season.
Stewart has been sidelined since June 12, but his wrist has been an issue for far longer. In fact, it’s believed the discomfort could be related to a compression fracture he suffered in the minors in 2006.
Stewart was acquired from the Rockies last December along with right-hander Casey Weathers for outfielder Tyler Colvin and infielder D.J. LeMahieu. The 27-year-old third baseman was hitting just .201/.292/.335 with five homers and a .627 OPS in 55 games prior to hitting the disabled list. He’s due a raise in arbitration this winter from $2,237,500 salary, so it’s safe to peg him as an early non-tender candidate.
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.