Dodgers reliever Todd Coffey will miss the remainder of the season with a torn ulnar collateral ligament that requires Tommy John elbow surgery.
Coffey was visited on the mound by the team trainer after complaining of elbow soreness during Monday’s appearance, but stayed in the game and actually struck out two of the final three batters he faced. And then an MRI exam showed a partial UCL tear.
This will be the second Tommy John surgery for Coffey, who underwent the operation 12 years ago and went on to throw 439 innings with a 4.10 ERA before his elbow gave out again at age 31.
He’ll likely be sidelined until the middle of next season, which means the Dodgers will almost surely decline their $2.5 million option for 2013 and instead pay Coffey a $300,000 buyout.
On Monday, Major League Baseball announced some changes aimed at improving the game’s pace of play, something that has been a pet cause for commissioner Rob Manfred. Among the changes was a limit on mound visits whether from managers and coaches, the catcher, or other defenders. Each team will have six non-pitching change mound visits per game and one additional visit each inning in extra innings. Craig wrote more in depth on the changes here if you happened to miss it.
Angels catcher Martin Maldonado says he is going to do what’s necessary to stay on the same page with his pitchers. Via Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register, Maldonado said, “If the game is on the line, I’m going to go out there. If we’re at six [visits], and it’s going to be the seventh, I’m going to go out there, even if I have to pay a fine. I’m there for the pitchers.”
Cubs catcher Willson Contreras said as much on Tuesday. Per Josh Frydman of WGN News, Contreras said, “What about if you have a tight game and you have to go out there? They can’t say anything about that, that’s my team and we just care about wins. If they’re going to fine me about number seven mound visit, I’ll pay the price.”
Exhibition games haven’t even started yet, but two notable backstops — the lesser-known Maldonado won a Gold Glove last year — are clearly not happy with the rule change. As Craig alluded to in his article yesterday, arguments between catchers and umpires (and, subsequently, managers and umpires) are probably going to become more frequent, which would likely end up nullifying any pace of play improvements.