Giancarlo Stanton’s sore right knee failed its test Saturday when he was returned to Miami’s lineup, so he’ll undergo surgery to remove bone chips Sunday or Monday.
Manager Ozzie Guillen said he expected Stanton to miss 4-6 weeks, but players have occasionally returned from such surgeries after two or three weeks. The Marlins will have a better idea about Stanton’s timetable following the procedure.
Stanton’s loss is a big one for Miami, but the team is expected to get Emilio Bonifacio back after the All-Star break. His return to center field will allow the team to put the surprisingly productive Justin Ruggiano in right field. The team could also give Chris Coghlan another look. He’s hitting .333/.458/.487 in his last 10 games for Triple-A New Orleans.
The National League has announced that 19-year-old Bryce Harper will replace Stanton on the NL roster in the All-Star Game in Kansas City. Assuming Ryan Braun is still out, Jay Bruce would seem to be the obvious choice to step into Stanton’s Home Run Derby spot.
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.