Orioles’ Jason Hammel set for knee surgery

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Jason Hammel, who has lost four straight starts trying to pitch with a sore right knee, will undergo surgery and miss at least three weeks, Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports.

Hammel has loose cartilage floating around in the knee that he needs taken out.

“Where it was before it was kind of uncomfortable,” Hammel said. “Now it is kind of in the joint, kind of pinned into the joint, so every time I bend the knee it pretty much hits the nerve in the area, so it’s not very comfortable right now.”

Hammel nearly made the AL All-Star team after opening the season 8-2 with a 2.61 ERA, but he’s given up 17 runs in 19 2/3 innings in his last four outings, all of them losses.

The Orioles haven’t announced who will replace him in the rotation, but Tommy Hunter appears to be the likely choice. Even though Brian Matusz pitched a shutout in his first start after being sent down to Triple-A Norfolk, manager Buck Showalter isn’t keen on the idea of bringing him back so quickly.

The Rays announce “The Rays Tank.” Really.

Tampa Bay Rays
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Earlier this offseason the Rays traded away franchise player Evan Longoria. Over the weekend they traded starter Jake Odorizzi to the Twins and designated All-Star outfielder Corey Dickerson for assignment. These were clearly financially driven moves, and now the Rays sport a payroll of less than $70 million. The club’s offseason moves prompted Longoria to say that he feels sorry for Rays fans.

If you asked Rays brass, I’m sure they’d make strong statements defending all of these moves while offering evidence-light arguments that, yes, they truly are interested in fielding a competitive team in 2018. They would likely react VERY angrily to any suggestion that they are tanking this year. Teams never admit that they’re tanking.

In other news, the Rays announced a new blog:

Oh.