Twins lose Cole De Vries for the season with cracked rib

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It took a bunch of injuries for undrafted 28-year-old career minor leaguer Cole De Vries to get a shot in the Twins’ rotation and now an injury has ended his season with three weeks remaining.

De Vries was hit in the ribs by a comebacker during his September 8 start and stayed in the game, finishing with six shutout innings against the Indians, but he was wincing the whole time and yesterday Minnesota announced that he has a cracked rib.

It’s a shame, because De Vries was vastly outperforming expectations with a 4.11 ERA and 58/18 K/BB ratio in 88 innings spread over 16 starts. Minnesota’s rotation is pretty wide open for 2013 and beyond, so De Vries figures to be in the mix for the fifth spot.

Red Sox to extend protective netting at Fenway Park in 2018

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The Red Sox are the latest team to extend the protective netting at their ballpark this winter. According to a statement by club president Sam Kennedy, the exact dimensions of the netting have yet to be determined, but it will likely stretch “all the way to Field Box 79, down the left field line and then all the way down to almost Canvas Alley in the Field Box 9 area.”

Fenway Park received additional protective netting prior to the 2016 season, when the netting behind home plate was lengthened to the home and visitor dugouts. Per Kennedy’s statement, the current expansion should cover everything but the outfield corners, making it nearly impossible for a line drive foul to reach fans in the lower boxes.

After a toddler sustained serious injuries from a 105-MPH foul ball to the face at Yankee Stadium last September, over half of all MLB teams decided to take more extreme preventative measures in advance of the 2018 season. The Brewers, Cardinals, Braves, Astros, Royals, Pirates, Rangers, Padres, Nationals, Mariners, Phillies, Mets, Reds, Blue Jays, Giants, Yankees, Twins and Indians are among the organizations to address the issue over the last several years, while others have yet to take significant action.