An update on Brandon McCarthy, who tells Susan Slusser that, compared to a lot of things, getting his skull fractured by a line drive was not particularly painful. Viva adrenaline I guess.
He also talks about pitching helmets, which we’ve discussed here before. He tells Slusser that he’d maybe try one, but that he doesn’t think such a thing should be forced on anyone:
I’m all in favor of innovation … and if in 50 years, every pitcher is wearing some sort of soft-shell helmet that looks different, that will be all right. But I don’t want it to be mandatory.”
Seems sensible given that, unlike say seat belts in cars and even batting helmets for hitters, protecting a pitcher’s head is not something that addresses a large-scale threat. It is undeniably dangerous to get smacked with a comebacker, but it’s not a common thing either.
Like we’ve noted before, however, even if it’s not mandated — and I don’t think it should be — it’s probably something that will happen eventually just because of technology improving and certain players just choosing to do it and having the habit just become more and more acceptable.
Free agent right-hander Trevor Cahill reportedly has a one-year deal in place with the Athletics, according to MLB.com’s Jane Lee. The exact terms have yet to be disclosed, and as the agreement is still pending a physical, it has not been formally announced by the club.
Cahill, 30, is coming off of a decent, albeit underwhelming year with the Padres and Royals. He kicked off the 2017 season with a 4-3 record in 11 starts for the Padres, then split his time between the rotation and bullpen after a midseason trade to the Royals. By the end of the year, the righty led the league with 16 wild pitches and had racked up a 4.93 ERA, 4.8 BB/9 and 9.3 SO/9 in 84 innings for the two teams.
The A’s found themselves in desperate need of rotation depth this week after Jharel Cotton announced he’d miss the 2018 season to undergo Tommy John surgery. Right now, the team is considering some combination of Andrew Triggs, Daniel Gossett, Daniel Mengden and Paul Blackburn for the back end of the rotation — a mix that seems unlikely to change in the last two weeks before Opening Day, as Lee points out that Cahill won’t be ready to shoulder a full workload by then. Instead, he’s expected to begin the year in the bullpen and work his way up to a starting role, where the A’s hope he’ll replicate the All-Star numbers he produced with them back in 2010.