Three weeks after undergoing brain surgery, Brandon McCarthy stepped back onto a major league field Friday, accepting the A’s nomination for the Roberto Clemente Award, and he said he plans to resume throwing Saturday.
CSNBayArea.com has the quotes.
“Now I can be in the dugout. I can be around the game atmosphere again,” McCarthy said. “I think it’s really what I need to get my mind off everything.”
McCarthy said he still suffers from boths of “mild cloudiness” after he was hit in the head by an Erick Aybar liner on Sept. 5, but he’s feeling better every day.
“I try not to get down with anything,” he said. “It’s just the way my brain works, it tries to find the humor in anything.”
McCarthy has been ruled out for the rest of the season, even should the A’s make and go deep into the playoffs, but he intends to pitch next year and he hopes to be back in Oakland. He’s a free agent at season’s end, but he wants to stay.
“Going through something like this, where you see the reactions, not only from the fans and teammates, but the way the front office handled it was beyond first class,” he said. “It truly shows you the family system that’s in place. I’d like to be back here.”
Kurt Suzuki will wear a Braves’ uniform through the 2018 season after signing a one-year, $3.5 million extension with the club on Saturday, per The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal. Rosenthal adds that the two had been in talks for weeks and Suzuki made it clear that he wanted to remain in Atlanta for the foreseeable future. The team has yet to announce the extension.
Suzuki, 33, initially signed a one-year contract with the Braves back in January. The veteran backstop stepped into a backup role behind starting catcher Tyler Flowers, but still found a way to impress at the plate with a .271/.343/.525 batting line, career-best 18 home runs and an .868 OPS through 287 PA. According to FanGraphs, Suzuki’s 2.2 fWAR makes 2017 his most valuable season since his run with the 2009 Athletics.
It’s a prudent move for the Braves, who would have lost one of their most dynamic second-half hitters to the free agent market this offseason. Entering Saturday, Suzuki is second only to Freddie Freeman with 11 homers and 1.4 fWAR since the All-Star break. His stunning comeback also confirmed the team’s decision to look outside the organization for a backup catcher, rather than turning to fellow veteran Anthony Recker behind the plate.
“On a personal level, this season exceeded my expectations,” Suzuki told reporters on Wednesday. “It’s just one of those things I can’t explain. I put a lot of work in and really didn’t have a job until late January. I got an opportunity here and took advantage of it. It was definitely a good fit.”
Tigers’ outfielder Mikie Mahtook is unlikely to play again this season, club manager Brad Ausmus announced Saturday. Mahtook was diagnosed with a Grade 2 left groin strain following Friday’s series opener against the Twins, when he appeared to injure himself after chasing down Byron Buxton‘s two-RBI double in the fourth.
This is the second time Mahtook has sustained a groin injury over the past month. The 27-year-old exited Friday’s game with a .276/.330/.457 batting line, 12 home runs and a .787 OPS through 379 plate appearances with the team.
With the Tigers out of contention, there’s no reason to trot out Mahtook for the remaining eight games of the regular season. The club has yet to specify a timetable for his return, but there’s no reason to believe he won’t be in fine shape to compete for a starting role next spring.