According to Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, the Twins announced today that Nick Blackburn had arthroscopic surgery last Thursday to remove a bone chip from his right elbow. It was a minor procedure and he’s expected to be 100 percent for spring training.
Blackburn posted an ugly 7.39 ERA over 19 starts with the Twins this past season and was removed from the team’s 40-man roster in August. He has a 5.56 ERA since the start of 2010, which is the worst among all pitchers with at least 60 starts.
Blackburn will need to have a fantastic spring to earn his way back on the 40-man roster and in the starting rotation, but he’s still owed $5.5 million next season in the final guaranteed year of a four-year, $14 million contract.
Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner left Monday’s Cactus League game against the Athletics after he was hit by a pitch. He went for X-rays, revealing that he suffered a broken wrist, Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports. Shaikin adds that Turner is unlikely to return before May, noting that Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman missed six weeks with a similar injury last year and Astros outfielder George Springer missed nine weeks in 2015.
Needless to say, this is a huge loss for the Dodgers. Last year, Turner hit .322/.415/.530 with 21 home runs and 71 RBI in 543 plate appearances, helping the Dodgers reach the World Series. He made the All-Star team for the first time in his career and finished eighth in NL MVP balloting.
Thankfully, the Dodgers have some versatile players on the roster. Logan Forsythe could move from second base to third, giving Chase Utley more playing time at second. Enrique Hernandez could man the hot corner as well. Chris Taylor has played some third base, or he could shift to second base in Forsythe’s stead. The club should shed some light on how it plans to move forward following Turner’s injury.