Ricky Nolasco wants to be traded

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After watching the Marlins dismantle their roster over the past few months, Ricky Nolasco’s agent, Matt Sosnick told ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick today that his client wants to be traded:

“Ricky and I have spoken a lot since the end of the season,” Sosnick said. “Just watching the way the offseason has transpired for the Marlins and the moves they’ve made, he and I agree that he would probably be better served playing somewhere else. If he had his druthers, he would pitch for somebody other than the Marlins in 2013 and beyond.”

Sosnick declined to say whether Nolasco made a formal trade request to the team, but going public with it is about as official as these things can get. Nolasco currently projects as the team’s highest-paid player next season at $11.5 million, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see him traded, but one wonders if the Marlins will keep him around so that the MLBPA doesn’t go bonkers. Yunel Escobar is under contract for $5 million next season, but he’s also a candidate to be moved. If both Nolasco and Escobar are dealt, Adeiny Hechavarria ($1.75 million) would project to be their highest-paid player. At least if my math is correct. Yikes.

Nolasco, 29, posted a 4.48 ERA and 125/47 K/BB ratio over 191 innings this past season. He’s set to become a free agent next offseason.

Must-Click Link: “Skunk in the Outfield”

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Sam Miller of ESPN has an amazingly fantastic story today. It’s about a high school tournament baseball game in Rhode Island in 2006. It’s not your typical game story or oral history or look-to-the-past-to-see-the-future kind of thing. The only nod to such conventionality is mention of the fact that former Red Sox prospect Ryan Westmoreland played in the game. That’s mostly a footnote.

No, the article is about a trick play — “skunk in the outfield” — concocted by one of the coaches. About how it played out and what went into it before, during and after it happened. Along the way Miller talks about the nature of trick plays and offers a good three dozen amazing insights into the psychology of young baseball players and the strategy of baseball as it unfolds in real time.

Each of these observations could anchor its own story but here they form a grand mosaic. And that’s only mild hyperbole, if in fact it’s hyperbole at all. Indeed, most treatments of such a play would be some video clip with a “wow, look what happened here!” sort of couching. Miller gives a more than ten-year-old trick play an epic treatment that is every bit as enlightening as it is entertaining.

Set some time aside to read this today.

Rubby De La Rosa to undergo a second Tommy John Surgery

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This is unfortunate: Diamondbacks reliever Rubby De La Rosa will undergo Tommy John surgery. This will be the second Tommy John procedure of his career, the first coming back in 2011.

De La Rosa has had elbow  issues for his entire career. Last year his UCL was barking again and he underwent stem cell therapy to try to avoid a second surgery, but it obviously hasn’t worked out. He’s pitched in only nine games this year, allowing four earned runs in seven and two-thirds innings, striking out 12.

I first saw De La Rosa in spring training in 2011. I thought his stuff was pretty phenomenal and figured he’d be a good one. Great stuff is often a function of heavy strain on an elbow, however, and pitchers breaking is, unfortunately, the rule in baseball far more than the exception.

He’ll miss a year at least. We likely won’t see him until spring of 2019, most likely on a minor league deal.