UPDATE: Since this post went up Heyman has updated his column to take out the lines about Blyleven and Stewart. No explanation in the column of course. And it changes little, actually. He may call it an oversight, but it’s a case of him wanting to believe something so badly that the facts ceased mattering at some point.
8:59 PM: Jon Heyman put up his Hall of Fame column this afternoon. For years he has pushed hard for Jack Morris for the Hall. He has long overstated Morris’ merits in my view, but it’s gotten to the point now where he’s simply making crap up:
He was thought good enough to be the ace on teams that had Bert Blyleven and Dave Stewart, and to receive Cy Young votes in seven seasons. I can’t allow his vast accomplishments to be re-evaluated downward by a new emphasis on different numbers.
Jack Morris and Bert Blyleven were never teammates. Jack Morris played one season with Dave Stewart. In that one season — 1993 — Morris was 7-12 with a 6.19 ERA. It’s possible that Heyman is calling Morris the “ace” of that 1993 Jays team because he got the Opening Day start, but he didn’t distinguish himself at all that year, he was out of the rotation by early September and was left off the postseason roster. Some ace.
Heyman has an agenda. He wants Morris in the Hall of Fame. He is so committed to that agenda that he will mislead his readers in order to make it happen. Because this can’t just be a mistake, right? Because it takes approximately five seconds in order to get that stuff right and we know someone given the privilege of making baseball history in the form of a Hall of Fame vote is not going to just dash it off without careful consideration and due diligence, right?
The news has gone from bad to worse for Dodgers’ left-hander Julio Urias, who is scheduled for anterior capsule surgery on his left shoulder next Tuesday and expected to be sidelined through the middle of the 2018 season. His MRI came back negative on Wednesday, giving the Dodgers some hope that the 20-year-old’s bout of shoulder inflammation wasn’t masking any structural damage, but the pain lingered several days later and prompted further concern from the club. The procedure will be performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache.
Urias was optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City in late May and placed on the disabled list with left shoulder discomfort several weeks into his assignment. At the major league level, he owned a 5.40 ERA, 5.4 BB/9 and 4.2 SO/9 through 23 1/3 innings, going 0-2 in five starts with Los Angeles. He made a brief rebound in Triple-A, posting three wins and striking out 17 of 67 batters in 17 1/3 innings before landing on the DL.
It’s a tough blow for the southpaw, who had yet to hit his stride in the majors before getting sidelined with shoulder issues. The Dodgers were especially mindful of this outcome for Urias, and had taken preventative measures to protect his arm by establishing a strict innings limit last season. According to club president Andrew Friedman, there’s a small silver lining here: while Urias’ injury will keep him out of work for at least 12 months, he doesn’t appear to have sustained any damage to his labrum or rotator cuff, and could be facing a much more streamlined recovery process as a result. Whether he’ll be able to rebound once he takes the mound again remains to be seen.
Tigers’ right-handed reliever Francisco Rodriguez was released on Friday, per a team announcement. The club recalled fellow right-hander Bruce Rondon from Triple-A Toledo in a corresponding move.
The former closer got the boot after losing his closing role in early May, giving left-hander Justin Wilson a chance to impress at the back end of the bullpen. It’s been a rough year for Rodriguez, who manufactured six blown saves and a 7.82 ERA, 3.9 BB/9 and 8.2 SO/9 over 25 1/3 innings for the Tigers. The final straw, it seemed, came with Robinson Cano‘s grand slam in the seventh inning of the Tigers’ 6-9 loss to the Mariners on Thursday.
While the demotion to a clean-up role and an apparent lack of communication caused Rodriguez considerable frustration, he’s two years removed from his last dominant performance as a major league closer and has shown few signs of returning to form. His recent slump doesn’t diminish the impressive totals he’s racked up over his 16-year career — 437 saves and six All-Star nominations among them — but if he can’t break out of it soon, he may not receive the kind of high leverage role he’s seeking with another big league team, either.