Gary Tuck resigning as Red Sox bullpen coach for personal reasons led to some speculation that Jason Varitek might be looked at to replace him on short notice, but apparently that’s not going to happen.
Alex Speier of WEEI.com talked to a source and reports “it does not appear that Varitek is being considered–or even wants to be considered–for a full-time return to uniform.”
Varitek remains in the organization as a special assistant to the front office, but Speier notes that in retiring he wanted to spend more time with his family and jumping back in as a coach would ruin that.
All of which means the Red Sox are looking for a new bullpen coach with two weeks until spring training.
Pitcher David Phelps has a torn UCL and will undergo Tommy John surgery, ending his 2018 season, the Mariners announced on Wednesday. Phelps was making brief one-inning stints in the Cactus League as he worked his way back from a procedure to remove a bone spur from his elbow last September. He said he felt the ligament tear on his final pitch against the Angels in his March 17 appearance.
Phelps, 31, was expected to set up for closer Edwin Diaz. The right-hander, between the Marlins and Mariners last season, posted a 3.40 ERA with a 62/26 K/BB ratio in 55 2/3 innings. He and the Mariners avoided arbitration in January, agreeing on a $5.55 million salary for the 2018 campaign. Phelps will become eligible to become a free agent at the end of the season.
As the Mariners noted in their statement, the expected recovery period for Tommy John surgery is 12-15 months, so this very likely cuts into Phelps’ 2019 season as well.