Tsuyoshi Wada signed a two-year, $8.15 million contract with the Orioles last offseason, but he didn’t throw a pitch for the club in 2012 because he required Tommy John surgery in May. And now his recovery is expected to stretch into the 2013 season.
According to Roch Kubatko of MASN Sports, Orioles pitching coach Rick Adair said on WBAL radio today that Wada is not expected to be ready to pitch in the majors until May or June. That would put him around one year removed from surgery, which isn’t out of the ordinary.
Wada, who turns 32 next month, had a dominant 1.51 ERA and 168/40 K/BB ratio over 184 2/3 innings in 2011 for the Softbank Hawks of Japan’s Pacific League. Checking in at 5-foot-11 and 180 pounds, the southpaw doesn’t throw particularly hard and relies on deception and command of his three secondary pitches to get outs. It’s not clear whether the Orioles intend to bring him back as a starter or a reliever.
There is a disturbing report out of the Dominican Republic, yet to be confirmed by police, but in wide circulation thanks to a series of tweets from Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez. The report: that looters encountered a still alive Yordano Ventura after his automobile accident, robbing of him his World Series ring and other possessions, before leaving him to die.
The report comes from Dominican Republic journalist Euri Cabral, who made the claim on a radio station. His comments were picked up by Martinez, who tweeted about it in Spanish. The tweets, collected and translated by the Royals Review blog:
“How outrageous to know that a life like Yordano’s could have been saved had it not been that they looted him the way he was looted . . . Now it is more painful to know that Yordano remained alive after the accident and instead of someone to help him, they robbed him and let him die . . . I hope an investigation will be carried out, because if there is any specific evidence of this, I would feel a great deal of shame for my country.”
As for the state of details which are currently confirmed, Rustin Dodd and Maria Torres of the Kansas City Star report that Ventura crashed his Jeep after leaving an annual festival, losing control and hitting a guardrail in a mountainous area in foggy conditions. Ventura was not wearing a seatbelt at the time and was ejected from the vehicle.
Ventura’s family is said to be pushing for further investigation and clarification as to Cabral’s claims. We will obviously followup with anything Dominican authorities say on the matter.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Cubs have signed pitcher Brett Anderson to a contract, pending a physical. Anderson, apparently, impressed the Cubs during a bullpen session held in Arizona recently. According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, the deal is for $3.5 million, but incentives can bring the total value up to $10 million.
Anderson, 28, has only made a total of 53 starts and 12 relief appearances over the past five seasons due to a litany of injuries. This past season, he made just three starts and one relief appearance, yielding 15 runs on 25 hits and four walks with five strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings. The lefty dealt with back, wrist, and blister issues throughout the year.
When he’s healthy, Anderson is a solid arm to have at the back of a starting rotation or in the bullpen. The defending world champion Cubs aren’t risking much in bringing him on board.