With MLB increasingly desperate to get their hands on any evidence to discipline players connected to the Biogenesis clinic, they have come up with an interesting new strategy. According to Michael S. Schmidt of the New York Times, MLB plans to file a lawsuit on Friday against multiple people connected to Biogenesis, including the clinic’s owner, Anthony Bosch, and Juan Nunez, who has worked for the Levinson brothers at ACES Group and was an associate to Melky Cabrera.
And get this, the lawsuit will allege that “the individuals damaged the sport by providing some of the game’s biggest stars with performance-enhancing drugs.” While MLB will try to recoup money from those targeted, the main goal is to get some sort of cooperation with their investigation, either through “documentary evidence or witness testimony.” MLB is having a tough time building a case against players who didn’t test positive for performance-enhancing drugs, so if the lawsuit was to proceed, it could allow them subpoena records from the clinic and potentially give them the evidence needed to hand down suspensions. Subpoena power is a big key, as MLB hasn’t been able to get any cooperation from law enforcement up until now.
While you have to credit MLB for their creativity here, many are skeptical whether it will hold up in court. For what it’s worth, sources told ESPN’s T.J. Quinn that it’s believed that Bosch destroyed all remaining documents from the clinic. So even if the lawsuit proceeds, MLB might not get the evidence they want.
There have been multiple reports over the past week that MLB has focused their investigation on Ryan Braun and Alex Rodriguez, even offering immunity to those willing to provide information. However, MLB executive vice president Rob Manfred told Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Wednesday that every player who has been connected to Biogenesis and the Miami New Times report is being investigated with “equal vigor.”
Twins’ right-hander Nick Burdi is set to undergo Tommy John surgery on his right elbow, the team announced on Friday. Burdi made 14 appearances for Double-A Chattanooga before succumbing to a torn ulnar collateral ligament and is not expected to make his major league debut until mid-2018 at the earliest. A UCL tear doesn’t always require Tommy John surgery — less severe cases can be treated with platelet-rich plasma injections, for example — but Twins’ chief baseball officer Derek Falvey told the press that surgery was unavoidable as Burdi had sustained a “full thickness tear” in his elbow.
Entering the 2016 season, Burdi was widely considered a top ten prospect in the Twins’ system. His exceptional velocity and potent fastball-slider combo made him a fearsome relief option as he came off of his first season in Double-A Chattanooga in 2015. During the 2016 season, however, the 24-year-old experienced a significant setback after a bone bruise cut his season short in late July. Prior to Friday’s diagnosis, he appeared to be staging an impressive comeback with the Chattanooga Lookouts this spring, decorating his efforts with a sparkling 0.53 ERA, 2.1 BB/9 and 10.6 SO/9 over 17 innings.
It’s a tough break for the Twins, whose farm system was ranked 21st in the league by Baseball America. “Obviously he’s proven when he’s healthy he’s an absolute premium prospect, and the Twins are treating him that way,” Burdi’s agent, Matt Sosnick, told Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press. “We just want to make sure everything we do ultimately leads to the goal of getting him back on the field as quickly as he can.”
Things have gone from bad to worse for Red Sox’ outfielder Brock Holt, who was shut down “for the foreseeable future” on Friday after meeting with head trauma specialist Michael Collins. The Red Sox placed Holt on the 10-day disabled list in April after he began experiencing vertigo, the latest in a series of head injuries he’s sustained since last spring.
According to the Boston Herald’s Jason Mastrodonato, the outfielder was initially advised to attempt playing through his symptoms, but it quickly became apparent that the strategy wasn’t going to work. Now, the plan is to shut him down from any game activity in the hopes that he’ll be able to recover from all lingering symptoms before returning to the roster. Club manager John Farrell told reporters that the 28-year-old is still cleared to take batting practice and work on his defense, but won’t continue his rehab starts in Triple-A Pawtucket for the time being.
Holt had been making regular appearances for the Pawtucket Red Sox and was batting .209/.292/.372 with two home runs through 14 games this spring. This season marks his fifth run within the Red Sox’ organization. He experienced a bit of a slump at the plate in 2016 and slashed .255/.322/.383 after breaking out during his first All-Star year in 2015.
Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe suggests that the team’s concern for Holt extends past his setbacks at the plate. It’s still a long road to a full recovery, and while Farrell told reporters he believes the outfielder is on track to make a return sometime in 2017, he’ll need to make sure that Holt is both physically and mentally prepared to do so.