Some bad news this morning out of Pirates camp.
According to beat writer Michael Sanserino of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, right-handed starter Jeff Karstens has been scratched from his scheduled Grapefruit League outing Sunday against the Orioles because of “continuing shoulder discomfort.”
Karstens reported feeling soreness in his right shoulder on February 19 — after one of his first throwing sessions of the spring. It was manageable for a while but is now causing him great discomfort. He will open the 2013 regular season on the 15-day disabled list, without a mapped-out return timetable.
Karstens posted a 3.97 ERA and 1.15 WHIP in 90 2/3 innings last season while fighting hip and shoulder injuries. Jeff Locke, Jonathan Sanchez, Kyle McPherson and Jeanmar Gomez are fighting for his spot.
The Rangers will not sign free agent reliever Seung-hwan Oh after all. Reports from MLB.com’s TR Sullivan indicate that negotiations were brought to a halt after a physical issue was found with the pitcher. While the specifics have yet to be released, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News says the issue was revealed on an MRI of the right-hander’s arm.
Oh was thought to be in talks with the Rangers last week, though a deal was never officially announced by the club. The 35-year-old righty is fresh off of a two-year run with the Cardinals, during which he posted a cumulative 39 saves, 2.85 ERA, 2.1 BB/9 and 10.2 SO/9 in 139 innings. He struggled with consistency in his sophomore season, however, and finished 2017 with a disappointing 4.10 ERA and 4.44 FIP in 62 appearances for the team.
While Oh hasn’t experienced any setbacks with his arm in the majors so far, he does have a history of prior injuries during his time in KBO. He sustained a shoulder injury in 2009 and underwent surgery to remove bone spurs from his elbow in 2010. It’s possible that the Rangers saw an entirely different problem on the MRI, but clearly it was enough to give them strong reservations about inking the righty to a $2.75+ million deal. It’s still possible that another of Oh’s suitors will offer him a contract prior to Opening Day; the Giants were rumored to be interested in the veteran reliever, among other teams, though their recent acquisition of lefty reliever Tony Watson will likely take them out of the running now.