We already knew that Joel Hanrahan was having season-ending surgery to repair the flexor tendon in his right forearm, but doctors didn’t rule out the possibility that he would also require Tommy John surgery. Well, the worst-case scenario played out today.
Hanrahan’s agent, Mike Dillon, confirmed that his client had Tommy John surgery to repair the ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow. He also had a bone spur removed. It usually takes pitchers at least one year to make it back from Tommy John surgery, so he figures to miss the early part of the 2014 season.
The Red Sox acquired Hanrahan from the Pirates during the offseason to serve as their closer, but he only made nine appearances with the club. The 31-year-old is due to become a free agent this winter and will likely have to settle for an incentive-laden contract.
The Nationals have acquired left-handed reliever Marc Rzepczynski and cash considerations from the A’s in exchange for minor league infielder Max Schrock.
Schrock is a 21-year-old second baseman who has been pretty darn impressive in A-ball this year, but the Nats can be excused for giving up promise in 2018 or whatever for some bullpen help come playoff time. Rzepczynski walks a few too many guys for my taste but he strikes ’em out at a pretty decent rate for a LOOGY and the Nats could use another southpaw reliever apart from Oliver Perez. This is especially true given how many tough lefty hitters they may face in the playoffs.
On the basic merits, sure, Rzepczynski for Schrock may look pretty dang good for the A’s in a few years. But this October the A’s will be watching on TV from home while the Nats will be trying to win it all, making the trade pretty darn understandable from their point of view.
Meanwhile, in Tulsa, Zach Welz of the visiting Arkansas Travelers made a spectacular catch. It was the catch Torii Hunter tried to make on that famous David Ortiz homer in the playoffs a few years back except Welz made it.
Watch as he topples over the wall to come up with the would-be dinger off the bat of Tulsa Drillers first baseman Cody Bellinger: