Jordan Norberto filed an injury grievance against the A’s

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Last month left-hander Jordan Norberto was released by the A’s after being sidelined by an elbow injury and the reliever underwent Tommy John surgery this week.

Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Norberto has filed a grievance against the A’s, claiming that he should have been placed on the disabled list rather than released because he was already injured when Oakland optioned him to the minors at the end of spring training.

“I expected more from the team after the way I pitched for them last year,” Norberto told Slusser, adding that he was “disappointed” by how the whole thing played out. “But I’ll work hard and get a job with someone else.”

When the A’s released Norberto he was on the Triple-A disabled list with what was being called a strained elbow and was about halfway into a six-week recovery timetable. However, if Norberto was actually hurt earlier than that, before being demoted to the minors in late March, that information wasn’t reported on publicly. Could be an interesting case.

Meanwhile, he’ll miss all of this season and probably most of next season, wiping away any career momentum Norberto had after posting a 2.77 ERA and 46/22 K/BB ratio in 52 innings for the A’s last year.

Must-Click Link: “Skunk in the Outfield”

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Sam Miller of ESPN has an amazingly fantastic story today. It’s about a high school tournament baseball game in Rhode Island in 2006. It’s not your typical game story or oral history or look-to-the-past-to-see-the-future kind of thing. The only nod to such conventionality is mention of the fact that former Red Sox prospect Ryan Westmoreland played in the game. That’s mostly a footnote.

No, the article is about a trick play — “skunk in the outfield” — concocted by one of the coaches. About how it played out and what went into it before, during and after it happened. Along the way Miller talks about the nature of trick plays and offers a good three dozen amazing insights into the psychology of young baseball players and the strategy of baseball as it unfolds in real time.

Each of these observations could anchor its own story but here they form a grand mosaic. And that’s only mild hyperbole, if in fact it’s hyperbole at all. Indeed, most treatments of such a play would be some video clip with a “wow, look what happened here!” sort of couching. Miller gives a more than ten-year-old trick play an epic treatment that is every bit as enlightening as it is entertaining.

Set some time aside to read this today.

Rubby De La Rosa to undergo a second Tommy John Surgery

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This is unfortunate: Diamondbacks reliever Rubby De La Rosa will undergo Tommy John surgery. This will be the second Tommy John procedure of his career, the first coming back in 2011.

De La Rosa has had elbow  issues for his entire career. Last year his UCL was barking again and he underwent stem cell therapy to try to avoid a second surgery, but it obviously hasn’t worked out. He’s pitched in only nine games this year, allowing four earned runs in seven and two-thirds innings, striking out 12.

I first saw De La Rosa in spring training in 2011. I thought his stuff was pretty phenomenal and figured he’d be a good one. Great stuff is often a function of heavy strain on an elbow, however, and pitchers breaking is, unfortunately, the rule in baseball far more than the exception.

He’ll miss a year at least. We likely won’t see him until spring of 2019, most likely on a minor league deal.