Josh Beckett will undergo season-ending surgery this week to remove a rib and relieve pressure on a nerve that’s been causing hand numbness for several years.
It’s a potentially career-threatening injury for the 33-year-old right-hander and Beckett talked to Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times about how much the hand numbness has impacted his performance (and life):
I’d try to drive with my right hand and my right hand would go numb. I’d throw a bullpen, and I couldn’t feel my hand. … Being ready for next year, and for spring training, without any limitations is probably the most realistic goal.
Beckett tried to rest and rehab before opting for surgery, but the description of what he dealt with certainly shines a light on how he went from top-of-the-rotation starter to going 7-19 with a 4.76 ERA in 214 innings since the beginning of last season. Shaikin writes that “his arm would feel weak and heavy” whenever he pitched.
Buster Olney of ESPN reports that the Blue Jays have signed Steve Pearce to a two-year deal worth $12.5 million.
Pearce, 33 had some health issues in 2016, but he hit .288/.374/.492 across 302 plate appearances when he was on the field and he mashes lefties in particular. Pearce is versatile as well, logging time at first base, second base, right field, left field, and DH in 2016 while splitting time between the Rays and Orioles.
Last week Pirates infielder Jung Ho Kang was arrested in South Korea for driving under the influence of alcohol and leaving the scene of an accident. That’s bad, but it turns out that it’s nothing new. The Yonhapnews Agency reports that Kang has been arrested for DUI three times since 2009:
Gangnam Police Station in southern Seoul confirmed that it was Kang’s third DUI arrest, with the three strikes law resulting in the immediate revocation of his license. According to police, Kang had also been arrested for a DUI in August 2009 and May 2011. No personal injuries were reported in either case, though he’d caused property damage in the latter incident.
The report also notes that a companion of Kang initially claimed that he, and not Kang, was behind the wheel at the time of the accident which led to Kang’s arrest last week. It was later revealed by the car’s black box, however, that Kang was driving. So add in some obstruction of justice, whether it is charged or not, to the scene. Police are investigating that.
Between all of this and the fact that Kang is under investigation for an alleged sexual assault in Chicago this past season, a pretty ugly portrait of the Pirates’ infielder is beginning to reveal itself.