Losing at least two critical members of your bullpen for the final two and a half months of the season has to be disheartening to the Phillies, who consider themselves contenders in the NL East at 48-48, 6.5 games out of first place. The news on Mike Adams and Jeremy Horst comes via the Inquirer’s Matt Gelb:
Mike Adams did not respond to the conservative treatment for numerous tears in his shoulder. He will likely undergo surgery that could sideline him for the beginning of 2014. Adams is owed $7 million next season.
Lefthander Jeremy Horst’s season is likely over. Soreness in his elbow recurred during a rehab stint at triple-A Lehigh Valley. He visited noted orthopedist James Andrews for a second opinion and was injected with a platelet-rich plasma shot. He will not throw for at least six weeks.
Gelb also mentions that right-hander Michael Stutes is still experiencing soreness in his biceps and will be shut down for at least another two weeks.
The Phillies have the worst bullpen ERA in the National League at 4.39. After getting rid of veterans like Chad Durbin and Raul Valdes earlier in the season, the Phillies have been relying on a lot of young, unproven pitchers like Phillippe Aumont and it hasn’t worked out. Their awful ERA has been caused in large part by a league-worst 10.2 percent walk rate and a 19.8 percent strikeout rate, which ranks as the fifth-lowest among all 30 bullpens. Additionally, they have allowed hits on balls put in play at the highest rate in the league at .315.
GM Ruben Amaro said last week he is shopping for a center fielder and at least one reliever, but it doesn’t seem like just one reliever will do the trick.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports provides an interesting window into how teams handle a player’s contract after he has died in an accident. It was reported on Sunday that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura died in a car accident in the Dominican Republic. He had three guaranteed years at a combined $19.25 million as well as two $12 million club options with a $1 million buyout each for the 2020-21 seasons.
What happens to that money? Well, that depends on the results of a toxicology report, Rosenthal explains. If it is revealed that Ventura was driving under the influence, payment to his estate can be nullified. The Royals may still choose to pay his estate some money as a gesture of good will, but they would be under no obligation to do so. However, if Ventura’s death was accidental and not caused by his driving under the influence, then his contract remains fully guaranteed and the Royals would have to pay it towards his estate. The Royals would be reimbursed by insurance for an as yet unknown portion of that contract.
The results of the toxicology report won’t be known for another three weeks, according to Royals GM Dayton Moore. Dominican Republic authorities said that there was no alcohol found at the scene.
Ventura’s situation is different than that of Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, who died in a boating accident this past September. Fernandez was not under contract beyond 2016. He was also legally drunk and cocaine was found in his system after the accident. Still, it is unclear whether or not Fernandez was driving the boat. As a result, his estate will receive an accidental death payment of $1.05 million as well as $450,000 through the players’ standard benefits package, Rosenthal points out.
The Associated Press is reporting that the spring training schedule will be shortened by two days starting in 2018. That change comes as part of the new collective bargaining agreement, which was agreed to last month.
Specifically, the voluntary reporting date for pitchers, catchers, and injured players has been changed to 43 days before the start of the regular season, down from 45. For the rest of the players, the reporting date is 38 days before the start of the regular season, down from 40.
The change goes hand-in-hand with allowing teams 187 days, rather than 183, to complete their 162-game regular season schedule.
While just about everyone seems to be in agreement that the spring training exhibition schedule is too long, team owners are likely very hesitant to shorten that part of the spring schedule because it would cost them money. So they’re just allowing players to arrive to camp a couple of days later.