The news is promising on Athletics outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, who battled right shoulder soreness for the final two weeks of the 2013 regular season.
Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Cespedes felt “a little bit better” after taking batting practice in a team workout Tuesday at O.co Coliseum and expects to start ALDS Game 1 on Friday evening against the visiting Tigers.
Cespedes, 27, batted .240/.294/.442 with 26 home runs and 80 RBI in 135 games this season for the American League West champions. He was 6-for-19 (.316) with a double, two steals and two RBI in last year’s ALDS loss to Detroit.
Pitcher David Phelps has a torn UCL and will undergo Tommy John surgery, ending his 2018 season, the Mariners announced on Wednesday. Phelps was making brief one-inning stints in the Cactus League as he worked his way back from a procedure to remove a bone spur from his elbow last September. He said he felt the ligament tear on his final pitch against the Angels in his March 17 appearance.
Phelps, 31, was expected to set up for closer Edwin Diaz. The right-hander, between the Marlins and Mariners last season, posted a 3.40 ERA with a 62/26 K/BB ratio in 55 2/3 innings. He and the Mariners avoided arbitration in January, agreeing on a $5.55 million salary for the 2018 campaign. Phelps will become eligible to become a free agent at the end of the season.
As the Mariners noted in their statement, the expected recovery period for Tommy John surgery is 12-15 months, so this very likely cuts into Phelps’ 2019 season as well.