World Series umpires announced


John Hirschbeck will lead the umpiring crew for the World Series, Major League Baseball just announced.  Joining him will be Dana DeMuth,  Jim Joyce, Paul Emmel, Bill Miller and Mark Wegner.

Hirschbeck — who skews a bit pitcher friendly — was the crew chief for the All-Star Game too. During this past season he had a couple of minor run-ins with youngsters Yasiel Puig and Bryce Harper. Fortunately, though, there are no untamed horses or undisciplined kids in this year’s World Series who need to be reminded of their place.

Jharel Cotton to undergo Tommy John surgery

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Athletics right-hander Jharel Cotton will undergo Tommy John surgery, per an announcement on Saturday. Cotton initially experienced some elbow soreness during a Cactus League start earlier this week and was officially diagnosed with a strained ulnar collateral ligament and strained flexor muscle on Thursday. He’ll be out of commission until 2019 at the earliest.

This isn’t the first time Cotton has dealt with elbow issues. According to’s Jane Lee, he had screws inserted in his right elbow after sustaining a stress fracture in 2013 and suffered some minor elbow discomfort again last fall. Prior to his diagnosis, the 26-year-old was poised for his third run with the A’s in 2018. He pitched his first full season with the club in 2017, turning in a 5.58 ERA, 3.7 BB/9 and 7.3 SO/9 in 24 starts and 129 innings.

Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle adds that the team is open to adding pitching depth this spring, though they’ll wait to see if the price goes down on some free agents first. Barring that, right-handed long reliever Andrew Triggs could be tabbed to fill the fifth spot in the rotation.