The A.J. Burnett signing is sounding more and more important for the Phillies with every piece of pitcher-related news that comes out, it seems. At around the same time the Phillies handed a contract to Burnett, they announced that Cole Hamels wouldn’t be ready for Opening Day due to shoulder tendinitis.
Now, according to Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly, Jonathan Pettibone is feeling shoulder discomfort again. GM Ruben Amaro said the injury is “similar, but not as severe” as the shoulder injury that brought Pettibone’s season to an end in late July last season.
Pettibone on his injury:
“It’s kind of the early stages of what happened last year,” he said. “So it’s good that we stop it early and jump on some anti-inflammatories and hopefully get it before it gets too serious.”
Pettibone was expected to compete for the #5 spot in the rotation along with Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez and Roberto Hernandez. The Phillies’ pitching depth is razor-thin as it is, having also learned in January that Adam Morgan will miss most of the 2014 season.
Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that the Nationals will ask to speak with Astros’ bench coach Alex Cora after the American League Championship Series concludes on Saturday. This comes on the heels of the news that club manager Dusty Baker will not be returning to the team in 2018.
Cora, 42, has some experience in the Nationals’ organization. He played for the Nats during his last big league stint in 2011, batting .224/.287/.276 through 91 games before announcing his retirement in the spring of 2012. Per Cafardo, he was also offered a player development gig with the club, but has not appeared in any kind of official role with them since his days as a major league infielder. While he’s been lauded for his leadership skills and strong clubhouse presence, he hasn’t acquired any managerial experience since his retirement, save for a handful of games with the Astros where he filled in for A.J. Hinch.
Despite the appeal of having a familiar face in the dugout, the Nationals aren’t the only ones eyeing Cora. The Astros’ coach has already interviewed with the Tigers, Mets and Red Sox this month. Boston appears to be the current favorite to land him and according to at least one source, may even announce his hiring in advance of the World Series next Tuesday.