Tommy John surgery is all the rage these days, it seems. ESPN’s Adam Rubin reports that Mets closer Bobby Parnell will undergo Tommy John surgery on Tuesday after recently being diagnosed with a tear in his medial collateral ligament. Team doctor David Atlchek will perform the surgery at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan. The procedure closes the book on his 2014 season.
Parnell blew the save in his first and only appearance of the 2014 season, allowing a run on a walk and two hits in one inning against the Nationals on March 31. Parnell suffered from a neck injury throughout the second half of the 2013 season and underwent surgery in December. As the most successful arm in a very young bullpen, Parnell was the de facto closer, but GM Sandy Alderson did sign veteran Jose Valverde as a bit of veteran insurance. With Parnell out, Valverde should continue getting the lion’s share of save opportunities.
Jon Heyman reports that the Nationals are closing in on a deal with catcher Matt Wieters. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that it’s a two-year deal. UPDATE: Ken Rosenthal reports that the deal is for two years, at $21 million. There is an opt-out for him after year one. He will get $10 million in 2017 and, if he returns in 2018, he’ll get $11 million.
Wieters was not expected to go this long without signing, but his market, which many thought would be robust, never materialized. The Nats had been rumored to be interested for months, but they were apparently waiting to swoop in late and get what one presumes will be a bargain.
Wieters, 30, finished last season hitting .243/.302/.409 with 17 home runs and 66 RBI in 464 plate appearances. The Nationals currently have Derek Norris and Jose Lobaton, so who falls where in the catcher fight in Washington is unclear, but one presumes that Wieters getting a two-year deal puts him at the top of the depth chart.
Ken Rosenthal has an interesting story up about Sergio Romo as he begins spring training with his new team, the Los Angeles Dodgers.
There is some fun stuff about his family, all Dodgers fans from southern California, but the more notable stuff is about Romo himself, who has dealt with a lot more than has been reported over the past couple of seasons. The loss of three of his four grandparents is a big one, as it has thrust the mantle of head of the family on Romo in ways that he was not fully prepared for. There are also allusions to personal and psychological problems Romo has experienced — there is a vague suggestion of alcohol or maybe just late nights out and perhaps depression, but he is not specific about it — which he worked on with the help of friends and teammates on the Giants and which he now has overcome.
There’s always more going on the lives of baseball players than we as fans know.