Jose Valverde allowed three runs in an inning of work Saturday night against the Braves — the latest in a string of rough outings. So manager Terry Collins decided Sunday morning to make a change:
Farnsworth has been pretty sharp this season in a setup role with the Mets, but the 38-year-old right-hander posted an ugly 4.70 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, and 28/10 K/BB ratio in 38 1/3 innings last summer between the Pirates and Rays. This is doubtful to end well. Though it’s not like Collins has a bunch of better options.
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 MLB.com’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.