UPDATE: Dan Hayes of CSNChicago.com reports that Sale will be placed on the disabled list. He was diagnosed with a flexor muscle strain, but the good news is that an MRI showed no ligament damage. The hope is that he won’t have to miss more than 15 days.
6:13 p.m. ET: Dan Hayes of CSNChicago.com brings some potentially troubling news about White Sox left-hander Chris Sale:
Andre Rienzo is likely to fill in tomorrow night against the Tigers and Justin Verlander.
For all the concerns about Sale’s build and delivery, he has never been on the disabled list in his career. However, he was given a 10-day break from the rotation two years ago when the White Sox attempted to move him into the closer role. They reversed course after just one relief appearance. He also missed one start last season due to left shoulder tendinitis. The White Sox will have to hope that this is just a blip.
Sale, 25, is 3-0 with a 2.30 ERA and 29/7 K/BB ratio in 27 1/3 innings over his first four starts this season. He threw a career-high 214 1/3 innings last year.
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.