Your Friday: better than Jose Fernandez’s:
Marlins star pitcher Jose Fernandez is scheduled to have Tommy John surgery Friday morning in Los Angeles, league sources said . . . Noted surgeon Neal ElAttrache will perform the surgery.
Actually, his Friday will likely still be better. Sure, that whole reconstructive surgery part is gonna stink, but he still got a $2 million signing bonus a couple of years ago, is making $635,000 this year regardless and, by the time his elbow is healed, will be on track to make millions and millions more. Yes, that’s the future, but he can sit in his hospital bed, chat with Dr. ElAttrache about how cool it is to be young, talented awesome and rich and then maybe watch a ballgame or whatever.
Yeah, a good Friday, all things considered.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Yankees have signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, pending a physical. Assuming the deal is finalized, Sherman notes that the Yankees will have Niese work as both a starter and a reliever in big league camp this spring.
According to Sherman, the Yankees were interested in lefty relievers Jerry Blevins and Boone Logan, but didn’t want to commit at their asking prices. They are looking for a lefty set-up man along with Tommy Lane.
Niese, 30, pitched for the Pirates and Mets last season, finishing with a 5.50 ERA and an 88/47 K/BB ratio over 121 innings.
Veteran Omar Infante has spent the overwhelming majority of his career as an infielder, but the Tigers plan to give him some playing time in center field this spring. The Tigers’ center field situation is still murky and adding more versatility would increase Infante’s odds of making the roster.
Infante, 35, signed a minor league deal with the Tigers in December. He played 39 games for the Royals last season, batting .239/.279/.321 in 149 plate appearances while playing second base exclusively. Infante last played in the outfield in 2010 with the Braves, and last played center field specifically in ’09 with the Braves.
The Tigers currently have Mikie Mahtook, Tyler Collins, and JaCoby Jones at the top of their center field depth chart. It is not what one would call “optimal.”