This is . . . odd. The Miami Herald is reporting that Jose Fernandez’s attorney released a statement on Friday following Fernandez’s Tommy John surgery in which he claimed that a previous injury, not detected by the Marlins, led to Fernandez’s torn UCL and thus his surgery:
Jose Fernandez’s arm injury was precipitated by a chain reaction of events that began when a line drive struck him in the thigh in his next-to-last game, according to the pitcher’s friend and attorney.
That “prompted a completely unanticipated change in delivery which neither the staff nor his coaches could discern,” culminating in a “traumatic” arm injury when Fernandez pitched next on May 9 in San Diego, said his Tampa-based attorney, Ralph Fernandez, in a statement that was released Friday after the pitcher underwent Tommy John surgery in Los Angeles.
Clark Spencer of the Herald got quotes from Mike Redmond and other Marlins saying that no one noticed anything wrong with Fernandez’s mechanics and that Fernandez did not complain of any other injuries or discomfort. And that, if he had those things, he should have reported it to someone and the team would have dealt with it. Which, to me anyway, sounds pretty darn reasonable.
But put that aside for a second: why on Earth is a player having his lawyer issue statements like this? Statements containing phrasing that sounds like the sort of language lawyers put in complaints and things. Not that Fernandez is going to sue or anything — some lawyers can’t help themselves and always speak as if they’re drafting complaints — but it’s just really unusual to see this kind of stuff.
The lawyer says he released the statement “in order to reduce speculation.” In doing so, I believe he has achieved the exact opposite result.
The Brewers have signed Neftali Feliz to a one-year, $5.35 million contract. There are some performance incentives in the deal that could push it to $6.85 million. Feliz will likely open the 2017 season as the Brewers’ closer.
The 28-year-old righty is coming off of an impressive season with the Pirates. His hits allowed per nine innings were WAY down and his WHIP dipped sharply as well, despite the fact that he walked a few more dudes. That was offset by a big spike in his strikeout rate: from 7.3/9IP in 2015 to 10.2 last year. A blemish: he missed the last month of the season after suffering a bout of arm soreness, though no structural problem was ever uncovered, he’ll likely be good to go next month.
The Miami Marlins have acquired starting pitcher Dan Straily from the Cincinnati Reds. In exchange, the Reds will receive right-handed pitching prospects Luis Castillo and Austin Brice and outfield prospect Isaiah White.
For the Marlins, they get a solid starter who logged 191.1 innings of 113 ERA+ ball last year. Straily has moved around a lot in his five big league seasons — the Marlins will be his fifth club in six years — but it was something of a breakout year for him in Cincinnati. The only troubling thing: he tied for the league lead in homers allowed. Of course, pitching half of his games in Great American Ballpark didn’t help that, and Miami will be a better place for him.
Castillo is 24. He split last season between high-A and Double-A — far more of it in A-ball — posting a 2.26 ERA over 24 starts. Austin Brice is also 24. He pitched 15 games in relief for the Marlins last year at the big league level with poor results. He seemed to blossom at Triple-A, however, after the Marlins shifted him to the pen. White was a third round pick in the 2015 draft. He played low-A ball as a minor leaguer last year, hitting .214/.306/.301.
A mixed bag of young talent for the Reds, but stockpiling kids and seeing what shakes out is what a team like the Reds should be doing at the moment. For the Marlins: a solid mid-to-back end starter who may just be coming into his own.