In theaters now is “Million Dollar Arm,” Disney’s version of Rinku Singh and Dinesh Kumar Patel’s unlikely journey from game show winners in India to minor league pitchers in the United States. Jerry Crasnick of ESPN has their story.
Along the way, Crasnick tells us that, though their major league baseball dreams didn’t materialize, one of them did get to experience something many, many major league pitchers have lately: Tommy John surgery for Singh:
Last summer, Singh experienced another ritual that’s become increasingly more commonplace among young American and Latino males in his new profession: He underwent Tommy John surgery on his left elbow. Like Matt Harvey, Jose Fernandez and so many other All-Stars/household names, Singh is dealing with the emotional and physical fallout of an ulnar collateral ligament tear. He’ll spend this summer rehabbing in an effort to return to the playing field in 2015.
In this case, I do not think we can realistically look at the subject being overworked in highly-competitive youth traveling leagues as the culprit.
At the end of January, the Nationals signed relievers Joe Nathan and Matt Albers. Today the Nationals have released Joe Nathan and Matt Albers.
Nathan, 42, pitched in just ten games last year, totaling only six and a third innings, between the Giants and the Cubs. He missed the entire 2015 season except for one third of an inning on Opening Day. Albers pitched in 58 games for the White Sox last year, posting an unsightly 6.31 ERA He pitched wonderfully in 30 games in 2015 however.
This spring Nathan and Albers pitched in more games than any other Nats relievers. Twelve for Nathan, ten for Albers. And they pitched well, with Nathan giving up five earned runs and Albers none. Apparently, however, there just isn’t room on the roster for those two.
This could be the end of the line for Nathan, a 16-year veteran with 377 career saves.
The substance of the report is not shocking. Francisco Lindor is one of baseball’s brightest young stars and the Cleveland Indians would, no doubt, wish to lock him up for an extended period of time. The surprising part is the guy who reported that, yes, the Indians are working to get Lindor a seven-year extension.
That guy: six-year-old Brody Chernoff, son of Indians general manager Mike Chernoff. Brody was invited into the team’s broadcast booth during the ninth inning of their game against the Chicago White Sox. Indians announcer Tom Hamilton asked, no doubt jokingly, if his working on anything interesting. Brody:
“He’s trying to get, um, Lindor to play for seven more years,”
Again, not shocking. It would’ve been way worse if Brody had said “Dad’s working on a three-way deal that’ll send Naquin to an NL team in order to affect a three-way trade that’ll land us Verlander without having to deal directly with a divisional rival.” But I imagine Dad still would’ve preferred he not mention that.