Marc Carig of Newsday reports that Mets pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka has left his team, currently in Milwaukee for a four-game series to wrap up a ten-game road trip, to fly back to New York. He will undergo an MRI on his troublesome right elbow.
Matsuzaka allowed three runs in two innings of relief yesterday against the Brewers and has struggled tremendously dating back to late June, serving as a swingman. In four starts and two relief appearances since June 26, Matsuzaka has a 5.93 ERA with a 26/13 K/BB ratio in 27 1/3 innings.
The 33-year-old right-hander has undergone Tommy John surgery before, back in 2011 when he was still with the Red Sox. Obviously, that scary thought has to be lingering in the back of GM Sandy Alderson’s mind.
The Cleveland Indians just announced that outfielder Michael Brantley underwent arthroscopic ankle surgery yesterday, aimed at stabilizing ligaments. He’s expected to be able to resume baseball activities in 4-5 months, which is likely to delay the beginning of his 2018 season.
Brantley only played in 90 games for the Indians in 2017, sitting out most of August and all of September, but returning for the postseason. He injured the ankle in a game against the Rockies on August 8 and it never did get quite right, as his 1-for-11 line in the ALDS suggested. On the season as a whole Brantley hit .299/.357/.444 with nine homers and 52 driven in.
Brantley’s contract expires with the 2017 season, but there is a 2018 team option at a relatively reasonable $11 million. While he has only played 101 games in the past two seasons combined due to injuries, his strong performance from 2012-2015, and his status as a team leader, will likely lead the Indians to exercise that option.