According to Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington, Nationals right-hander Doug Fister revealed last night that he had skin cancer removed from his neck this week.
Fister could be seen with a row of stitches on the left side of his neck during his start last night against the Giants. He ended up giving up four runs over six innings – his worst start since June 15 — but he told reporters after the game that the procedure had “no effect” on his performance.
Fister offered no other details about the situation, but skin cancer is a big danger for baseball players, coaches, and scouts, who obviously spend a lot of time in the sun. James Wagner of the Washington Post wrote an excellent story on the issue earlier this year.
Free agent right-hander Trevor Cahill reportedly has a one-year deal in place with the Athletics, according to MLB.com’s Jane Lee. The exact terms have yet to be disclosed, and as the agreement is still pending a physical, it has not been formally announced by the club.
Cahill, 30, is coming off of a decent, albeit underwhelming year with the Padres and Royals. He kicked off the 2017 season with a 4-3 record in 11 starts for the Padres, then split his time between the rotation and bullpen after a midseason trade to the Royals. By the end of the year, the righty led the league with 16 wild pitches and had racked up a 4.93 ERA, 4.8 BB/9 and 9.3 SO/9 in 84 innings for the two teams.
The A’s found themselves in desperate need of rotation depth this week after Jharel Cotton announced he’d miss the 2018 season to undergo Tommy John surgery. Right now, the team is considering some combination of Andrew Triggs, Daniel Gossett, Daniel Mengden and Paul Blackburn for the back end of the rotation — a mix that seems unlikely to change in the last two weeks before Opening Day, as Lee points out that Cahill won’t be ready to shoulder a full workload by then. Instead, he’s expected to begin the year in the bullpen and work his way up to a starting role, where the A’s hope he’ll replicate the All-Star numbers he produced with them back in 2010.