Rookie left-hander Pat Dean reportedly signed a one-year, $900,000 deal with the Kia Tigers of the Korea Baseball Organization, according to MyKBO.net’s Dan Kurtz.
Dean made his major league debut with the Twins in 2016, racking up a 6.28 ERA and 5.20 FIP over 67 1/3 innings between April and September. He fared little better in Triple-A Rochester, working a 5.56 ERA and 2.58 K/BB rate in 16 starts. The Twins called him up a second time in August after seeing three of their pitchers hit the disabled list, using the 27-year-old as bullpen filler through the remainder of the season. The lefty was outrighted, along with Tommy Milone, Andrew Albers, James Beresford and Logan Schafer on October 17.
The KBO might skew more toward hitters than struggling pitchers, but Dean won’t be the first former MLB pitcher in its ranks. He’ll join former White Sox hurler Hector Noesi, who pitched to a 3.51 ERA for the Tigers in 2016, as well as former Dodgers outfielder Roger Bernadina. According to the Yonhap News Agency, Dean is slated to replace right-hander Zeke Spruill, who completed his one-year contract with the Tigers after going 10-13 with a 5.33 ERA in 147 innings.
The Nationals have placed reliever Koda Glover on the 10-day disabled list due to a left hip impingement, Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post reports. Glover said he is “extremely confident” that he’ll need only the minimum 10 days to recover.
Glover, 24, felt hip discomfort when throwing his first pitch in Tuesday’s relief appearance. He attributed it to the cold, per Janes.
Glover was one of a handful of candidates to handle the ninth inning for the Nationals. It’s been a mixed bag for him, as he has a loss and a blown save along with a 4.15 ERA and a 6/1 K/BB ratio in 8 2/3 innings.
MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki reports that starter Clay Buchholz is at Citizens Bank Park for Wednesday night’s game against the Marlins. The right-hander recently underwent surgery to repair a partial tear of his flexor pronator mass. The timetable for his recovery is three to five months, but most are expecting him to miss the rest of the season since the Phillies aren’t legitimate contenders.
According to Zolecki, Buchholz apologized to GM Matt Klentak “and others” — presumably other front office staff and/or his teammates — for getting injured. Buchholz hopes to return to pitch in September.
It’s saddening to me, and indicative of the general anti-labor culture in sports, that a player feels obligated to apologize for getting injured on the job. Injuries are nothing new for Buchholz, which might have factored into his decision to apologize. Red Sox fans got on his case quite a bit over the years for his propensity to land on the disabled list. But it wasn’t like Buchholz was taking unnecessary risks; he simply did his job, which entails doing a lot of unhealthy movement with his arm. Buchholz owes no one an apology.
Buchholz isn’t the only player to have apologized for getting injured. Outfielder Hideki Matsui apologized to the Yankees in 2006. Starter Masahiro Tanaka apologized in 2014. Twins reliever Glen Perkins apologized last year. Even Madison Bumgarner sort of apologized for suffering injuries riding a dirt bike on an off-day, saying “It’s definitely not the most responsible decision I’ve made.” Because god forbid an athlete has interests and hobbies outside of his vocation.
Players are brought up in a sports culture that allows exorbitantly wealthy owners to bilk the players — laborers — at every possible turn. They’re mostly underpaid and poorly taken care of in the minors. If and when they reach the major leagues, their salaries are intentionally depressed for six years and their service time is toyed with (just ask Kris Bryant). Buchholz endured that and then endured the criticism that comes with having been a hyped prospect who mostly failed to live up to expectations. He’s gone above and beyond what he needed to do to have a successful career as a professional baseball player, even if it wasn’t as much as fans or front office personnel would have liked.