A year ago the Miami Marlins adopted a ban on facial hair for players. They never gave a good reason for it apart from vague allusions to image and professionalism, but really, there was no and could be no good reason for it. They’re baseball players, not executives. Even if you tried to construct an argument about how they are ambassadors for the Miami Marlins brand, you have to contend with the fact that almost every other team allows facial hair and almost every other team has a superior brand to that of the Miami Marlins.
Thankfully, the Marlins have changed their mind about all of this and have gotten rid of the policy.
Don Mattingly says that players still have to be “groomed” which, I presume, means that they shouldn’t have lentil soup in their beards or whatever. Really, though, Mattingly — who wore a mustache in his playing days — sounds like he doesn’t give a rip about it, noting that it was a pain for him to enforce the ban last year. Not the sort of thing you want your manager concentrating on, obviously.
Athletics right-hander Jharel Cotton will undergo Tommy John surgery, per an announcement on Saturday. Cotton initially experienced some elbow soreness during a Cactus League start earlier this week and was officially diagnosed with a strained ulnar collateral ligament and strained flexor muscle on Thursday. He’ll be out of commission until 2019 at the earliest.
This isn’t the first time Cotton has dealt with elbow issues. According to MLB.com’s Jane Lee, he had screws inserted in his right elbow after sustaining a stress fracture in 2013 and suffered some minor elbow discomfort again last fall. Prior to his diagnosis, the 26-year-old was poised for his third run with the A’s in 2018. He pitched his first full season with the club in 2017, turning in a 5.58 ERA, 3.7 BB/9 and 7.3 SO/9 in 24 starts and 129 innings.
Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle adds that the team is open to adding pitching depth this spring, though they’ll wait to see if the price goes down on some free agents first. Barring that, right-handed long reliever Andrew Triggs could be tabbed to fill the fifth spot in the rotation.