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Braves infielder Sean Rodriguez to miss the entire 2017 season


A tough, tough break for Sean Rodriguez and for the team which just signed him a couple of months ago.

Mark Bowman of reports that Rodriguez underwent surgery for a torn rotator cuff in his left shoulder on Tuesday. The surgery, performed by Dr. James Andrews, will put him on the shelf for as long as eight months. Even if he beats that prognosis by a couple of months the season will be close to over before he could play. Given that the Braves are not likely to be playing meaningful baseball in September there will not be a reason to rush him.

The Braves signed Rodriguez to a two-year, $11.5 million contract back in November as he was coming off of a career year with the Pirates during which he hit .270/.349/.510 with 18 home runs and 56 RBI over 342 plate appearances. Then tragedy struck.

Rodriguez was in an SUV with his wife and two of their four children when they were t-boned by a stolen police cruiser which had run a red light. The cruiser burst into flames and the man who was stole it suffered fatal injuries. Rodriguez’s wife broke he leg and the two children each suffered unspecified injuries. Rodriguez was thought to be unharmed until last week when the rotator cuff tear was discovered.

The injury prompted the Braves to trade for Brandon Phillips last weekend and he will be the Braves everyday second baseman to start the season. Rodriguez will, if everything goes well, be ready for spring training in 2018.

Danny Duffy exits spring training game with left shoulder tightness

Danny Duffy
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Royals’ Opening Day starter Danny Duffy weathered a minor scare during Saturday’s Cactus League game against the Diamondbacks. The left-hander was removed from his final spring training start after experiencing some left shoulder tightness in the second and third innings. No lasting damage appears to have been done — Duffy told reporters that he simply felt a slight ache, nothing more — and it looks like he’ll remain on track to open the season with the team next Thursday.

The 29-year-old southpaw is coming off one of his best performances to date. Despite losing a few weeks to an oblique strain and elbow soreness, he went 9-10 in 24 starts and finished the 2017 season with a 3.81 ERA, 2.5 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 over 146 1/3 innings. While Duffy entered camp with a clean bill of health, he struggled to execute against his spring training opponents and racked up 13 runs, four homers, seven walks and 11 strikeouts in 13 innings of Cactus League play.

The Royals are scheduled to kick off their home opener against the White Sox on Thursday, March 29 at 4:15 PM ET. Barring any further complications with his shoulder, Duffy will take the mound for the Royals, while James Shields is expected to make his first Opening Day appearance for the White Sox.