Report: Luke Heimlich taken off many teams’ draft boards


Luke Heimlich, a junior left-handed pitcher for Oregon State University, was expected to be selected early in the 2017 amateur draft. However, it was recently revealed by the Oregonian that the now 21-year-old Heimlich was a registered sex offender as a result of pleading guilty to repeatedly sexually molesting his six-year-old cousin when he was 15 years old.

Heimlich’s case went into Oregon court records for the first time when he missed an annual update in April. And once that became public, his story became known to the baseball world.

As a result, ESPN’s Keith Law said on Outside the Lines that Heimlich has been taken completely off many teams’ draft boards. He said, “Every team I spoke to — which is not to say all 30 teams, but a sampling of the teams — all said they had taken him off the board entirely. They would not draft the player because of the revelations of the criminal past…”

In the past, teams have been very lenient towards people who have committed sexual assault, so it’s at least good to see that many teams are not willing to reward a player just because he’s good at throwing a baseball. If a team were to select Heimlich, it would be subject to questioning and since the lefty is still years away from being a potentially marketable star, it’s a risk most teams appear to be unwilling to take.

The Pac-12 Network is already bracing for that scrutiny as OSU advances through the 2017 Division I Men’s College World Series. Deadspin’s Patrick Redford reports that the Pac-12 Network sent out an internal memo instructing employees to avoid talking about the Heimlich situation entirely. The memo said, “Do not engage in the discussion,” and later added regarding questions that may be asked, “Regardless of the question, do not engage.” And while OSU granted Heimlich’s request for time off, it hasn’t said or done anything at all, really, beyond offer general public statements.

Carter Capps to undergo surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome

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Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union Tribune reports that Padres pitcher Carter Capps will undergo surgery this offseason to address thoracic outlet syndrome, which doctors believe caused the right-hander’s blood clots. The Padres hope to have him ready by spring training next year.

Capps, 27, underwent Tommy John surgery last year and didn’t debut this season until August 7. He made 11 relief appearances, yielding nine runs on 12 hits and two walks with seven strikeouts in 12 1/3 innings. He went back on the DL on September 12 due to the blood clot issue.

The Padres acquired Capps from the Marlins last July in the Andrew Cashner trade which ended up having a lot of moving parts. Capps will enter his third and final year of arbitration eligibility this offseason. It’s quite possible the Padres choose to non-tender him.

Zack Greinke likely to start Wild Card game for Diamondbacks

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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo is considering pushing Zack Greinke‘s next start to this weekend in order to line him up to start the National League Wild Card game on normal rest, Nick Piecoro reports. The D-Backs open up their final series of the season, a three-game set, on Friday against the Royals in Kansas City. Greinke is currently on track to start Wednesday against the Giants and the team has an off day on Thursday.

Robbie Ray has been the Diamondbacks’ best pitcher by several measures, including ERA (2.95) and K/9 (12.3), but Greinke has been quite good himself (3.18) and has nine postseason starts under his belt in his career. He’s acclimated to postseason pressure. The D-Backs also signed Greinke to a $206.5 million contract two years ago, which is likely a factor.

The D-Backs are still waiting to find out which opponent will fly to Arizona for the Wild Card game on October 4. Currently, the Rockies hold a two-game lead over the Brewers and lead the Cardinals by 2.5 games.