Aaron Gleeman

Jarrod Parker AP

Jarrod Parker headed for MRI exam after leaving game in pain

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Potentially sad news for oft-injured A’s right-hander Jarrod Parker, who left the mound screaming in pain today after throwing just one pitch.

According to what the A’s medical staff told reporters Parker has been diagnosed with a lateral elbow impingement and there’s optimism it won’t prove to be a serious injury. However, he’s going for an MRI exam and … well, given Parker’s lengthy injury history it’s hard not to be pessimistic.

Parker has already come back from two Tommy John surgeries and is currently rehabbing from a broken elbow where the newest ligament had been re-attached. All despite only being 27 years old.

Once considered among the top pitching prospects in baseball while coming up through the Diamondbacks farm system, Parker was traded to the A’s in the late-2011 deal for Trevor Cahill. He was healthy and effective in 2013 and 2014, combining to throw 378 innings with a 3.73 ERA, but then blew out his elbow for a second time.

Cubs release Rex Brothers before $1.4 million deal becomes guaranteed

Rex Brothers Rockies
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Rex Brothers was released today by the Cubs, who signed the left-hander to a $1.42 million contract in December after acquiring him from the Rockies.

However, because the contract was an agreement to avoid arbitration it’s only partially guaranteed. By releasing Brothers now the Cubs owe him only 30 days of termination pay, which is around $300,000. In other words, they made the decision so early in spring training precisely because it saved them the most money in a situation unique to this specific type of contract.

Not so long ago Brothers looked like one of the best young relievers in the league, saving 19 games with  1.74 ERA and 76 strikeouts in 67 innings for the Rockies in 2013 as a 25-year-old. However, the former first-round draft pick struggled in 2014 and then spent most of last season in the minors before failing to impress the Cubs this spring.

At age 28 he should have plenty of interested suitors on a minor-league contract, but will have to get his career back on track before returning to the majors.

Angels send Jered Weaver for MRI exam on neck

Jered Weaver AP
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Angels right-hander Jered Weaver, who had trouble reaching 80 miles per hour with his fastball Wednesday, reported having neck soreness today and has been sent for what the team is calling a “precautionary” MRI exam.

Weaver throwing in the high-70s and low-80s isn’t as worrisome as it would be with nearly any other pitcher because his velocity has been in decline for years now and he worked in the mid-80s for much of last season. However, it’s also easy to see why the Angels are cautious with his health in general.

Along with the low velocity reading Weaver served up three homers to the Dodgers on Wednesday and is coming off a career-worst 4.64 ERA and career-low 5.1 strikeouts per nine innings last year. He’s only 33 years old, but Weaver’s career may be at a crossroads.