Aaron Gleeman

Jarrod Parker

Jarrod Parker fractured his elbow again

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Dang. A’s right-hander Jarrod Parker, who has already come back from two Tommy John surgeries and most recently a fractured elbow, is now facing another career-threatening injury after re-fracturing his elbow in a game earlier this week.

Parker showed so much promise as a prospect coming up through the Diamondbacks’ minor-league system and then as a young starter in the A’s rotation, but the 27-year-old former first-round draft pick is now looking at a third consecutive lost season after leaving the mound screaming.

I can’t even fathom the physical pain and emotional anguish that comes with suffering two torn ligaments and two fractures in the same elbow. Here’s hoping Parker can make a full recovery and eventually return to the majors as an effective pitcher. Or short of that find some peace, happiness, and good health in his post-playing career.

What a shame.

Willie Bloomquist retires after 14 seasons in the majors

Willie Bloomquist
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Willie Bloomquist just announced his retirement via Twitter, calling it a career after 14 seasons in the majors for the Mariners, Diamondbacks, Royals, and Reds.

Bloomquist was Seattle’s third-round draft pick in 1999 and reached the big leagues in 2002 as a 24-year-old. He never received 500 plate appearances in a season and topped 350 plate appearances just twice, but stuck around because of his defensive versatility, speed, and likability in the clubhouse. And once in a while he even hit a little bit, batting .269 with a .658 OPS in 1,055 games overall.

Bloomquist started at least 15 games and logged at least 200 innings at every position except catcher, but was primarily a shortstop. He earned more than $17 million and the Washington native played the bulk of his career for Seattle.

Blue Jays add 40-year-old southpaw specialist Randy Choate

Randy Choate Getty
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Veteran southpaw specialist Randy Choate has agreed to a minor-league deal with the Blue Jays.

Choate is 40 years and has always been strictly used for one or two left-handed batters at a time, but if Toronto is willing to devote a roster spot to a pitcher who might only throw 25-30 innings all season he’s death on lefties.

Last season Choate appeared in 71 games and logged just 27.1 innings for the Cardinals. He’s spent 15 seasons in the majors, but has topped 40 innings just three times and has never thrown more than 51 innings. So why do teams keep wanting Choate in their bullpen? Because he’s held lefties to a .195 batting average for his career.

Anibal Sanchez throws simulated game after elbow injury

Anibal Sanchez
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Sidelined early in camp by a triceps injury and then later by bronchitis, Tigers right-hander Anibal Sanchez felt good enough to throw a 30-pitch simulated game today and reported no problems.

According to Jason Beck of MLB.com Sanchez threw fastballs and breaking balls in front of the Tigers’ brass, including manager Brad Ausmus and general manager Al Avila.

Sanchez said he’s still feeling under the weather, but his elbow is much better and “five days from now, I’m going to be on the mound.” Whether that will be in a big-league game or against minor leaguers remains to be seen, but Sanchez is back on track for Opening Day.

Jered Weaver diagnosed with nerve tightness in neck

Jered Weaver AP
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After struggling to reach 80 miles per hour with his fastball Wednesday and then undergoing an MRI exam, Angels right-hander Jered Weaver has been diagnosed with what the team is calling nerve tightness in his neck.

Weaver showed a good sense of humor about the whole situation, telling Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com: “The third homer that I watched go out kind of hurt my neck a little bit.”

However, neither Weaver nor the Angels can feel very good about his consistently declining velocity and the lack of a clear-cut reason for his issues.

I just feel like it’s neck tension that is causing me to not be able to throw the ball like I want to. I guess it’s going to kind of help to get a professional doctor to go from there.

Gonzalez reports that Weaver plans to continue throwing and is on track to be ready for the season, but his next start should make the odds of that happening much clearer and there’s no timetable for that.

Weaver had career-worst numbers across the board last season, has lost velocity on an annual basis, and is in the final year of his contract with the Angels, so the 33-year-old three-time All-Star has a lot riding on this season.