Author: D.J. Short

Los Angeles Dodgers' Julio Urias signs a ball for a fan during the team's first pitchers and catchers workout Friday, Feb. 20, 2015, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/John Locher)

Dodgers prospect Julio Urias will miss a month after eye surgery


Dodgers prospect left-hander Julio Urias has emerged as one of the best pitching prospects in the game at the age of 18, posting a 2.53 ERA over his first 178 innings in pro ball, but Ken Gurnick of reports that he’s expected to miss a month due to cosmetic surgery on his left eye.

Urias had a tumor removed from his eye as a child, but it left him with a droopy eyelid. It hasn’t affected his ability to pitch and the upcoming surgery is considered elective. The expectation is that he’ll be back in game action by the end of June.

Dodgers director of player development Gabe Kapler said the organization supports Urias’ decision and were watching his workload anyway. This midseason break will allow him to pitch later into the season and perhaps leaves a September call-up on the table.

Ranked as the No. 10 prospect in the game by Baseball America over the winter, Urias has posted a 3.00 ERA and 46/9 K/BB ratio in 36 innings over his first seven starts with Double-A Tulsa this season. Pretty special stuff at his age.

Ben Zobrist set to begin minor league rehab assignment

Oakland Athletics v Houston Astros

The Athletics have cleared Ben Zobrist to begin a minor league rehab assignment tomorrow with High-A Stockton, just three weeks removed from arthroscopic surgery on his left knee.

According to Joe Stiglich of, Athletics manager Bob Melvin said last night that Zobrist is expected to play five innings at second base during his first game action. He was given a 4-6 week recovery timetable after surgery, but it sounds like he has a good chance to make it back sooner than originally anticipated.

Zobrist, who was acquired from the Rays over the winter, was batting .240 (12-for-50) with one home run and eight RBI over 14 games prior to surgery.

Jarrod Parker to have elbow surgery Tuesday

MESA, AZ - FEBRUARY 28:  Pitcher Jarrod Parker #11 of the Oakland Athletics poses for a portrait during the spring training photo day at HoHoKam Stadium on February 28, 2015 in Mesa, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The Athletics were hoping to have right-hander Jarrod Parker back in their rotation later this month, but that all changed when he recently suffered a fractured medial epicondyle in his pitching elbow. Now he’s scheduled to have surgery tomorrow.

According to Jane Lee of, the good news is that the Athletics don’t anticipate that he’ll need a third Tommy John surgery. However, it’s unclear when he’ll be ready to pitch again. Parker is trying to look on the bright side of things after his unfortunate setback:

Parker, who missed all of last season, owns a 3.68 ERA over his first 62 starts in the majors. He turns 27 in November.

Joe Blanton is back in the majors

wKansas City Royals' Joe Blanton throws a pitch against the Cincinnati Reds during the first inning of a spring training baseball game Wednesday, March 11, 2015, in Goodyear, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

The Royals announced this afternoon that they have called up right-hander Joe Blanton from Triple-A Omaha. He’s now back in the majors for the first time since 2013.

Blanton didn’t pitch last season outside of two appearances with the Athletics’ Triple-A affiliate. The 34-year-old signed on with the Royals over the winter and remained with the organization after failing to make the Opening Day roster. He posted a 3.89 ERA and 30/10 K/BB ratio in 39 1/3 innings over six starts and one relief appearance in Triple-A. His minor league contract had an opt-out clause on Friday, so the Royals decided to bring him up rather than let him walk.

Blanton owns a 5.09 ERA dating back to 2010, so it’s hard to expect much, but he’ll likely only be counted on to pitch in middle relief.