Author: D.J. Short


Christian Vazquez says he’s nervous about his elbow


Red Sox catcher Christian Vazquez has only appeared in six Grapefruit League games this spring due to a sore right elbow and triceps. It’s increasingly clear that he won’t be ready for the start of the season.

Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald reports that doctors found “something” in an MRI of Vazquez’s elbow. The 24-year-old is going for a second opinion, after which we should know more about this status. However, this quote from Vazquez isn’t very encouraging:

If Vazquez begins the season on the disabled list, some Red Sox fans will surely clamor for top prospect Blake Swihart to get the opportunity to fill in. Red Sox manager John Farrell didn’t dismiss the possibility in this story from Peter Abraham and Alex Speier of the Boston Globe yesterday, but odds are they’ll give him some more time in the minors. He has only played 18 games above Double-A. There’s also the service time issue to think about. The Red Sox could be forced to rely on a tandem of Ryan Hanigan and Humberto Quintero in the early part of the season.

Carlos Gonzalez exits game with soreness in surgically-repaired knee

Colorado Rockies Photo Day

This isn’t what you want to hear with the start of the season just one week away. According to AJ Cassavell of, Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez was forced to exit last night’s Cactus League game against the Padres after he felt soreness in his surgically-repaired left knee.

Gonzalez, who had season-ending surgery last August, aggravated the knee when he caught a fly ball off the bat of Will Middlebrooks in the third inning. He stayed in for his next at-bat before being removed from the game.

Rockies manager Walt Weiss decided to play it safe, but Gonzalez doesn’t think it’s anything major and said it was “just a little fatigue.” He’ll be re-evaluated today.

Gonzalez has played well this spring, hitting .333 (9-for-27) with three doubles in 11 games. However, keeping him healthy is an ongoing concern for the Rockies. The 29-year-old has averaged just 110 games played over the past four seasons.

David Ortiz: “Nobody in MLB history has been tested for PEDs more than me”

Miami Marlins v Boston Red Sox

It’s been quite a night for The Player’s Tribune. In addition to having Brady Aiken break the news about his Tommy John surgery, they also got this doozy of a first-person essay from Red Sox slugger David Ortiz. Amusingly enough, he’s the “editor at large” for The Player’s Tribune.

Anyway, there’s a lot to unpack in this piece and you should really go read it all, because it’s full of some great lines and interesting anecdotes. Referring to Dan Shaughnessy as “the reporter with the red jheri curl from The Boston Globe” was my favorite. However, what will likely get the most attention will be his steadfast denial of PED use.

In some people’s minds, I will always be considered a cheater. And that’s bulls***. Mark my words: Nobody in MLB history has been tested for PEDs more than me. You know how many times I’ve been tested since 2004? More than 80. They say these tests are random. If it’s really random, I should start playing the damn lottery. Some people still think the testing is a joke. It’s no joke. Ten times a season these guys come into the clubhouse or my home with their briefcases. I have never failed a single one of those tests and I never will.

On the subject of the infamous leaked list of players who were flagged for PED use from 2003, Ortiz says he never knowingly took anything against the rules and didn’t even know that he tested positive until he saw the report on ESPN in 2009 like the rest of the public. He explained that the positive test was likely the result of an over-the-counter supplement:

But back in the early 2000s, you’d go into GNC and the guy working there would say, “Hey, take this stuff. It’s great. It builds muscle, helps with soreness, burns fat, whatever.”

Okay, sure, I’ll take that. I’m buying an over-the-f***ing-counter supplement in the United States of America. I’m buying this stuff in line next to doctors and lawyers. Now all of a sudden MLB comes out and says there’s some ingredient in GNC pills that have a form of steroid in them. I don’t know anything about it.

If you think I’m full of it, go to your kitchen cabinet right now and read the back of a supplement bottle and honestly tell me you know what all of that stuff is. I’m not driving across the border to Mexico buying some shady pills from a drug dealer. I’m in a strip mall across from the Dunkin’ Donuts, bro.

As for getting in the Hall of Fame, Ortiz wrote that “hell yes” he deserves it, citing that he has been a contributor on three World Series championship teams since increased drug testing has gone into effect and that he continues to produce year in and year out.

This is obviously a one-sided piece and Ortiz has his own agenda, but at least he’s getting that opportunity now rather than have his quotes filtered through traditional media. The Player’s Tribune continues to change the game.

The Mets continue to monitor the market for left-handed relievers

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After losing Josh Edgin to Tommy John surgery, the Mets are currently in search of a left-hander out of their bullpen. Brian Matusz of the Orioles has been mentioned as a possibility for a couple of weeks now, but the club has cast a pretty wide net.

Mark Saxon of ESPN Los Angeles reports that the Mets are keeping an eye on J.P. Howell, Paco Rodriguez, and Adam Liberatore from the Dodgers in case one of them becomes available. That’s no sure thing, as Howell is costly and he’s one of the only (healthy) locks in the Dodgers’ bullpen while Rodriguez and Liberatore still have options remaining.

Meanwhile, Adam Rubin of ESPN New York hears that New York is still intrigued by Rex Brothers from the Rockies. Brothers, who struggled to the tune of a 5.59 ERA over 74 appearances last season, was mentioned as a possible fit back when Dillon Gee was linked in trade talks with Colorado in December.

The Mets do have some internal options from the left side, but they aren’t pretty. Rule 5 pick Sean Gilmartin is still in camp, as well as non-roster invitee Scott Rice and minor leaguer Dario Alvarez. While a trade is a possibility, the Mets could see some names shake loose from other camps in the coming days.

New White Sox closer David Robertson is not worried about forearm soreness

David Robertson Getty

While all involved are convinced it’s nothing serious, White Sox closer David Robertson told Dan Hayes of this afternoon that he has been dealing with some soreness in his forearm.

Robertson, who signed a four-year, $46 million deal with Chicago over the winter, hasn’t appeared in a game since Saturday and has allowed four runs on six hits, four walks, and a hit-by-pitch over just 4 2/3 innings this spring. However, he was able to make it through a bullpen session on Thursday.

“I felt pretty good,” Robertson said. “I just don’t want to push anything. That’s the big thing. I have a little soreness. It’s not bad. I don’t foresee a problem. I just don’t want to injure myself worse when I’ve got a week or two to get it right.

The hope is that Robertson will be able to pitch in back-to-back games before the end of spring training. It will be something to worry about if he’s still feeling sore a week from now, but he still has some time to get right.

Robertson took over the Yankees closer role from Mariano Rivera last season and posted a 3.08 ERA with 39 saves and a 96/23 K/BB ratio over 64 1/3 innings.