After missing most of 2014 with an elbow issue, Rangers right-hander Tanner Scheppers dealt with ankle and knee injuries last season while struggling to the tune of a 5.63 ERA over 42 appearances. Unfortunately, 2016 is already off to the wrong foot.
According to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News, Scheppers is slated to undergo surgery on Wednesday to repair torn cartilage in his left knee. It’s the same knee that bothered him for much of last season. Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said that the expectation is that he’ll miss at least the first half of the season.
Tanners was excellent out of the bullpen in 2013, posting a 1.88 ERA over 76 appearances, but it’s been all downhill for him since the Rangers tried to convert him to a starter two years ago. Now he’ll have to wait until later this summer to break his string of bad luck.
The Wilpons’ finances have been a sore subject dating back to their involvement in the Madoff scandal. As the Mets’ payroll decreased to comical levels in the years that followed, owner Fred Wilpon has given very few comments to the media, which has only fueled the anger and vitriol from the fan base. Even a trip to the World Series couldn’t solve it, as the club appeared to be going cheap this winter before they surprised the baseball world last month by bringing back outfielder Yoenis Cespedes on a three-year, $75 million contract. As Mike Puma of the New York Post notes, the vibes are a bit better at Mets camp these days:
This is legitimately funny, perhaps because it’s hard to shake the notion that he might actually be serious? Anyway, well played, Mr. Wilpon.
UPDATE: The deal is official.
10:44 a.m. ET: The Padres have apparently secured some extra bullpen depth, as Corey Brock of MLB.com reports that veteran reliever Casey Janssen has a locker in the clubhouse. Nothing is official, but Brock writes that he likely received a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.
Janssen missed the early part of last season due to a shoulder issue and ended up with a 4.95 ERA and 27/8 K/BB ratio over 40 innings. The 34-year-old became a free agent in November after the Nationals declined a $7 million option on him for 2016.
The Padres traded Craig Kimbrel and Joaquin Benoit over the winter, so there’s opportunity in the late innings for San Diego. Fernando Rodney currently projects to be the team’s closer.
While we’re still a ways off from this being a legitimate concern, Adam Berry of MLB.com reports that Pirates ace Gerrit Cole will be at least temporarily behind schedule in the early part of camp as he deals with some inflammation in his right rib.
Cole said he suffered the injury during his “normal training” in mid-January. The Pirates are understandably taking it easy with him for now, but he’s scheduled to throw from the slope of the mound on Monday and the hope is that he’ll catch up with the rest of the pitchers pretty quickly after that.
Cole, 25, is coming off a dominant season where he posted a 2.60 ERA and 202/44 K/BB ratio over 208 innings. He finished fourth in the National League Cy Young balloting behind Jake Arrieta, Zack Greinke, and Clayton Kershaw.
Some unpleasant news on the first day of Rangers camp on Friday, as Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that third base coach Tony Beasley was recently diagnosed with rectal cancer. Fortunately, it has been described as treatable and the belief is that it was caught in the early stages.
Beasley plans to report to Rangers camp on Saturday and remain with the team during his fight. He will begin chemotherapy while in Arizona for spring training.
The diagnosis obviously hit the Rangers family hard and that’s especially the case for manager Jeff Banister, who has a long history with Beasley. But it also goes beyond that, as Banister battled bone cancer as a teenager.
“I consider Tony as much a family member as anything else,” Banister said. “This one has been a challenge for me.”
Below is a video featuring some of the reaction at Rangers camp yesterday:
Our thoughts are with Tony for his fight.