Following up on John Wetteland’s hospitalization yesterday, MLB.com is now reporting that Wetteland was released last night. Yesterday, the local sheriff called it a “mental health issue.” It’s also been reported that he was complaining of being depressed and contemplating suicide. Meanwhile, anonymous sources in the Mariners organization dispute the notion that there was a suicide risk. Last night Wetteland released a statement suggesting that it wasn’t a mental thing at all:
“Thank you for your concerns. My wife and I are very appreciative of the over and above care of our local officers and paramedics. The circumstances leading to my elevated blood pressure and heart rate have been addressed. I am currently resting safely at home.”
His medical condition is his own business, but it’s probably worth noting that elevated blood pressure and heart rate are symptoms of all kinds of medical conditions, including some mental health issues, so who knows what the problem was? That said, if Wetteland really did experience some kind of serious mental episode it’s really unlikely that he’d be released on the same day he was admitted. You usually don’t just get to go home a few hours after telling the cops that you want to drop a toaster in your tub.
Maybe his ticker went haywire. Maybe he just lost it for a few minutes. Either way, it’s good that he’s home, and here’s hoping he’s better or at least on the way to being better.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Cubs won’t deal Kyle Schwarber this winter, despite multiple inquires from teams around the league. Schwarber is approaching his first year of arbitration and will remain under team control for another three seasons before reaching free agency in 2022.
The decision comes on the heels of one of the strongest seasons of the 25-year-old outfielder’s short career. Over 137 games and 510 PA for the Cubs, he proved a passable defender in left field and batted .238/.356/.467 with 26 home runs, an .823 OPS, and 3.2 fWAR in 2018. He also led the National League in intentional walks, with 20, and bumped up his total walks from 59 in 2017 to 78.
Despite his marked improvements from previous years, Schwarber’s performance still left something to be desired — specifically against left-handed pitchers, who held the slugger to a paltry .224/.352/.303 with four extra-base hits across 91 PA. Still, it’s evident the Cubs feel Schwarber is capable of strengthening his splits in the years to come, and they might stand to get more value from him on the field than they would in a trade this offseason.
Of course, that’s not to say the Cubs intend to pass the Winter Meetings in total silence, especially as they’ll be seeking bullpen and catching depth in advance of their 2019 run at the division title. As club president Theo Epstein remarked last week, “We’re certainly open and active in trade talks with a lot of deals that usually don’t come to fruition. So, we may make some trades. We could make big ones that transform the roster. We may make smaller complementary ones. But there’s certain things we’d like to accomplish.”