According to the Associated Press, six-time All-Star Curt Schilling has been hired as a baseball analyst for ESPN’s “Baseball Tonight” and will make his debut during pregame coverage of tonight’s season opening game between the Yankees and Red Sox.
He will also carry a few other responsibilities, including appearances on ESPN Radio and ESPNBoston.com. The outspoken Schilling will no doubt bring some much-needed energy to the BBTN set, but you have to wonder if the image-conscious network is in over its head with this one. Schilling speaks his mind, sometimes to a fault, and even runs his own blog at 38pitches.com. To censor him would almost defeat the purpose of the hire, wouldn’t it?
Schilling, now 43, spent 20 seasons in the major leagues, playing for the Orioles, Astros, Phillies, Diamondbacks and Red Sox. He boasts a 216-146 career record, a 3.46 career ERA and a 1.14 career WHIP. He was the runner-up in Cy Young Award voting three times. Not a bad resume.
Nationals right-hander Jeremy Hellickson has been assigned to the 10-day disabled list after spraining his right wrist during a 4-2 loss to the Cardinals on Wednesday. The assignment is retroactive to August 15, though it’s not yet certain that Hellickson will be able to resume his role in the rotation after the minimum 10 days.
The 31-year-old righty was through 4 1/3 innings during Wednesday’s start when he threw a wild pitch behind the Cardinals’ Yadier Molina in the bottom of the fifth. He sprinted to cover home plate just as Harrison Bader took off from third base, and the two collided at the plate as Spencer Kieboom‘s throw home sailed over Hellickson’s head. He tumbled to the ground and rolled over his right wrist, then was forced to make a prompt exit from the field after feeling considerable soreness in his right hand.
While the X-rays returned negative, it makes sense for the Nationals to shelve Hellickson for the time being. In a best case scenario, he should miss only one turn through the rotation, provided that he’s able to work back up to full strength in the next week or so. The veteran righty is 5-3 in 18 starts this year with a 3.57 ERA, 1.9 BB/9 and 6.5 SO/9 across 88 1/3 innings. This will be his second official stint on the DL after missing nearly a month due to a right hamstring strain back in June.
In a corresponding move, fellow right-hander Jefry Rodriguez was recalled from Triple-A Syracuse and will fill in for Hellickson during Saturday’s set against the Marlins. Rodriguez, 25, has yet to get comfortable on the major league stage: entering Saturday, the rookie owns a 5.84 ERA, 4.7 BB/9 and 7.3 SO/9 through 24 2/3 innings.