UPDATE: Colvin struck by bat shard, done for year

9 Comments

Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports wrote a column in early May with a frightening but eye-opening lead sentence.  “Someone’s going to die at a baseball stadium soon,” he surmised, because of the splintering effect of newly popularized maple bats.

That didn’t happen this afternoon at the Marlins’ Sun Life Stadium.  But it could have.

Cubs outfielder Tyler Colvin was struck in the left side of his chest by a shard from a broken bat while running down the third-base line during Sunday’s game against the Marlins.  It cut through the skin, left a deep wound, and he had to be rushed to a local hospital for precautionary monitoring.  This all comes via Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times.

Colvin will be fine.  He had minimal external bleeding and will probably return to the field early this week.  But had that bat shard struck him just a few inches lower — near the heart — we might’ve had a real tragedy on our hands.

It’s time to do something about the composition of baseball’s wooden bats.  Whether that means outlawing maple or throwing money into research for the standardization of a type of lumber, action must be taken before a player, umpire or fan is killed at a baseball stadium.

Colvin, a rookie outfielder, has hit .254/.316/.500 with 20 home runs, 18 doubles, five triples and 56 RBI in 358 at-bats this season.  He is 25.

UPDATE: MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann shares an incredible screen grab of the shard just inches from Colvin’s chest.

UPDATE II:
Wittenmyer says that Colvin will remain in a Miami hospital for the next 2-3 days as a precautionary measure.  The shard punctured his chest wall and air got in, but he is now in stable condition and expected to make a speedy recovery.

UPDATE III: The Chicago Tribune is now reporting that Colvin will not play again this season.

Jeffrey Springs, Rays agree to $31 million, 4-year contract

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
1 Comment

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Left-hander Jeffrey Springs became the first of the 33 players who exchanged proposed arbitration salaries with their teams to reach a deal, agreeing Wednesday to a $31 million, four-year contract with the Tampa Bay Rays that could be worth $65.75 million over five seasons.

The 30-year old was among seven Rays who swapped arbitration figures with the team on Jan. 13. He began last season in the bullpen, transitioned to the starting rotation in May and finished 9-5 with a 2.46 ERA in 33 appearances, including 25 starts. He is 14-6 with a 2.70 ERA in 76 outings – 51 of them in relief – since he was acquired from Boston in February 2021.

Springs gets $4 million this year, $5.25 million in 2024 and $10.5 million in each of the following two seasons. Tampa Bay has a $15 million option for 2027 with a $750,000 buyout.

The 2025 and 2026 salaries can escalate by up to $3.75 million each based on innings in 2023-24 combined: $1.5 million for 300, $1 million for 325, $750,000 for 350 and $500,000 for 375. The `25 and ’26 salaries also can escalate based on finish in Cy Young Award voting in `23 and ’24: $2 million for winning, $1.5 million for finishing second through fifth in the voting and $250,000 for finishing sixth through 10th.

Tampa Bay’s option price could escalate based on Cy Young voting in 2025 and 2026: by $2.5 million for winning, $2 million for finishing second through fifth and $500,000 for sixth through 10th.

Springs would get $45.25 million if the option is exercised, $52.75 million with the option and meeting all innings targets and the maximum if he meetings the innings targets and wins two Cy Youngs.

Springs’ ERA last season was the second lowest in franchise history for a pitcher working a minimum of 100 innings. Former Rays ace Blake Snell compiled 1.89 ERA on the way to winning the 2018 AL Cy Young.

In addition to finishing sixth in the AL in ERA, Springs allowed three runs or fewer in 22 of 25 starts and two runs or fewer 17 times. He joined Tampa Bay’s rotation on May 9, gradually increasing his workload over his next six appearances. Springs was 6-3 with a 2.40 ERA in 14 starts after the All-Star break.

Arbitration hearings start next week and the Rays remain with the most players scheduled to appear before three-person panels.

Springs had asked for a raise from $947,500 to $3.55 million and had been offered $2.7 million. Tampa remains scheduled for hearings with right-handers Jason Adam, Pete Fairbanks and Ryan Thompson, left-hander Colin Poche, third baseman Yandy Diaz and outfielder Harold Ramirez.

Tampa Bay also agreed minor league contacts with catcher Gavin Collins and right-hander Jaime Schultz, who will report to major league spring training.

Infielder Austin Shenton and pitchers Anthony Molina and Joe LaSorsa also were invited to big league spring training.