Rangers starter Scott Feldman undergoes knee surgery

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Scott Feldman went 17-8 with a 4.08 ERA in 2009 and parlayed the career-year into a three-year, $14 million contract, but declined to 7-11 with a 5.48 ERA this season and was left off the Rangers’ playoff roster.

Today he underwent microfracture surgery on his right knee and will be out of action for three months, putting his status for spring training in some doubt.

Without the contract extension Feldman might have been a non-tender candidate for the Rangers, but since they’ll be paying him $4.4 million in 2011 (and another $6.5 million in 2012) he’ll compete for a spot in the rotation if healthy.

Report: Pirates to convert JB Shuck into two-way player

JB Shuck
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Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic reports that the Pirates have decided to convert outfielder JB Shuck into a two-way player. Recent comments relayed from the club’s director of player development, Larry Broadway, indicated that the outfielder would be coached in developing his pitching skills while working at Triple-A Indianapolis.

Per Broadway, the change would be enacted to help the veteran outfielder develop some much-needed versatility in the majors, where he’s only ever been limited to outfield and DH responsibilities. Well, except for the two games in which he pitched an inning of relief: once, against the Nationals in a blowout 11-4 loss in 2016, then in a similarly painful loss to the Diamondbacks this past April. During the latter outing, he finished the game with a 13-pitch ninth inning after allowing just one hit and one walk.

Add to that one minor-league outing in 2012, and the 31-year-old Shuck has pitched just three times over the course of his 12-season career in pro ball. While he has three years of experience on the mound from his college days, he’ll need quite a bit of preparation to handle the kind of workload expected from a two-way outfielder/reliever: 20+ innings pitched over a season and 20+ games played as a designated hitter or position player.

Still, his lack of experience doesn’t seem to faze Broadway, at least not this early in the process. There’s no word yet on how soon Shuck would be expected to debut his new skillset on a major-league level.