Astros may have interest in Ryan Theriot if he’s non-tendered

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MLB Network’s Jon Heyman hears that the Astros may have interest in infielder Ryan Theriot if he’s non-tendered by the Cardinals.

The non-tender part sounds like a pretty good bet to happen, as the Cardinals have already pegged Daniel Descalso as their starting second baseman for next season and are “making progress” in bringing back shortstop Rafael Furcal.

Theriot earned $3.3 million this past season while batting .271/.321/.342 with one home run, 47 RBI, four stolen bases and a .662 OPS over 483 plate appearances. The 32-year-old made 17 errors in 91 games at shortstop in 2011 and advanced defensive metrics haven’t been kind to him over the past two seasons, so he may be better suited as a second baseman moving forward.

With Jose Altuve already projected as the Astros’ second baseman for 2012, it will be interesting to see whether new GM (and former Cardinals VP of scouting and player development) Jeff Luhnow views Theriot as a feasible replacement for Clint Barmes.

The harrowing tale of the end of Bobby Jenks’ baseball career

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Bobby Jenks was a key part of the 2005 world champion White Sox. By 2010, his effectiveness as a closer fell off and he signed with the Boston Red Sox for the 2011 season. He’d pitch in only 19 games that year, suffer a back injury and would never pitch again.

In the year or so after that, we heard that Jenks was arrested for driving under the influence. And then we heard that his back surgery was botched, and his baseball career was over. Then, after years of silence, we learned last spring that Jenks won $5.1 million in a medical malpractice suit against the doctor who performed his surgery.

We did not, however, know all the details until Bobby Jenks wrote about them at the Players’ Tribune this morning. This is must-click link stuff, folks.

Jenks talks about how a seemingly innocuous pitch to Jorge Posada in an early-season Red Sox-Yankees game in 2011 was the last pitch he’d ever throw. He talks about the presumably simple surgery that would supposedly get him back on the field. And then the scary complications in which he almost died due to leaking spinal fluid resulting from the botched surgery. Then, after using painkillers to deal with back pain, Jenks’ fell into drug addiction, all of which culminated in him finding himself half-naked and crazed in a car that didn’t belong to him with police and rescue workers surrounding him.

Jenks got clean but his wife left him. And then he mounted a multi-year lawsuit during which he learned that the reason his back surgery was screwed up was because the surgeon was performing two surgeries at one time, which is an apparently common practice called “concurrent surgery,” that sounds like it totally should NOT be a common practice.

Yet Jenks has survived. He’s been sober for over seven years and he seems to be in a good place. But boy did he have to go through something harrowing to get there. Definitely take the time to read it.