Taylor Buchholz to sit out 2012 with depression issues

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Taylor Buchholz’s season ended in early June due to a combination of shoulder fatigue and depression, and agent David Pasti told Adam Rubin of ESPN New York that the right-hander plans to sit out the entire 2012 season.

Pasti described Buchholz as “feeling great, but not ready to get back into baseball” as he continues to deal with depression and anxiety.

Pasti also praised the manner in which the Mets dealt with Buchholz, saying if/when he does decide to continue playing they’d be his first choice. New York could have held onto Buchholz’s rights while he sat out, but instead allowed him to become a free agent at age 30 and with another season of arbitration eligibility still to come.

Buchholz has a 4.28 ERA in 311 career innings, including a 3.12 ERA and 26/7 K/BB ratio in 26 innings last season. He opened about dealing with depression in a very compelling interview last July, which is definitely worth reading.

Brandon Morrow shut down for the rest of the season

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Cubs closer Brandon Morrow has been out since the All-Star break with a bone bruise and biceps inflammation. In recent days there had been hope that he would be activated in the season’s final two weeks in order to be ready for the playoffs, but that’s not happening: Theo Epstein just said that Morrow is done for the season.

It’s not the first time good expectations for Morrow’s recovery were not met. When he was placed on the DL back in July manager Joe Maddon said he didn’t anticipate Morrow being on the DL for much more than the minimum 10 days. Two months later and here we are.

Morrow, 34, had an excellent season until the arm trouble started, saving 22 games with a 1.47 ERA and a 31/9 K/BB ratio in 30.2 innings. Once he went out the closer’s duties fell to Pedro Strop. Now Strop too is out for at least the rest of the regular season and likely more due to a hamstring strain he suffered last week while running the bases.

Bullpens become a lot more important in the postseason. The Cubs’ bullpen is becoming thinner.