Dan Osterbrock was never viewed as a big-time prospect, but he did make a bit of a name for himself with the Twins. After being drafted in the seventh round in 2008, he pitched 75 innings in Rookie ball with an incredible 104/8 K/BB ratio. In 2010, he went 7-8 with a 2.73 ERA and a 79/23 K/BB ratio in 112 innings for high-A Fort Myers.
Unfortunately, that was about it for Osterbrock’s Twins career. The former Cincinnati Bearcat got off to an awful start in Double-A in 2011, got demoted back to Fort Myers and then was shut down with a shoulder injury. The Twins released him this spring.
Rather than simply fading away, though, as most released prospects tend to do, Osterbrock has had a few things to say on Twitter about his experience. On Tuesday, he underwent his second shoulder surgery and was plenty eager to share the results:
surgery went well. should be throwing soon. special thanks to the Twins for completely neglecting the obvious injury i had.
Osterbrock also has made some replies in recent weeks that demonstrate his frustration:
@csattballin Twins released me. My shoulder was hurting so instead of helping me out, they got rid of me. @SethTweets Wait, the Twins allowed an injury to linger longer than a year without taking care of it?! Shocker. #sarasm
Osterbrock is currently doing some high school coaching, according to his Twitter feed, but it sounds like he hasn’t given up on his major league dream. Here’s a guess: he’ll be looking to hook up with an AL Central team if he gets the chance.
In an age in which even baseball’s richest teams talk about tight budgets and keeping payroll low, it’s pretty rare to hear anyone connected with a front office talking about freely spending money. Phillies owner John Middleton, however, offered up something rare about the team’s approach to free agency.
“We’re going into this expecting to spend money, and maybe even be a little bit stupid about it,” he told Bob Nightengale or USA Today. He then added, “we just prefer not to be completely stupid.” That save aside, it was a pretty unusual sentiment these days.
“Stupid” could certainly mean Bryce Harper, who the Phillies have long been expected to pursue. It could even mean Harper and Manny Machado. Why not? At the moment the Phillies’ payroll for 2019 is looking to be just a shade above $100 million, so even adding, say, $70 million to that would not put them in an unreasonable position compared to other competitors. And that’s before you figure in any sort of back-loading or deferred money that Harper and/or Machado might agree to.
Or, even if they didn’t get one or both of those guys, they could spend that same kind of money on multiple free agents. Patrick Corbin? Marwin Gonzalez? A handful of others? We counted down the top 100 free agents last week and any number of them could be acquired given the sort of payroll flexibility a large market team like the Phillies appear to have. It merely requires the will to do it. A will which, it seems, John Middleton possesses.