John Danks diagnosed with torn shoulder muscle

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Last week John Danks had his shoulder injury examined by Dr. James Andrews and said the visit involved “no bad news,” but another opinion from the White Sox medical staff apparently showed otherwise.

Scott Powers of ESPN Chicago reports that Danks has been diagnosed with a torn subscapularis muscle in his left shoulder.

The good news is that the team says surgery won’t be required. The bad news is that there’s no longer a timetable for his return after Danks felt good enough to make a minor-league rehab start just seven days ago.

Danks told Powers that the word “tear” exaggerates the seriousness of the injury, saying: “I don’t think it’s anything super major.” However, he hasn’t pitched in the majors since May 19 and seems unlikely to return before the All-Star break, which certainly qualifies as a major concern for the White Sox just months after signing Danks to a five-year, $65 million contract extension.

Orioles sign Alcides Escobar

Alcides Escobar
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The Orioles have inked shortstop Alcides Escobar to a minor league contract, MLB.com’s Joe Trezza reported Saturday. The deal comes with an invitation to spring training and will allow Escobar to earn $700,000 in the majors if he breaks camp with the team (via Jon Heyman of MLB Network). The team has yet to formally announce the agreement.

Escobar, 32, completed an eight-year run with the Royals in 2018. No longer the .280-average, 3.0-fWAR player of seasons past, he hit several career lows after batting .231/.279/.313 with four home runs, eight stolen bases (in 10 chances), and a .593 OPS through 531 plate appearances last year. His defensive ratings also took a hit, and FanGraphs pegged him as the fourth-worst shortstop in the majors after he accumulated -12 DRS over the course of the season, only slightly higher than the Orioles/Dodgers’ Manny Machado, Mets’ Amed Rosario, and Red Sox’ Xander Bogaerts.

Still, Heyman holds that Escobar is being considered for the starting gig this spring and could yet prove an upgrade over top prospects and infield candidates Richie Martin and Drew Jackson. At the very least, the veteran shortstop figures to stabilize the position given Martin and Jackson’s relative inexperience, as both infielders played to varying results in Double-A Tulsa last year and have yet to break into the majors. Should either player earn consideration for the position in camp, however, Escobar might still work his way onto the Opening Day roster in a utility role as he saw some time at third base, second base, and center field in 2018.