UPDATE: Good news for the Rangers. According to Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com, an MRI ruled out any significant issues with his shoulder. He was diagnosed with a cervical (neck) sprain, but it’s not known when he’ll be able to resume throwing.
5:42 PM: Texas’ bullpen may have just lost its top setup man right before the playoffs, as Mike Adams told Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star Telegram that he’s out indefinitely with a shoulder injury and underwent an MRI exam today.
Adams missed time earlier this month with the same injury and had an ugly outing yesterday in which he served up three homers in two-thirds of an inning after previously allowing a grand total of one homer in his first 52.2 innings this season.
Adams has been extremely good for the Rangers since coming over in a trade from the Padres last July, logging 78 innings with a 2.88 ERA and 70/22 K/BB ratio. For now he’s hoping to be ready for the playoffs, but that’s obviously far from a sure thing.
The Blue Jays have released right-handed reliever John Axford from his minor league contract, per an announcement on Saturday. Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi speculates that the move could provide an avenue for the club to rework Axford’s contract, but the Blue Jays have yet to confirm or deny the report.
Axford, 35, was dealt a blow on Thursday after getting diagnosed with a stress reaction in the olecranon bone of his right elbow. Elbow soreness dogged the right-hander through much of his time in camp, and although he was scheduled for a follow-up examination later this spring, a definite return date had not been established.
Prior to the diagnosis, Axford was tabbed for a setup role with the team in 2019. He pitched to mixed results in 2018 (thanks in part to a late-season fracture of his right fibula) with a 5.27 ERA, 4.9 BB/9, and 9.8 SO/9 through 54 2/3 innings with the Blue Jays and Dodgers. Now, however, it’s not certain that he’ll return to the mound this season in any capacity.
Axford isn’t the only reliever the Blue Jays have lost to injury lately, either, as right-handers Ryan Tepera and Bud Norris have been sidelined with right elbow inflammation and forearm fatigue, respectively. Per Davidi, the Blue Jays offered Norris a $100,000 retention bonus to prevent him from opting out of the minor league contract he signed in February.