Nick Blackburn had arthroscopic surgery on his right elbow last week

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According to Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, the Twins announced today that Nick Blackburn had arthroscopic surgery last Thursday to remove a bone chip from his right elbow. It was a minor procedure and he’s expected to be 100 percent for spring training.

Blackburn posted an ugly 7.39 ERA over 19 starts with the Twins this past season and was removed from the team’s 40-man roster in August. He has a 5.56 ERA since the start of 2010, which is the worst among all pitchers with at least 60 starts.

Blackburn will need to have a fantastic spring to earn his way back on the 40-man roster and in the starting rotation, but he’s still owed $5.5 million next season in the final guaranteed year of a four-year, $14 million contract.

Major League Baseball told Kolten Wong to ditch Hawaii tribute sleeve

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Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Major League Baseball has told Cardinals infielder Kolten Wong that he has to get rid of the colorful arm sleeve he’s been wearing, pictured above, that pays tribute to his native Hawaii and seeks to raise awareness of recovery efforts from the destruction caused by the erupting Mount Kilauea.

Goold:

[Wong] has been notified by Major League Baseball that he will face a fine if he continues to wear an unapproved sleeve that features Hawaiian emblem. Wong said he will stash the sleeve, like Jose Martinez had to do with his Venezuelan-flag sleeve, and find other ways to call attention to his home island.

Willson Contreras was likewise told to ditch his Venezuela sleeve.

None of these guys are being singled out, it seems. Rather, this is all part of a wider sweep Major League Baseball is making with respect to the uniformity of uniforms. As Goold notes at the end of his piece, however, MLB has no problem whatsoever with players wearing a non-uniform article of underclothing as long as it’s from an MLB corporate sponsor. Such as this sleeve worn by Marcell Ozuna, and supplied by Nike that, last I checked, were not in keeping with the traditional St. Louis Cardinals livery:

ST. LOUIS, MO – MAY 22: Marcell Ozuna #23 of the St. Louis Cardinals celebrates after recording his third hit of the game against the Kansas City Royals in the fifth inning at Busch Stadium on May 22, 2018 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

If Nike was trying to get people to buy Hawaii or Venezuela compression sleeves, I’m sure there would be no issue here. They’re not, however, and it seems like creating awareness and support for people suffering from natural, political and humanitarian disasters do not impress the powers that be nearly as much.