Rafael Furcal on injured elbow: “It’s not getting better”

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Cardinals shortstop Rafael Furcal opted to rehab a torn ligament in his right elbow rather than undergo Tommy John surgery. So far, that decision has not worked out for anyone.

Furcal began experiencing renewed discomfort in his right elbow a couple of weeks ago in Cardinals camp and continues to feel pain whenever he tries to take another step in his spring workout program. This according to Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

“What do you want me to do?” Furcal said this weekend. “It’s not getting better. I wish I could do whatever I could to make it better, so I could play. It’s very disappointing. I tried to push it a little harder. We’d better back up a little bit because I feel more pain.”

The Cardinals will either have to start Ronny Cedeno at shortstop or figure out a way to bring in someone else. Pete Kozma and Ryan Jackson are the other uninspiring options in the St. Louis clubhouse.

Nationals sign George Kontos to minors deal

George Kontos
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The Nationals selected the contract of reliever George Kontos from the Atlantic League Long Island Ducks, per an official announcement on Saturday. The right-hander has been assigned to Triple-A Fresno, but could still make his season debut sometime before the first half of the season draws to a close.

Kontos, 33, hasn’t pitched in the majors since he took a handful of back-to-back-to-back gigs with the Pirates, Indians, and Yankees in 2018. He inked a minor league pact with the Cubs over the offseason, but failed to break camp with the team and was subsequently released in mid-April. He turned in seven strong innings for the Ducks since then, allowing one run and one walk and striking out six of 27 batters in six appearances.

Last year, the veteran reliever posted a combined 4.39 ERA, 2.4 BB/9, and 5.1 SO/9 over 26 2/3 innings. While he hasn’t pitched anywhere close to his career-best numbers in four years, he may still provide some valuable depth for the club, whose bullpen ranks 10th best in the league with a cumulative 4.59 ERA and 5.9 fWAR so far in 2019.