In what has become a theme of late, we could have another pitcher who is headed for his second Tommy John surgery.
According to Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle, Astros reliever Peter Moylan has been diagnosed with a ligament tear in his right elbow. He’s scheduled to have a visit with Dr. James Andrews in the coming weeks, but he’s prepared for the possibility of another surgery and the lengthy rehab process that comes along with it.
“I might be 35, but I don’t have the skill set to say, ‘Oh, you know what, I’m just going to become a Harvard professor,’” Moylan said. “I’m going to continue to do this cause I love it. Every part of this game I love, I love the camaraderie. I love the competitiveness, all that sort of stuff. I’m not ready to stop yet.”
Moylan had his first Tommy John surgery in 2008 with the Braves. The Australia native has been limited to just 35 appearances at the major league level since 2011 due to back and shoulder injuries and was in camp with Houston this spring as a non-roster player. He turns 36 in December.
The Astros and Nationals share a spring training facility, so it was only natural that they would open Grapefruit League play together. The Astros were the home team. Here’s the lineup they rolled out.
Teams typically include at least a few regulars in their spring training lineups as a courtesy to the fans, who are spending money to see big league players play baseball. This is especially the case for home games. However, the Astros have decided to roll out a lineup with a combined 323 MLB plate appearances.
There might be a reason for that. Houston was lustily booed as they took the field. This was after running a video on the scoreboard celebrating their 2019 AL championship.
That’s all with the team that beat them in the World Series (and is widely regarded as baseball’s current heroes for beating the big bad cheating Astros) in the other dugout, of course. Nationals starter Max Scherzer has not thrown at any Houston player, and the game is now in a rain delay. But it seems like the Astros decided to spare their players from some possible rough treatment, both from fans and opposing pitchers.
The same could not be said for Astros mascot Orbit, who was also booed.
One can quibble with the merits of booing a bunch of players who have barely touched the big leagues because you’re mad at Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman, but sports fandom is something of an irrational business. Fans are going to want their pound of flesh, especially when they paid for the right to be in the ballpark and give the Astros a piece of their mind. Some of them even brought props! This is just how it all works, unfortunately. If you’re in an Astros uniform, you’re probably going to get booed.
Welcome to the 2020 season, Astros. It’s probably going to be like this all year.