Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez says that starter Gavin Floyd will make at least two more rehab starts before rejoining the team, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports. The right-hander could rejoin them in early May, which would mark a year since he had Tommy John surgery on his right elbow.
Floyd, 31, signed a one-year, $4 million deal with the Braves in December. He had spent the previous seven years with the White Sox, posting a 4.22 ERA over 1,042 2/3 innings spanning 168 starts and seven relief appearances. Despite having lost Kris Medlen and Brandon Beachy to Tommy John surgeries of their own, the Braves aren’t exactly scrambling for pitching help. They currently lead all of baseball in starting pitcher ERA at 1.47.
The Athletic’s Andrew Baggarly and Zach Buchanan report that Diamondbacks starter Madison Bumgarner has been competing in rodeos under a fake name as recently as December. The fake name is Mason Saunders. Bumgarner explains that “Mason” is shortened from “Madison,” while “Saunders” is his wife’s maiden name.
Bumgarner — err, Saunders — and one of his rodeo partners, Jaxson Tucker, won $26,560 in a team-roping rodeo competition in December. The Rancho Rio Arena posted a picture of the pair on Facebook, highlighting that they roped four steers in 31.36 seconds.
As Baggarly and Buchanan point out, Bumgarner also pointed out in a rodeo competition last March, just a couple days before pitching in a Cactus League game versus the Athletics, back when he was still with the Giants.
Bumgarner suffered bruised ribs and a left shoulder AC sprain in 2017 when he got into a dirt bike accident. Given that, Bumgarner’s latest extracurricular activity does raise a concern for the Diamondbacks, who inked him to a five-year, $85 million contract two months ago. Baggarly and Buchanan asked Bumgarner about such a concern. Bumgarner referred them to the club’s managing partner Ken Kendrick. Kendrick directed them to GM Mike Hazen. Hazen declined speaking about “specific contract language.” For what it’s worth, Bumgarner says he primarily uses his right hand to rope.
The jig is up on Bumgarner’s hobby. He jokingly said to The Athletic’s pair, “I’m nervous about this interview right now.” He added, “I’m upset with both you two.”