Mets right-hander Jeremy Hefner appears headed for a second Tommy John surgery

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Jeremy Hefner made 22 starts for the Mets last season prior to undergoing Tommy John surgery and now he has suffered a significant setback in his recovery.

Hefner, who had Tommy John surgery last August, felt soreness in his surgically-repaired right elbow during a minor league rehab start last Wednesday. According to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York, Mets assistant general manager John Ricco said after today’s game that Hefner reinjured the ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow and also suffered a stress fracture of his ulna bone. The expectation is that he will need another Tommy John surgery.

Here’s what Hefner wrote on his Facebook page:

“Although this injury is extremely uncommon, it does happen. There aren’t many case studies on it, but it does require me to have T.J. surgery again. Yes, that means starting completely over. I’m not sure what my course of action is. Should have a clearer picture in the coming days. I’m disappointed, but not shaken. I have a lot of things to be thankful for, and I’ll rest in that.”

Just devastating. Tommy John surgery continues to have a high success rate, but when it comes to throwing a baseball, nothing is a guarantee. Here’s the latest example.

Astros greeted with boos in first spring training game

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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.

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