It was exactly one week ago that unsigned 2014 No. 1 overall pick Brady Aiken left his start for IMG Academy with what was believed to be “tightness” in his throwing arm. One week later, we have some more clarity on the situation in the form of the pitcher’s own words.
The 18-year-old Aiken announced via The Players’ Tribune this evening that he underwent Tommy John surgery. Below is part of his piece:
When I visited the doctor’s office and got the news I had torn my UCL, I can’t even begin to express how I felt. I was — and still am — overwhelmed with a lot of different feelings, but mostly it’s disappointment. I won’t be able to pitch this season, and this is going to keep me from doing what I love most of all — competing. It’s going to be frustrating, and not just from a baseball perspective. When it’s 90 degrees at home in Cardiff and the waves are perfect and I can’t surf, that’ll be tough, too. I know the road ahead will be full of patience and hard work, and I’m ready for that challenge.
Of course, Aiken was drafted by the Astros last June, but the two sides failed to reach an agreement. The Astros reportedly had concerns about his throwing elbow, which led to speculation that they were trying to swindle him out of a bigger signing bonus. The Astros certainly look better right now, but the truth is probably bit more complicated than that. And just because he blew out his UCL doesn’t completely validate the way this situation played out. We might never know the real story, but you can’t help but feel for Aiken, who likely had a chance to be one of the top picks again this year if he stayed healthy. On the bright side, we have seen pitchers like Lucas Giolito, Erick Fedde, and Jeff Hoffman be selected in the first round in recent years despite questions about their health, so all is not lost here. Aiken still likely has a bright future ahead of him.
After a condensed 60-game regular season, the MLB playoffs kicked off this week with an usual 16-team format that you can read more about below, but one of the many questions on everyone’s mind is whether or not fans will be allowed to attend MLB playoff games.
Will fans be allowed to go to MLB playoff games?
There have been no spectators at any games this season but fans will finally have the opportunity to go to the NL Championship Series and World Series at new Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas–one of the few states allowing spectators to attend events this year. The NLCS is scheduled on seven straight days from Oct. 12-18 and the World Series from Oct. 20-28, with traditional off days between Games 2 and 3 and Games 5 and 6, if the Series goes that far. Major League Baseball said Wednesday that about 11,500 tickets will be available for each game.
Below is the format and locations for each round. Unlike the regular season, there will be a bubble setup for each series in the postseason with the exception of the Wild Card round. Click here for the MLB schedule and scoreboard.
MLB Playoffs Format
Wild Card Series (Best-of-three): September 29 – October 2
All games will be held at the higher seed’s ball park.
No. 1 Rays vs. No. 8 Blue Jays
No. 2 Athletics vs. No. 7 White Sox
No. 3 Twins vs. No. 6 Astros
No. 4 Cleveland vs. No. 5 Yankees
No. 1 Dodgers vs. No. 8 Brewers
No. 2 Braves vs. No. 7 Reds
No. 3 Cubs vs. No. 6 Marlins
No. 4 Padres vs. No. 5 Cardinals
Division Series (Best-of-five): October 5 -10
The American League Division Series will be contested at Petco Park in San Diego and Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. The National League Division Series will be held at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas and Minute Maid Park in Houston.
League Championship Series (Best-of-seven): October 11-18
The American League Championship Series will be held at Petco Park in San Diego while the National League Championship Series will take place at Globe Life Field in Arlington.
World Series (Best-of-seven): October 20-28
The World Series will be held at Globe Life Field in Arlington. Home field advantage will go to the team with the best regular-season record.
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