Jose Fernandez threw a bullpen session today for the first time since going on the disabled list with a strained biceps muscle and it went so well that the Marlins are now hoping he can rejoin the rotation within two weeks.
General manager-turned manager Dan Jennings was full of optimism after Fernandez threw 30 pitches, telling Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald:
I think it went something like, wow. I talked to [trainer Sean Cunningham], and he said it was very impressive. He said he’s right on track, looks good, jumped out of his hand. So we’ll start to build that up now.
Jennings also told Spencer that another bullpen session followed by a simulated game will likely be needed before Fernandez is cleared to return, so “somewhere early to mid-September is probably a realistic target date.”
Fernandez missed much of the season recovering from Tommy John elbow surgery, debuting on July 2. The bad news is that he made just seven starts before going back on the disabled list. The good news is that it appears to be a minor injury and he looked every bit like his dominant, pre-surgery self before the DL stint, going 4-0 with a 2.30 ERA and 53/10 K/BB ratio in 43 innings.
Today the Angels introduced their newest big star, Anthony Rendon, who just signed a seven-year, $245 million contract to play in Orange County.
And it is Orange County, not Los Angeles, Rendon stressed at the press conference. When asked about the Dodgers, who had also been reported to be courting him, Rendon said he preferred the Angels because, “the Hollywood lifestyle . . . didn’t seem like it would be a fit for us as a family.”
What “the Hollywood Lifestyle” means in that context could mean a lot of things I suppose. It could be about the greater media scrutiny Dodgers players are under compared to Angels players. It could mean that he’d simply prefer to live in Newport Beach than, I dunno, wherever Dodgers players live. Pasadena? Pasadena is more convenient to Dodger Stadium than the beach. Who knows. They never did let Yasiel Puig get that helicopter he wanted, so traffic could’ve been a consideration.
But maybe it’s a subtle allusion to political/cultural stuff. Orange County has trended to the left in some recent elections but it is, historically speaking, a conservative stronghold in Southern California. And, based on something else he said in his press conference, Rendon seems to be pretty conscious of geographical/political matters:
A shoutout to the notion of Texas being Trump country and an askance glance at “the Hollywood Lifestyle” of Los Angeles all in the same press conference. That’s a lot of culture war ground covered in one press conference. So much so that I can’t decide if I should warn Rendon that both Texas and Orange County are trending leftward or if I should tell him to stick to sports.