Update (8:14 PM EST): Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports that the catcher the Padres are sending to the Astros is Erik Kratz.
Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle is reporting that the Astros are sending pitcher Dan Straily to the Padres in a deal involving a catcher. MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart has confirmed Drellich’s report. Obviously, details are scant now, but we’ll update you as more information is known.
Straily, 27, pitched only 16 2/3 innings for the Astros last season, spending most of the year at Triple-A Fresno. He struggled at both levels, putting up a 4.77 with Fresno and 5.40 in the big leagues. Over parts of four seasons in the majors, Straily has battled command issues and hasn’t yet shown swing-and-miss stuff good enough to make up for it.
So far this spring, Straily has allowed eight runs on 15 hits and three walks with 14 strikeouts in 12 innings. He’s now a candidate to pitch out of the back of the Padres’ rotation.
The Astros are hurting for catching depth behind starter Jason Castro, as Max Stassi recently had surgery to repair the hamate bone in his left wrist. Kratz, 35, has a career .667 OPS but can hit for occasional power.
Bobby Jenks was a key part of the 2005 world champion White Sox. By 2010, his effectiveness as a closer fell off and he signed with the Boston Red Sox for the 2011 season. He’d pitch in only 19 games that year, suffer a back injury and would never pitch again.
In the year or so after that, we heard that Jenks was arrested for driving under the influence. And then we heard that his back surgery was botched, and his baseball career was over. Then, after years of silence, we learned last spring that Jenks won $5.1 million in a medical malpractice suit against the doctor who performed his surgery.
We did not, however, know all the details until Bobby Jenks wrote about them at the Players’ Tribune this morning. This is must-click link stuff, folks.
Jenks talks about how a seemingly innocuous pitch to Jorge Posada in an early-season Red Sox-Yankees game in 2011 was the last pitch he’d ever throw. He talks about the presumably simple surgery that would supposedly get him back on the field. And then the scary complications in which he almost died due to leaking spinal fluid resulting from the botched surgery. Then, after using painkillers to deal with back pain, Jenks’ fell into drug addiction, all of which culminated in him finding himself half-naked and crazed in a car that didn’t belong to him with police and rescue workers surrounding him.
Jenks got clean but his wife left him. And then he mounted a multi-year lawsuit during which he learned that the reason his back surgery was screwed up was because the surgeon was performing two surgeries at one time, which is an apparently common practice called “concurrent surgery,” that sounds like it totally should NOT be a common practice.
Yet Jenks has survived. He’s been sober for over seven years and he seems to be in a good place. But boy did he have to go through something harrowing to get there. Definitely take the time to read it.