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Seth Maness had a showcase for 16 teams

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Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that scouts from 16 teams including the Cubs, Nationals and Royals attended Seth Maness‘ showcase Monday in St. Louis.

This is not exactly gigantic news in and of itself, but Maness’ progress is worth following. As Goold reported last month, Maness is the first recipient of an alternative to Tommy John surgery known as “primary repair.” Rather than reconstructing the entire ligament, as in TJ surgery, primary repair reinforces it at the bone. If the recovery goes as doctors plan, it is supposed cut at least five months off of the typical Tommy John recovery time. Maness had the surgery on August 18 and is throwing for scouts in February.

Signing him may not make a bad team good or a borderline team a contender, but it will certainly mean something for the progress of pitchers overall.

Pirates shut down Chris Archer

Chris Archer
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The Pirates are officially shutting down Chris Archer for the season, GM Neal Huntington revealed Sunday. It’s more of a formality than anything else, but, as the Pirates are currently out of postseason contention, there seems to be no point in forcing the right-hander to accelerate his recovery from right shoulder inflammation.

Archer, 30, sustained the injury in late August and was initially projected to return sometime during September. He’s been throwing from flat ground over the last several weeks, but there had been no indication that he was ready to resume starting duties for the club. He’ll end his 2019 run with a 3-9 record in 23 starts and a 5.19 ERA, 4.1 BB/9, 10.8 SO/9, and 0.7 fWAR across 119 2/3 innings pitched; not his worst performance to date, but a considerable step down from the sub-5.00 ERA and 2.6 fWAR he posted with the Rays and Pirates in 2018.

With two weeks left in the regular season, the Pirates will soon wrap up their fourth consecutive non-contending campaign. Following Saturday’s brutal 14-1 loss to the Cubs, they were mathematically eliminated from postseason qualification. They last reached the playoffs in 2015, though it’s been six years since they advanced past the wild card tiebreaker and 27 years since they advanced past the Division Series.