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White Sox sign Robbie Ross to minors deal

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Free agent reliever Robbie Ross has a minor-league deal with the White Sox, per a team announcement on Sunday. The deal includes an invitation to spring training.

Ross, 28, last appeared in the majors on a limited eight-game run with the Red Sox in 2017. The southpaw pitched just 15 innings between the big leagues and the minors, but elbow inflammation and back issues cut his season short in August. During his last healthy season in 2016, he pitched to a 3.25 ERA, 3.7 BB/9 and 9.1 SO/9 in 55 1/3 innings for the club.

Assuming Ross manages to stay off the disabled list in 2018, he could provide some solid left-handed depth for the White Sox’ bullpen. First, however, he’ll have to compete against the team’s plethora of non-roster invitees, including right-handed relievers Jeanmar Gomez, Bruce Rondon and Rob Scahill and lefties Xavier Cedeno, Hector Santiago and T.J. House.

Astros’ Verlander to have elbow surgery, miss rest of season

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Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander will undergo Tommy John surgery and miss the rest of the season.

The reigning AL Cy Young Award winner announced the news Saturday on his Instagram account in a 1½-minute video.

“In my simulated game a couple days ago, I felt something in my elbow, and after looking at my MRI and conversing with some of the best doctors in the world, we’ve determined that Tommy John surgery is my best option,” Verlander said.

He threw to hitters on Wednesday for the first time since he was injured in the team’s opener on July 24. He threw 50 pitches in the bullpen before throwing about 25 pitches to hitters in two simulated innings.

“I tried as hard as I could to come back and play this season,” Verlander said. “Unfortunately, my body just didn’t cooperate.”

Verlander has been on the injured list with a right forearm strain. He went 21-6 with a 2.58 ERA in 2019.

“Obviously, this is not good news,” Verlander said. “However, I’m going to handle this the only way I know how. I’m optimistic. I’m going to put my head down, work hard, attack this rehab and hopefully, come out the other side better for it.

“I truly believe everything that everything happens for a reason, and although 2020 has sucked, hopefully, when this rehab process is all said and done, this will allow me to charge through the end of my career and be healthy as long as I want and pitch as long as I want and accomplish some of the goals that I want in my career.”

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