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Jose De Leon to undergo Tommy John surgery


Rays pitcher Jose De Leon has a torn ulnar collateral ligament and will undergo Tommy John surgery, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports. He joins Brent Honeywell as promising Rays pitchers to go under the knife already this spring.

De Leon, 25, has battled injuries recently. He missed most of the 2017 campaign with tendinitis in his right elbow as well as a flexor strain. The Rays acquired De Leon from the Dodgers in January 2017 in exchange for Logan Forsythe.

Drafted in 2013, De Leon has only logged 19 2/3 innings in the majors to date, yielding 20 runs (15 earned) on 23 hits and 10 walks with 17 strikeouts.

With De Leon and Honeywell out of the picture, the Rays may need to add starting pitching depth via free agency. As of right now, the club plans to go with a four-man rotation through April. Matt Andriese would appear to be the favorite to be added to the rotation when it expands in May. Manager Kevin Cash did suggest, as Topkin reports, that the four-man rotation could be a season-long endeavor.

Tony Clark: Universal DH ‘gaining momentum’ among players


Major League Baseball Players Association executive director Tony Clark met the press late this morning and covered a wide array of topics.

One of them: free agency, which he referred to as being “under attack” based on the slow market for free agents last offseason.

“What the players saw last offseason was that their free-agent rights were under attack on what has been the bedrock of our system,” Clark said. He added that they “have some very difficult decisions to make.” Presumably in the form of grievances and, down the road, a negotiating strategy that seeks to claw back some of the many concessions the union has given owners in the past few Collective Bargaining Agreements. CBAs, it’s worth noting, that Clark negotiated. We’ve covered that territory in detail in the past.

Of more immediate interest was Clark’s comment that the idea of a universal designated hitter is, among players, “gaining momentum.” Clark says “players are talking about it more than they have in the past.” We’ve talked a lot about that as well.

Given that hating or loving the DH is the closest thing baseball has to a religion, no one’s mind is going to be changed by any of this, but I think, practically speaking, it’s inevitable that the National League will have the DH and I think it happens relatively soon. Perhaps in the next five years. The opposition to it at this point is solely subjective and based on tradition. People like pitchers batting and they like double switches and they like the leagues being different because they, well, like it. If the system were being set up today, however, they’d never have it this way and I think even the DH-haters know that well. That doesn’t mean that you can’t dislike a universal DH, but it does mean that you can’t expect the people who run the game to cater to that preference when it makes little sense for them to do it for their own purposes.

Anyway, enjoy convincing each other in the comments about how the side of that argument you dislike is wrong.