Giants minor league reliever Julian Fernandez is scheduled to undergo Tommy John surgery on Thursday, Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area reports. The club selected Fernandez from the Rockies with their second pick in the Rule 5 Draft this past December and were hoping to advance him through their farm system over the 2018 season. Instead, the 22-year-old landed on the 60-day disabled list after getting diagnosed with a right UCL strain last week.
The young right-hander has already spent five seasons in the minors after signing with the Rockies out of the Dominican Republic in 2012. He last appeared with the Rockies’ Single-A affiliate in 2017 and finished the year with a 3.26 ERA, 2.8 BB/9 and 8.8 SO/9 through 58 innings. This appears to be the first major surgery of his professional career to date.
Given that Fernandez will need to remain on the major league disabled list for the foreseeable future, he’ll also accumulate a year of service time and receive a league-minimum $545,000 salary during his lengthy recovery process. Per Andrew Baggarly of The Athletic, that extra $500,000+ will count against the Giants’ $197 million luxury tax threshold. Were it not for the unique circumstances of the right-hander’s injury, it seems unlikely that the team would have parted with the money at all, even for a triple-digit-tossing Rule 5 pick with an impressive (if inconsistent) track record in the minors.
The postseason has a knack for finding unlikely heroes. Nationals catcher Kurt Suzuki was 1-for-23 in the postseason entering Wednesday’s Game 2 of the World Series. The Nats and Astros each plated two runs in the first inning, then went otherwise scoreless through the sixth inning. In the top of the seventh, with Justin Verlander returning to the mound, Suzuki demolished a high, 1-0 fastball just below the train tracks in left field at Minute Maid Park, breaking the 2-2 tie.
Verlander proceeded to walk Victor Robles, prompting manager A.J. Hinch to take his veteran starter out of the game. Ryan Pressly came in to attempt to keep it a one-run game.
The underdog Nationals held on to defeat the Astros 5-4 in Game 1. Another victory by the Nats in Game 2 would put the Astros — heavy favorites according to oddsmakers — in a big hole.
Update: Pressly walked the first batter he faced, Trea Turner. Adam Eaton successfully sacrifice bunted both runners over. After Anthony Rendon flied out to shallow center field, Hinch decided to issue his team’s first intentional walk of the entire year to Juan Soto, loading the bases. Howie Kendrick then hit what appeared to be an inning-ending ground out, but Alex Bregman booted the ball as he moved to his left. Turner scored to make it 4-2. The floodgates opened when Asdrúbal Cabrera lined a single to center field, bringing home two more runs to pad the lead to 6-2. While pitching to Ryan Zimmerman, Pressly uncorked a wild pitch to allow the two base runners to advance. Zimmerman followed up with a slow roller down the third base line which Bregman barehanded and proceeded to throw away. Two more runs scored. 8-2. Yiiiikes, Astros.