Jeff Fletcher of the Southern California News Group reports that Angels reliever Blake Wood will undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery. Additionally, starter Matt Shoemaker had surgery on his right forearm — specifically, nerve decompression and pronator teres tendon repair.
Wood, 32, was diagnosed with a damaged ulnar collateral ligament last week and sought further opinions in an effort to avoid Tommy John surgery. In 11 2/3 innings out of the bullpen this season, the right-hander compiled a 2.31 ERA with 10 strikeouts and seven walks.
Shoemaker, 31, hasn’t pitched since the third game of the regular season back on March 31. He’s been on the disabled list since early April with what was called a forearm strain. Shoemaker underwent an MRI last week that showed a mild edema — swelling caused by excess fluid trapped in tissue — in his right forearm.
Wood will miss the rest of the 2018 season and will likely miss a large portion or all of the 2019 season as well. There is currently no timetable for Shoemaker’s recovery.
Phillies star outfielder Bryce Harper played some third base during Monday’s intrasquad game at Citizens Bank Park, Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports. Harper had been pestering manager Joe Girardi for the opportunity and the skipper finally gave in.
Girardi told Harper, “No diving. And make sure your arm is loose.” Harper had the opportunity to field one ball, a grounder to his left and he made the play perfectly.
Why put Harper at third base? Girardi said, “I think it’s important the guys have fun. I saw him a week ago taking ground balls there and I was impressed. His hands worked well out front and he threw the ball across the field well. I told him, ‘You look good there.'”
Despite the solid showing, don’t expect Harper to show up at third base in a meaningful game anytime soon. That being said, the Phillies’ second and third base situations are still not cemented. Jean Segura will likely open the season at the hot corner with Scott Kingery at second, but things could change between now and Opening Day in 10 days.
Harper, 27, is coming off a solid first season with the Phillies. He hit .260/.372/.510 with 36 doubles, 35 home runs, 114 RBI, 98 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases across 682 plate appearances. Per FanGraphs, Harper’s 4.6 Wins Above Replacement ranked 16th in the National League. For some people, those numbers weren’t nearly good enough, so the expectations remain high as Harper enters year two of his 13-year, $330 million contract.