It’s been a rough year for Pirates right-hander Chad Kuhl, who will seek another opinion on his right elbow/forearm after experiencing further setbacks during his rehab of a right forearm strain. Multiple reports from Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and MLB.com’s Adam Berry revealed that Kuhl was unable to complete a bullpen session on Tuesday, which prompted him to schedule an additional follow-up with Dr. David Altchek in New York City next week. There’s still no clear timetable for his return to the rotation, though it appears highly unlikely that he’ll be able to work his way back to the mound before the end of the 2018 season.
Kuhl, 26, hasn’t pitched in a major-league game since the end of June, when he first sustained the injury over a four-inning, 70-pitch outing against the Mets. Following his initial meeting with Dr. Altchek in July, the righty was instructed to adhere to a strict no-throw period of four weeks, which he completed before he was finally cleared to throw bullpen sessions in mid-August.
Prior to the incident, Kuhl went 5-5 in 16 starts with a 4.55 ERA, 3.5 BB/9 and career-best 8.6 SO/9 through 85 innings. He doesn’t have a history of elbow troubles, making this the first significant setback of his career to date, and one that may keep him on the shelf a good while longer if surgery is recommended.
Last month, Mariners former director of high performance, Dr. Lorena Martin, was dismissed from the club after the first year of her three-year contract. She made serious allegations of racism and sexism against the Mariners in the days that followed, all of which have been the subject of multiple investigations by the team itself as well as Major League Baseball. On Friday evening, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic published an email that had purportedly been sent to Mariners staff members by CEO John Stanton.
The email itself was printed here in full (subscription required) and basically rehashes everything the Mariners said in an official statement on Monday: That the team continues to deny allegations of racist and sexist behavior by general manager Jerry Dipoto, manager Scott Servais, and farm director Andy McKay because they are “completely inconsistent with who they are and what the Seattle Mariners stand for.”
Stanton added that no one had stepped forward to corroborate Martin’s accusations so far, and also went out of his way to mention that he had never personally observed members of the Mariners personnel “making disparaging, racist or sexist comments” during two trips to the Dominican Republic. The email concluded with an invitation for other staff members to speak up if they had any differing experiences or concerns about the team.
According to multiple reports from the Seattle Times and Tacoma News Tribune, among other outlets, Martin has yet to reveal a number of incriminating emails she claimed to have in her possession, nor has any staff member publicly supported her previous statements on her wrongful termination or the toxic culture within the club. That doesn’t mean, however, that the allegations she made against the Mariners are false, just as Stanton’s claim that he never personally witnessed instances of racism and sexism within the organization doesn’t mean that racist and sexist statements and actions were never made. As Bill pointed out, Martin has likely burned all bridges within the organization and, more significantly, throughout the league as well. It stands to reason that others would feel hesitant to come forward in light of the harsh ramifications that typically await whistleblowers in this kind of situation.
We’ll update this story as it continues to develop.