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Cubs, White Sox continue to play hot potato with Ian Clarkin

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Every offseason, there is a player or two who seem to keep bouncing around from team to team. Usually, different clubs are involved. In pitcher Ian Clarkin‘s case, he has oddly bounced between just the Cubs and White Sox throughout the offseason.

On November 20, the Cubs claimed him off waivers from the White Sox. The White Sox got him back six days later, claiming him off waivers from the Cubs. On January 8, the White Sox designated him for assignment. Today, the Cubs announced the club claimed him off waviers from the White Sox. Clarkin is essentially a hot potato the Cubs and White Sox keep passing to each other.

Clarkin, 23, hasn’t pitched in the majors yet, which is why the only picture we had of him was from 2012, when he pitched in an 18U tournament for the United States. The lefty was selected in the first round (33rd overall) of the 2013 draft by the Yankees. The Yankees packaged him with Tyler Clippard and Blake Rutherford when they acquired Todd Frazier, David Robertson, and Tommy Kahnle from the White Sox in July 2017.

This past season, Clarkin pitched 85 innings in the minors, 68 2/3 of which came with Double-A Birmingham. With Birmingham, he posted a 4.98 ERA with 35 strikeouts and 31 walks across 10 starts and eight relief appearances. Clarkin will open the 2019 season in the minors.

Robert Gsellman diagnosed with partial lat tear

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SNY’s Andy Martino reports that Mets pitcher Robert Gsellman has been diagnosed with a partial lat tear. There is no timetable yet for his recovery, but it would seem likely he doesn’t pitch again this season.

Gsellman, 26, went on the injured list on Saturday (retroactive to August 14) with what was initially called right triceps tightness. Across 63 2/3 innings of relief for the Mets this season, the right-hander posted a 4.66 ERA with 60 strikeouts and 23 walks.

Losing Gsellman is a big deal for the Wild Card-hopeful Mets. While his ERA wasn’t anything incredible, he was a workhorse, accruing the most innings of anyone in the bullpen. With Gsellman out of the mix, the Mets will lean even more on Seth Lugo and Jeurys Familia behind struggling closer Edwin Díaz.