The Indians announced on Monday that the club acquired pitcher Nick Wittgren from the Marlins in exchange for pitcher Jordan Millbrath. The Indians designated pitcher A.J. Cole for assignment in order to make room for Wittgren on the 40-man roster.
Wittgren, 27, was designated for assignment by the Marlins last week in order to clear a 40-man roster spot for infielder Neil Walker. It was a curious decision by the Marlins, as Wittgren was a solid part of the bullpen last season. Across 33 2/3 innings, he posted a 2.94 ERA with 31 strikeouts and 15 walks.
Wittgren should find a spot at the back of the Indians’ bullpen in 2019. He has just over two years of service time, so he’ll be under team control for a while longer.
Spring training is just underway but Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw is already being shut down indefinitely.
Kershaw threw two bullpen sessions this week and, as the Los Angeles Times reports, he “didn’t feel right” afterward. Manager Dave Roberts said it was “arm kind of thing,” which, viva specificity. Roberts did allow that it might be so-called “dead arm” but it’s too soon to know. For now he’ll be working out as usual but not throwing.
Kershaw has had an increasing number of nagging injuries and ailments over the past several seasons, limiting him to 26 starts last year, 27 the year before and 21 in 2016. Whether this is something serious or not is unknown, but at least he’s experiencing it now instead of the middle of the season.