Jacob deGrom
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Jacob deGrom to undergo MRI on sore elbow

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Jacob deGrom ran into a bout of bad luck last week, snapping his record-tying streak of 26 quality starts after he was lit up by the Twins in a six-run, four-inning affair. On Friday, the Mets got more bad news about their ace: per Newsday’s Tim Healey, the right-hander is headed to New York to undergo an MRI on his right elbow. There’s no word yet on the severity of the injury or the extent to which it might affect deGrom’s 2019 campaign, though GM Brodie Van Wagenen announced that he’ll be placed on the 10-day injured list (retroactive to April 16) with an expected return date of April 26.

Prior to the announcement, manager Mickey Callaway told reporters that deGrom first experienced some pain in his right elbow while playing catch on Thursday. This is far from the first time the 30-year-old has sustained elbow issues: he underwent Tommy John surgery in 2011, underwent a second procedure to repair nerve damage in 2016, and was sidelined on the 10-day injured list after hyperextending his right elbow last May. Even if his most recent injury doesn’t require invasive surgery or a long stint on the injured list, however, it stands to reason that the Mets would want to play it extra-safe with their no. 1 starter.

So far in 2019, deGrom has pitched to mixed results. He looked every bit the defending Cy Young winner after shutting out the Nationals and Marlins in back-to-back outings at the start of the season, but faltered a little after giving up a combined nine runs and five homers to the Twins and Braves in his next two starts. He currently holds a 3.68 ERA, 2.9 BB/9, and 14.7 SO/9 through 22 innings, and entering Friday, is tied with Blake Snell, Matthew Boyd, and Gerrit Cole for a league-leading 36 strikeouts.

Update, 4/20/19: It appears deGrom’s injury is not nearly as bad as the Mets initially believed. He was throwing again on Saturday and feels so improved, per Callaway’s comments, that none of the team’s medical staff believes he needs an MRI.

Rays’ Erik Neander named Executive of the Year

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At the GM meetings in Scottsdale, Arizona on Monday, Rays GM Erik Neander was named the recipient of Major League Baseball’s Executive of the Year Award for the 2019 season. The Yankees’ Brian Cashman was the runner-up while the Athletics’ Billy Beane and the Twins’ Derek Falvey tied for third place.

Neander has worked for the Rays since 2017 but has operated in his current role since November 2016, taking over for Matthew Silverman who was promoted to president of the Rays alongside Brian Auld.

The Rays had, by far, the lowest payroll in baseball at $53.5 million, according to USA TODAY. Neander’s peers voting him Executive of the Year on the same today the league had to curtail its awarding of a prize belt to the team that suppressed salaries the most in arbitration is… certainly interesting timing.

At any rate, Neander’s Rays went 96-66 in 2019, finishing in second place in the AL East behind the 103-59 Yankees. The Rays claimed the second AL Wild Card and defeated the A’s to earn entry into the ALDS where they lost in five games to the Astros. It was the Rays’ first playoff appearance since 2013 and their regular season win total was second-most in franchise history behind the 2008 team (97).