To follow the last weeks of the regular season was to absorb one blow after another, but the offseason has started with an encouraging development: Dane Dunning is throwing without pain.
Dunning’s season ended on June 23 after calling for the trainer in the fourth inning during a start where he’d allowed four hits and four walks. James Fegan said Dunning had felt a twinge in his elbow as a normal part of warming up, but the pain went away. On June 23, it didn’t go away.
It’s not there now:
Right now, Dunning is free of pain. He threw his first full side session Monday, more than 14 weeks after his initial injury, and sprayed 25 fastballs with no issue other than an acceptable lack of command. After a slow and cautious return, the White Sox are determined to get him some innings in instructional league to test out that his elbow responds well to game stress before sending him into a restful offseason.
“He’s bouncing around with a lot of energy and is optimistic that things are moving in the right direction, which they are,” said player development director Chris Getz. “We’ve got it mapped out where certainly we’re going to incorporate all of his pitches and really make sure he’s getting a healthy amount of work so he can comfortably go in the offseason in preparation for next year.”
That’s not to say it won’t return, and there’s the possibility it can come back with a vengeance. But given that Michael Kopech is out until 2020 and Alec Hansen is a mystery, the White Sox could use anything it can get from that caliber of pitching prospect.
In unrelated White Sox news, they outrighted Dustin Garneau to start the 40-man roster pruning. It’s now at 39.
- Rockies go deep into the night to pull out wild-card thriller against the Cubs at Wrigley Field — Denver Post
- Baez says Cubs need to ignore trash talk — MLB.com
So it appears Javier Baez’s attempt to plant the flag before the start the postseason didn’t take. Baez tried — he delivered the game-tying RBI single in the eighth that briefly whipped the crowd into a frenzy — but the Cubs couldn’t score, and that was the story of their season. They posted zero or one runs in 40 games this season.
I participated in the season-ending roundtable at FutureSox, where I had to spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about Gavin Sheets.
- Paul Molitor fired as Twins manager — Minneapolis Star-Tribune
- A catcher for one last day: How Joe Mauer’s perfect moment came together — The Athletic
The Twins’ new front office might’ve wanted to fire Paul Molitor after an underwhelming first half of 2017, but a late surge and a wild card spot made it difficult. After a disappointing 78-win result this season, Derek Falvey and Thad Levine are going to pick their man.
At least Molitor got Joe Mauer’s potential last game right, although the White Sox also get credit for cooperating.
- Exclusive: The evidence that persuaded U.S. Department of Justice to investigate MLB recruitment of foreign players — SI.com
- Sources: A federal grand jury is investigating MLB’s international dealings, and all sides are worried — Yahoo Sports
The Dodgers are the latest team whose dealings in the international market have risen above the others into overly egregious. It doesn’t help that the evidence accusing Los Angeles of shady operations in Latin America comes from … the Dodgers themselves. They rated their corruption in an easy-to-read chart:
— One particularly remarkable document shows that Dodgers executives in 2015 went so far as to develop a database that measured the perceived “level of egregious behavior” displayed by 15 of their own employees in Latin America. That is, using a scale of 1 to 5—“innocent bystander” to “criminal”—front-office executives assessed their own staff’s level of corruption. Five employees garnered a “criminal” rating.
Jason Benetti was terrific in a three-man booth that focused on analytics last night. If the Sox are willing to employ three broadcasters, they have a play-by-play voice who deftly manages traffic.
Could have done without FreelandCam dominating one of the game’s most tense moments though.
My overarching issue was it didn’t sound like a ballpark in October, and they didn’t let big moments breathe until later. Then again, with a one-shot deal, they probably want to shoot all their shots.
I admit most of my reaction is from the ninth inning on. The cadence and thoughtfulness of the discussion struck me as something I would be happy to get on a regular basis.
I wonder how tough the MLB will be on the Dodgers. Atlanta tough?
I wonder how tough the DOJ will be on the Dodgers.
GREAT news about Dunning. Since the initial injury and estimate of 6-8 weeks, it’s been absolute quiet about him in the press, and given all the other injury issues, I am sure lots of us were starting to worry about him. Here’s hoping he’s ok going forward.
Claudell Washington didn’t have the happiest time at Comiskey, but he had his moments. I’m sad to learn he has advanced prostate cancer and no health insurance, but — judging from this Athletic profile — he appears to have no regrets.
When did players start receiving health insurance for just being in the majors?
that rumor that you play one day in MLB and you get health insurance for life, is bogus.
Addison Russell suspended for 40 games retroactive September 21st
that’s the easy part. Needs to grow up, makes amends, go to counseling, and most likely be traded.