The last week in MLB was about a team in the American League who will part ways with their manager at the end of the season, a young starting pitcher will undergo season-ending surgery, and another starter has decided to delay his surgery.
Toronto Blue Jays Will Part Ways with Manager John Gibbons at Season’s End
The Toronto Blue Jays will have a new manager for the 2019 season as they’re expected to part ways with manager John Gibbons at the end of the 2018 campaign, per Jon Heyman of Fancred Sports.
The Blue Jays have struggled to perform well on the field in 2018 and have been eliminated from the postseason.
The club does have a solid farm system with talented players, highlighted by one of the best prospects in the minors in Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
Since the Blue Jays are about to have an influx of youth, it’s logical for them to bring in a new manager.
Gibbons did sign a contract extension with the Blue Jays before last season began, which was guaranteed for 2019 and included a team option for 2020, per Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com.
This was the second time Gibbons was the manager of the Blue Jays. He managed the franchise from 2004-08 before being brought back after 2012 season.
He did help lead the Blue Jays to the American League Championship Series in 2015 and 2016.
It’s possible the Blue Jays will look internally to find their new skipper.
Chicago White Sox Starting Pitcher Michael Kopech to Undergo Tommy John Surgery
The Chicago White Sox have a potential ace with young flamethrower Michael Kopech. The team will have to wait some time to see that potential as Kopech will need season-ending surgery, per an announcement by the team.
Michael Kopech will likely undergo Tommy John surgery after tests revealed a tear in his UCL. He is expected to be ready for Spring Training in 2020.
He will receive a second opinion in the days coming to confirm today’s diagnosis.
— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) September 7, 2018
Kopech will need Tommy John surgery after tests revealed a tear in his UCL (Ulnar Collateral Ligament). He’s expected to be ready in 2020 for Spring Training.
The right-hander posted a 5.02 ERA in 14.1 innings pitched (four starts) with 15 strikeouts, two walks surrendered, and four home runs yielded.
It’s a small sample size, but one thing that stands out is just the two walks. Kopech had struggled with walks in the minors but showed improvement in the majors.
It will be a long road to recovery for the young pitcher, but, hopefully, there are no setbacks, and he’ll be ready to go in 2020.
Los Angeles Angels Two-Way Phenom Shohei Ohtani Decides to Delay Surgery
Los Angeles Angels two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani received some bad news early this week. He underwent an MRI, which revealed there was new damage to his UCL and was recommended to undergo Tommy John surgery, per an announcement by the Angels.
Shohei Ohtani underwent an MRI on his right elbow earlier today. The imaging revealed new damage to his ulnar collateral ligament (UCL). Based on these findings, UCL reconstruction surgery is the recommended plan of care. Additional information will be provided when appropriate.
— Angels (@Angels) September 5, 2018
However, Ohtani has decided to finish the season as a hitter and hasn’t decided about having elbow surgery, per Jeff Fletcher of the Orange-County Register.
Shohei Ohtani said he will finish the season as a hitter. Hasn’t decided yet about TJ.
— Jeff Fletcher (@JeffFletcherOCR) September 7, 2018
For most pitchers, when TJ is recommended they seek a second opinion, and shortly after surgery is scheduled effectively ending their season.
However, Ohtani is unique in that he bats left-handed and throws right-handed, which has allowed him to continue playing over the past week for the Angels as a hitter.
Ohtani is having a solid rookie campaign for the Angels, as indicated by his .290 batting average and .964 OPS in 84 games with 16 doubles, 19 home runs, eight stolen bases, 53 RBIs and a 159 OPS+.
It might seem strange that Ohtani doesn’t want to have the procedure as quickly as possible, but there is some logic.
If he has the surgery now or once the season is over, he’ll still be sidelined until 2020.
I do expect Ohtani to have the surgery at some point during the offseason, but until then, we should enjoy Ohtani crushing baseballs.