Notes: Farrell baffled by rash of elbow injuries

Notes: Farrell baffled by rash of elbow injuries
March 18, 2014, 2:00 pm

John Farrell said there could be some cuts made this week.

(Associated Press)

TAMPA -- A rash of pitchers suffering torn elbow ligaments and requiring Tommy John surgery has hit Major League Baseball this spring, with, among others, Patrick Corbin, Jarrod Parker, Brandon Beachy and Kris Medlen set to undergo the procedure, and John Farrell is as perplexed as anyone at the epidemic.      

"I don't have an explanation," said Farrell, who underwent the procedure twice in his playing career. "Is there a common link? What's happening more is guys are going for their second one. Why that is, I don't know. You empathize with the guys who are going down because there's a long road that's ahead of them.
      
"There's a rash of it going on right now. It kind of makes you scratch your head. You don't know what goes on in other camps, so you don't know how they're ramping guys up or is there something pre-existing there. Regardless of who they play for, it's a sad day when you read about someone having to have that surgery."
      
It's especially sad when many of the pitchers are in their mid-20s and are among the most promising arms in the game.
      
"These aren't guys trying to make an impression," he said. "They're mid- to upper-rotation guys that are having to go through it. It speaks volumes to (the fact that) you can't ever have enough supply of pitching. The attrition is always going to be there. You've got to develop from within because you can't just buy that guy to replace him."

-- Ryan Lavarnway, who is being shopped by the Red Sox, got another start at first base against the Yankees.
      
"He's adapted quickly to the position,'' said Farrell, "particularly with the nuances of being around the bag. He's got very good aptitude, so after about a week with [coach Brian Butterfield], it quickly became evident, 'Don't hesitate putting him in a game.' He's doing a good job over there."

-- Reliever Craig Breslow, who is being brought along slowly this spring and has to yet to appear in a game, will face hitters on Friday, with the goal of having him pitch in his first Grapefruit League game Monday.
      
That will take place exactly a week before the season opener, leading to a question of whether Breslow can get himself ready for the season?
      
"We'll see," said Farrell. "He's feeling really good. He threw a 35-pitch pen Monday at about 90 percent or better. He felt good today coming in. He's one guy who's probably less about the number of appearances and (more) about how he feels. We'll reserve that until he gets in games."
      
If Breslow were to be unavailable for the first week or so, the Sox would likely keep Brandon Workman for the bullpen, given that he'll be stretched out enough in the early going to provide multiple innings. With starting pitchers still building arm strength, that could be useful.