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Health Notes: Honeywell, Chapman, Bellinger, Elias

Rays prospect recently Brent Honeywell underwent a staggering fourth elbow surgery since his last in-game appearance back in 2017, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports. The latest operation, however, was an arthroscopic procedure to alleviate some mild discomfort and is not expected to impact Honeywell’s readiness for the upcoming 2021 season. Optimistic prognosis notwithstanding, the mounting number of arm injuries for Honeywell, once touted as one of he game’s premier pitching, is increasingly troubling. Honeywell has previously undergone Tommy John surgery, had surgery to repair a fracture in his elbow and undergone an ulnar nerve decompression procedure. He’s still just 25 years old (26 in March) and has a career 2.88 ERA with 9.9 K/9 against 2.0 BB/9 in 416 professional innings.

Some more health/injury updates from around the game…

  • Athletics third baseman Matt Chapman is “full speed ahead” after surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right hip ended his 2020 season prematurely, manager Bob Melvin told reporters Thursday (Twitter link via Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle). He’s expected to be a full participant in Spring Training. Chapman’s agent, Scott Boras, indicated this week that he’d likely be ready for Spring Training, but it’s all the more encouraging to hear prominent members of the A’s organization making similar declarations. Chapman belted 10 homers in 152 plate appearances this past season, but he was clearly dogged by the injury, as evidenced by a career-worst 35.5 percent strikeout rate (up from 21.9 percent in 2019).
  • Cody Bellinger’s rehab from last month’s shoulder surgery is ahead of schedule, Dodgers skipper Dave Roberts said in a Zoom call with reporters Thursday (Twitter link via Jorge Castillo of the L.A. Times). At the time of the surgery, it was reported that he’d need about 10 weeks to recover, although Roberts stopped short of proclaiming Bellinger ready for Spring Training, instead merely stating that the team hoped he could be “somewhat active” early in camp. Bellinger is expected to serve as the Dodgers’ primary center fielder again in 2020, which shouldn’t come as a surprise after he was named a Gold Glove finalist in 2020.
  • Free-agent left-hander Roenis Elias will throw for teams this Sunday in Texas as he looks to show that he’s put his a season-ending flexor strain behind him. The 32-year-old Elias didn’t pitch in 2020 after he opened the season on the Covid-19 list and then sustained that flexor strain when ramping back up. Sent from Seattle to D.C. at the 2019 trade deadline, Elias only pitched three innings for the Nats due to a hamstring injury. He was sharp with the Mariners from 2018-19, however, working to a 3.12 ERA and 3.84 FIP with 7.3 K/9, 3.0 BB/9 and 0.83 HR/9 in 98 innings of relief.
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