Dylan Hernandez reports:
Dodger right-hander Blake Hawksworth will undergo arthroscopic surgery tomorrow on his right elbow to clean up scar tissue and a spur.
No word yet on whether this is something that had been bothering Hawksworth for a while that he’d been unable to get past or if it’s something new, though I’m inclined to speculate that it’s the latter because of the timing and because Hawksworth’s only injury during 2011 was the hip problem that landed him on the disabled list. While we can’t know for sure, don’t forget that after a relatively solid first half, he was so poor at the end of the year that we often wondered if he was hurt:
Returning in June, he was once again solid, allowing a .542 OPS and a 19/5 K/BB in 19 1/3 innings. Nothing stellar, of course, but certainly useful; this earned him a B in the midseason reviews, where I referred to him as “perfectly acceptable.” But from there, it was all downhill for Hawksworth, as he allowed 16 runs (12 earned) in his final 16 2/3 innings of the season, making many wonder if he was injured again – and culminating in his failure to cover first base (or, you know, get outs) in the September 28 soulcrusher in Arizona.
Still, we don’t know that this is in any way related.
It’s also not the first time that Hawksworth has run into shoulder issues, since he had labrum surgery while in the minors and missed almost two entire seasons, getting into just nine games between 2004-05. This sounds much less serious, so even if he’s out for 6-8 weeks that would only sideline him until mid-March, though we’ll have to learn more about what the timeframe is after the procedure. (Update: yes, I misread “elbow” as “shoulder”. Shows what I get for posting after midnight when I’ve barely slept. My mistake.) If Hawksworth does begin the year on the disabled list that makes it more likely that Josh Lindblom makes the club, though since Lindblom does have options remaining there’s always an excellent chance he gets nudged out by a non-roster invite, perhaps a second lefty to join Scott Elbert.
The other news of the night comes from Bill Shaikin, who reports that FOX and the Dodgers have come to an agreement that finally exhausts the legal battles between the two. FOX agrees to drop any objection to the sale agreement between the Dodgers and MLB – there was to be a court hearing on that this week, and while it was extremely unlikely FOX would have prevailed, if they had, we’d be blasted all the way back to square one in this mess – and in return, the Dodgers agree to stop trying to market their television rights before the end of their deal with FOX, which never made much sense anyway.
Not to jinx it, but this could be the end of legal hostilities all around, since both MLB and FOX have settled their battles with the Dodgers. That should clear the way towards the sale, which Shaikin also clarified the timeline of; while we already knew bids were due on January 23 and the sale must be completed by April 30, we now also know that the winning bidder will be announced no later than April 1. 81 days!
One other note: Kenji Nimura, the trilingual translator who joined the Dodgers in 2008 when Hiroki Kuroda signed with the club, will soon be leaving to take a similar position with the Yankees. This news came out in, of all places, a photo caption in Jon SooHoo’s gallery from this week’s prospect development camp. Sure, it’s possible that this is just a coincidence, since the Dodgers don’t look like they’ll have any Asian players on the roster next year, but considering that Nimura has lived in Los Angeles since 1983 and has referred to working for the Dodgers as a dream job, it’s hard not to read this as one giant hint that Kuroda is soon to be a Yankee.