San Francisco Chronicle

Medical reports lead Mets to pass on signing 1stround pick Rocker

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The Mets failed to sign their top pick from last month’s amateur draft, Vanderbilt pitcher Kumar Rocker, by Sunday’s deadline over concerns about his medical scans.

New York selected Rocker with the 10th overall pick and will receive an extra selection in next year’s amateur draft, the pick after the 10th choice, because of their failure to sign the 21yearold righthande­r.

The Mets lost the $4,739,900 slot value available for draft signings that was assigned to Rocker’s pick.

“This is clearly not the outcome we had hoped for and wish Kumar nothing but success moving forward,” Mets acting general manager Zack Scott said in a statement.

Rocker posted a 2.73 ERA and 0.93 WHIP with 179 strikeouts across 20 starts during the 2021 college season. He is eligible to return to Vanderbilt’s roster for another season.

“Kumar Rocker is healthy according to independen­t medical review by multiple prominent baseball orthopedic surgeons,” his representa­tive, Scott Boras, said in a statement. “Immediatel­y upon conclusion of his collegiate season, he had an MRI on both his shoulder and his elbow. When compared with his 2018 MRIs, the medical experts found no significan­t change. Kumar requires no medical attention and will continue to pitch in the regular course as he prepares to begin his profession­al career.”

Rocker was the only player among the 30 firstround picks who failed to sign.

Sale nearing return? Boston lefthander Chris Sale, who had Tommy John surgery in March 2020, reported no issues after a fiveinning rehab outing Saturday and could be in position to make his season debut with the Red Sox next week.

Sale, a seventime AllStar, threw 81 pitches for TripleA Worcester on Saturday, allowing one run and five hits and striking out seven. He will make a fifth — and perhaps final — rehab start this week.

“We’ll readdress the situation after that, but he’s getting close,” manager Alex Cora told MLB.com. “I talked to Chris this morning. Going into it, and I read some quotes, he felt like it was a regular start. There were no limits, like, ‘I got to go out there and work.’ He accomplish­ed that. Today, he felt great. He’ll get on the bus, he’ll pitch and then we’ll see where it takes us.” Medical update: Former Giants reliever Jimmie Sherfy, who has an elbow injury, was moved from the 10day injured list to the 60day IL by the Dodgers. Sherfy appeared in four games with San Francisco this year before Los Angeles claimed him on waivers . ... Yankees righthande­r Domingo German went on the 10day IL because of inflammati­on in his right shoulder. The list of players landing on the IL also includes Rays reliever Jeffrey Springs (knee sprain), White Sox outfielder Billy Hamilton (oblique strain) and Mets infielder Luis Guillorme (hamstring strain).

 ?? Rebecca S. Gratz / Associated Press ?? Vanderbilt pitcher Kumar Rocker, who was selected by the Mets, is the lone 2021 firstround draft pick who did not sign.
Rebecca S. Gratz / Associated Press Vanderbilt pitcher Kumar Rocker, who was selected by the Mets, is the lone 2021 firstround draft pick who did not sign.

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