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Monday’s MLB: Braves’ Rodriguez likely out for year

Associated Press

Atlanta — Braves general manager John Coppolella said Monday he isn’t sure whether it is realistic to hope for a return this season of infielder Sean Rodriguez, who will have shoulder surgery.

Rodriguez, who agreed to an $11.5 million, two-year contract with Atlanta in November, hurt his shoulder when a vehicle he was driving was rammed by a stolen police car in Miami on Jan. 28. His wife Giselle and two of their children were hospitalized with injuries she said on her Twitter account were not life-threatening.

Rodriguez’s shoulder injury was not immediately disclosed. Coppolella told The Associated Press Rodriguez’s surgery hasn’t been finalized.

“He’s going to be out indefinitely,” Coppolella said. “We hope he comes back as soon as possible. We’re not sure yet if it’s realistic that will be for the 2017 season. We don’t have enough information.”

The team prepared for the possibility Rodriguez could miss the full season when it acquired second baseman Brandon Phillips from Cincinnati on Sunday.

The versatile Rodriguez had been expected to compete with Jace Peterson for the starting job. Now Phillips moves in as the starter and Peterson could fill a utility role.

Phillips, 35, has a $14 million salary this season, of which $2.25 million is deferred without interest. He can become a free agent after the season.

Having Phillips for one season gives second base prospect Ozzie Albies another season in the minors. Albies and rookie shortstop Dansby Swanson are the Braves’ projected long-term middle infield starters.

“We see Brandon as somebody who is going to help us this year,” Coppolella said. “We’re always cognizant of our prospects. That’s why we’ve made mostly short-term deals but we’re excited about what Brandon brings to us in 2017.”

Rodriguez hit .270 with 18 homers and 56 RBIs — all career highs — for Pittsburgh last year.

The driver of the stolen police car was killed in the accident that injured Rodriguez and his family members. Giselle said on her Twitter account she suffered a broken femur and tibia.

Coppolella described the accident as horrific.

“More important than when he gets back to playing with the Braves is the health and well-being of his family,” Coppolella said. “That’s first and foremost in our thoughts.”

Arbitration cases

Tampa Bay’s Jake Odorizzi and St. Louis’ Michael Wacha have gone to salary arbitration and are among six first-time eligible starting pitchers who could get decisions Tuesday.

Odorizzi asked arbitrators Edna Francis, Margaret Brogan and James Oldham for a raise from $520,700 to $4.1 million. The Rays argued during Monday’s hearing that he should be paid $3,825,000.

Wacha asked arbitrators Dennis Archer, Gary Kendellen and Elizabeth Neumeier for a raise from $539,000 to $3.2 million, and St. Louis advocated for a $2,775,000 salary.

Lawyers for players and teams agreed the panels should withhold decisions for the pair along with cases involving Milwaukee’s Chase Anderson, Houston’s Collin McHugh, Toronto’s Marcus Stroman and Arizona’s Taijuan Walker until all had completed hearings.

The sides are on track for 16 hearings, the most since teams won 10 of 16 decisions in 1994.

Around the horn

Red Sox TV analyst Jerry Remy says he has experienced a cancer relapse.

Remy, 64, a former Red Sox second baseman, was originally diagnosed with cancer in 2008 and has missed numerous games in recent years.

... Right-hander Bronson Arroyo signed a minor league deal with the Reds. He hasn’t pitched in the majors since getting Tommy John surgery in 2014.

... Left-hander Adam Loewen agreed to a minor league contract with the Rangers that includes an invitation to major league spring training.

Loewen spent last season in the Arizona organization, going 5-3 with a 3.91 ERA in 40 appearances for Triple-A Reno. He was 1-0 in eight appearances for the Diamondbacks.