Max Scherzer injury updates seem to come by the hour. He can pitch again. He can't pitch again. He won't pitch again. He might pitch again. Now, it seems Scherzer will wait until the play-offs to start again if the Tigers can clinch the American League Central before Wednesday.
According to John Lowe of the Detroit Free Press, Scherzer could pitch Wednesday if needed. The Tigers, though, are hoping they don't need him. If Detroit can lock up the division before then, Lowe says Scherzer will be held back until the postseason. If they have not locked up the division and Scherzer still can't go Wednesday, rookie Drew Smyly will be who the Tigers turn to to keep their season alive.
Scherzer has thrown just seven innings since September 18th. He threw two innings before being lifted due to shoulder discomfort on the 18th, and he came back on 23rd to pitch five innings. However, he is still dealing with shoulder fatigue and any additional rest the Tigers can give him will be beneficial. Scherzer's health is equally as important as a Tigers' postseason berth.
The Tigers do not have the luxury of the Wild Card to fall back on. They do not have a good enough record. If they let their division lead slip away to the Chicago White Sox, the Tigers will miss the play-offs. Luckily for them, they have a two-game lead in the division with four games to play. The Tigers are taking on the Twins and the White Sox are taking on the Tampa Bay Rays. Detroit's magic number is three.
Archive for September 2012
Max Scherzer injury updates seem to come by the hour. He can pitch again. He can't pitch again. He won't pitch again. He might pitch again. Now, it seems Scherzer will wait until the play-offs to start again if the Tigers can clinch the American League Central before Wednesday.
Yesterday, a strange thing happened. Eduardo Nunez was removed from the Yankees game and Derek Jeter moved from DH out to shortstop. This left Andy Pettitte slotted in the lineup to hit. Of course, things worked themselves out and Pettitte did not have to bat, but Nunez's exit magnified the absence of Jayson Nix. Nix had reported back to New York yesterday for an MRI on his hip. And as it turns out, he has a Grade I strain of his right hip flexor.
Nix suffered the injury on Thursday, and according to Bryan Hoch of MLB.com, the Yankees' utility infielder will now miss 10-14 days. Luckily, Nunez was removed yesterday not for an injury, but for defensive reasons, and the Yankees will rely on him to give Jeter a rest from having to play everyday in the field.
Nix can play second base, shortstop, and third base. The Yankees have used him and Nunez frequently as Jeter has been battling his bone bruise in his ankle. With just four games (and four days) left in the season, Nix's absence means he will be gone until the League Championship Series, if the Yankees make it that far.
Nix is hitting .243/.306/.384 in 74 games this season. He has been a journeyman of sorts in his Major League career so far, but he is still arbitration eligible. The Yankees have control over Nix through the 2015 season, but Nix has already bounced around to five different teams. He is a .214/.285/.371 career hitter.
The Yankees like Nix for his versatility, and they will miss his presence as they are forced to go with Nunez as the back-up second baseman and back-up shortstop. It looks at if Nunez will be the one the Yankees carry on their Division Series roster if they make the postseason. Keep in mind, New York is not guaranteed a Division Series appearance of even a play-off appearance yet. They could fall into the Wild Card or fall out of the race altogether still.
The New York Yankees find themselves in a tie with the Baltimore Orioles heading into play Sunday. They lost to a wild Ricky Romero and the Toronto Blue Jays yesterday while the Orioles took care of the Boston Red Sox. New York needs some good news to carry them through their final four games. They may be getting that in the form of Mark Teixeira.
According to Wallace Matthews of ESPN New York, Teixeira is expected to rejoin the Yankees on Monday. Matthews said Teixeira will need to be cleared by the team's training staff after his final workout in Tampa today, then he will be allowed to join the team for their series against the Red Sox.
Teixeira has not played since September 8th and had been out from August 27th through September 8th before that. When He came back on the 8th and tried to play on his strained calf, he re-injured himself. This time around, both the Yankees and Teixeira have been careful in when they bring him back.
Teixeira is hitting .255/.336/.478 this season with 23 home runs. His power will be welcome for the Yankees as they battle to take the American League East.
"It's the first time we'll have our whole lineup for a long time, which is really good," Girardi said. "It will make our lineup different. Obviously they're two middle of the order hitters, number one. But two, it gives you the ability not to stack left-handers, which is something that we've had to fight and at times we've been vulnerable to that."Teixeira is in his fourth year with the Yankees. He is currently under an eight-year, $180 million contract. He can become a free agent after the 2016 season. Teixeira is making $22.5 million per year starting this season and each year through 2016. With the Yankees so far, Teixeira has actually under-performed compared with his other stops. With New York, he is hitting .254/.358/.507. With the Texas Rangers, a total of five seasons, Teixeira hit .283/.368/.533. When healthy, the Yankees hope he can lift them into and through the postseason.
Corey Hart was clearly hobbled by the plantar fasciitis he's been battling for the last couple weeks. His limp was noticeable as he jogged around the bases yesterday, not once but twice. Hart's two home runs kept the Brewers mathematically alive in the Wild Card hunt.
According to the Associated Press, Hart had been battling the injury for a while now and was in a 4-for-28 slump coming into play last night. Hart and the Brewers, though, have been able to turn their season around and put themselves in contention for the play-offs. Offensive performances like Hart' last night will certainly help keep them alive.
"As long as I can jog it's a lot easier," said Hart, who missed eight games this month with plantar fascitis in his left foot. "So, it was a little easier tonight. I'm trying to go as long as I can."The Brewers have to win out and hope the St. Louis Cardinals lose out if they are going to make the play-offs. Milwaukee is four games back of the Cardinals with four to play. While it will be a long-shot to make the Wild Card, the Brewers have already performed better than most thought they would after their poor start.
Hart is hitting .273/.337/.513 with 30 home runs this season. He has a career .276/.334/.491 line. Hart has been one of the Brewers' most consistent offensive performers since 2006. He made his debut in 2004, but in both 2004 and 2005 he didn't get much playing time. Hart was drafted in the 11th round of the 2000 draft and has outperformed expectations set for him at that time.
While the Brewers may not make the postseason this year, they will have Hart back for next season. He won't be a free agent until after next year. The Brewers have a decent young team, and if they can stay healthy, there's no reason why they shouldn't compete in 2013.
Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez told reporters yesterday that there’s a “good chance” Bourn rejoins the club’s lineup today. Still, the skipper did say that Atlanta has no interest rushing the 29-year-old back to action.
“The big thing is we don’t want to get a setback,” Gonzalez said. “We’re running out of games and we don’t want to get a setback right now.”
Bourn has been out of the Braves’ lineup since last Saturday’s contest against the Philadelphia Phillies. It was during this game that he sustained his thumb injury, which was later diagnosed as a sprain, while sliding head-first into first base.
It would seem to benefit the Braves if Bourn was able to register a few at-bats before the playoffs begin so that he can regain his timing at the plate. Still, Atlanta has to be careful as to not rush him back and risk further injury.
Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard’s season is over, as the slugger has been diagnosed with a broken big toe, reports Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com:
Ryan Howard has broken big toe. Out for rest of season.
— Jim Salisbury (@JSalisburyCSN) September 29, 2012
Wily Peralta, the surprising September call-up for the Milwaukee Brewers felt tightness in his biceps Thursday and was pulled from the game. However, he received good news Friday when the results of his MRI came back negative. There is no structural damage shown on the MRI, and he has not experienced soreness in the biceps area.
According to Yahoo! Sports, Peralta could make his next scheduled start Tuesday against the San Diego Padres. The Brewers will be very cautious with the 23-year old righty, and if there is any sign of an issue, they will not send him out there.
Peralta has been fantastic since coming up in September. He actually made his debut in April of this year, but was sent back to Triple-A. He has made a total of five starts this season and has a 2.48 ERA. In his last five appearances, all starts in September since being called up, Peralta has given up three or fewer runs in each game. The Brewers are understandably excited about what Peralta can bring to their organization.
Earlier this season, the Brewers traded ace Zack Greinke to the Los Angeles Angels. They did not expect to compete this year., but they do plan on reloading. Pitchers like Peralta can help with that effort. And it turns out the Brewers have been able to compete late in the year. Their surge still has them mathematically alive in the Wild Card. The Brewers trail the St. Louis Cardinals by five games with five to play.
While a play-off berth this season is very unlikely, the Brewers have shown some life. Peralta, if he can continue his success, could be a big part of the team's plans going forward. His service time clock just started ticking when he was called up this year so the Brewers will have him under team control for a long time.
The Chicago White Sox closed the gap last night with their 3-1 win over the Tampa Bay Rays. The Detroit Tigers lost to the Minnesota Twins 4-2, and their lead in the American League Central dropped to just one game with five to play. The Tigers and the White Sox will have to battle it out without facing each other again this season. The rest of the AL Central is simply playing for pride now. Here are your AL East injury news and notes:
- Rick Porcello has seen a drop in velocity after about four innings. However, Jim Leyland says there are no medical red flags. According to John Lowe of the Detroit Free Press, the team can't figure out why Porcello has the drop-off in velocity. It may be due to late-season shoulder fatigue.
- Eric Hosmer injured his right shoulder Thursday while reaching for a ball hit down the first base line. He had to come out of the game and was not in yesterday's lineup. Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star says the team and Hosmer are still waiting on the results of Hosmer's MRI. The team will take it day-by-bay with him.
- Bruce Levine reported on Thursday that injured White Sox pitcher John Danks can begin throwing on November 1st. Danks underwent shoulder surgery in August that ended his season. He had tried to battle through the pain for most of the year before electing surgery. He is expected to be ready for spring training.
- Josh Willingham's season could be over. With just five games to play, the Twins will not rush him back and the LF sat out again yesterday with a sore shoulder. According to CBS Chicago, the Twins are wary of worsening Willingham's injury.
With the Detroit Tigers losing last night and the Chicago White Sox winning, the Tigers saw their lead in the American League Central shrink to one game. Both teams have just five games to play, none of them head-to-head, and the Tigers may not be able to throw their number two starter, Max Scherzer, out there after he missed another start last night with shoulder issues.
Scherzer has been battling shoulder fatigue over the last couple weeks of the season, and the Tigers are trying to give him as much rest as he needs. However, his inability to pitch is having a direct result on the standings. John Lowe of the Detroit Free Press says Scherzer has a 50-50 shot of making his next scheduled start which would be the season-finale on Wednesday. If he can't make the start, Drew Smyly will.
Scherzer has not pitched since September 23rd when he went five innings against the Minnesota Twins. Scherzer gave up three runs in that game and took the loss. His shoulder has continued to bother him since the start.
The 28-year old righty is 16-7 this season with a 3.82 ERA. He has been overpowering at times as shown by his 228 strikeouts this season - second only to teammate Justin Verlander in all of baseball. Scherzer has a career 3.90 ERA in five seasons. In his three years with Detroit, he's posted a 3.92 ERA.
The Tigers will send Justin Verlander, Rick Porcello, and Doug Fister to the mound in their next three games. Scherzer would be next up. Detroit finishes the season with two more games against the Twins and then three against the Kansas City Royals. The White Sox, who coughed up their long-standing lead on the AL Central recently, will finish the season with two games against the Tampa Bay Rays and three games against the Cleveland Indians.
Buster Posey may have lost his voice, but he won't lose playing time. The San Francisco Giants catcher was hit in the throat by a pitch that battery-mate Ryan Vogelsong bounced in the dirt last night. Posey remained in the game and says he will play today.
The incident happened in the second inning of last night's game against the San Diego Padres and was a scary reminder that with as much equipment that catchers wear, they are still exposed. According to Andrew Baggarly of CSN Bay Area, Posey plans on playing today and will continue his pursuit of the National League batting race.
Vogelsong said after the game that he didn't know the ball had hit Posey in the throat until he saw the seam marks on Posey's adam's apple.
“I didn’t really get to that point, but I know he’s a tough son of a gun,” Vogelsong said. “Because I know if I get hit in the throat, I’d be lying on the training table. We’ve got some tough guys back there, that’s for sure.”Posey is hitting .334/.407/.544 with 23 home runs this season - his first season back since his gruesome ankle injury last year that kept him out for most of the season. Posey's .334 batting average is four points higher than Andrew McCutchen who has given up ground this week in the batting title race. McCutchen is now hitting .330. The suspended Melky Cabrera actually leads the National League in batting with a .346 average, but he asked to have his name removed from consideration and Major League Baseball obliged by changed the minimum plate appearances rule.
Posey's Giants are back in the postseason for just the second time since 2003. In 2010, Posey's rookie year, the team won the World Series. The Giants are simply waiting now to find out who they play in their Division Series match-up. The Cincinnati Reds and the Washington Nationals are battling for th best record in the NL and the right to play the Wild Card play-off game winner. Whoever ends up with the second-best record will host San Francisco.
While Texas Rangers setup man Mike Adams received some good
news yesterday regarding his injury, the right-hander is still out indefinitely
with only a few games left in the regular season. Though there’s no timeframe on Adam’s return,
right-hander Yu Darvish said he’s set to start Sunday after Friday’s successful
Adams has struggled with discomfort recently, leading to his disastrous last outing on Thursday. Over 2/3 of an inning, he allowed three runs on three hits, all solo home runs, to the Oakland Athletics.
An MRI revealed that Adams is dealing with a mild cervical strain, which means there’s still a chance he could rejoin the Rangers bullpen this season. However, Texas is listing him as out for the time being as he receives treatment.
Darvish threw 36 pitches yesterday during a bullpen session without experiencing any discomfort. He doesn’t believe his neck stiffness will be a problem when he takes the mound against the Los Angeles Angels tomorrow.
The New York Yankees finally have a timeframe set for first
baseman Mark Teixeira’s return.
Meanwhile, though outfielder Brett Gardner has been activated by the
Yankees, it’s not clear if he’ll be able to contribute at the plate at all this
We found out yesterday that Teixeira was able to test his injured calf during a simulated game in Tampa Thursday. Friday the slugger was able to make six at-bats during live batting practice, and he’s scheduled to play five innings of an Instructional League game today.
While he’s making progress, Teixeira won’t be ready to rejoin the Yankees before Monday when they begin their final series of the season against the Boston Red Sox.
Gardner has made two appearances since being activated by the disabled list. Both times he’s entered the game as a defensive replacement in the ninth inning. Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that even if Gardner is unable to contribute at the plate, he could still make it onto the team’s playoff roster as a defensive replacement and pinch-runner.
The New York Yankees and the Baltimore Orioles look like they may battle for the American League East crown all the way until the final day of the season. Baltimore trails New York by one game in the standings as both teams enter pivotal weekend series. The Red Sox, meanwhile, are just looking for something that vaguely resembles continuity. Here are your American League East injury news and notes:
- Matt Wieters will miss today's game for the Orioles against the Boston Red Sox. According to Britt Ghiroli, Orioles beat writer, Wieters is not expected to join the team today after the birth of his son earlier in the day.
- Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe speculates that Jacoby Ellsbury will not return this season. He said Ellsbury will not play today and being that it is so late in the season, the team has probably shut him down. Ellsbury hasn't played since September 20th and is battling an undisclosed injury. The injury is thought to be a right shoulder issue, but the Red Sox have not confirmed.
- Eduardo Encina of the Baltimore Sun says Jason Hammel could return for the postseason. He may not pitch in the final week of the season, but Encina says the team could still add him to the postseason roster. Hammel has been battling a right knee sprain. He has thrown bullpen sessions, but is not back to 100%.
Baltimore does not play the Yankees again this season, but they have three games against the sub-.500 Red Sox before taking on the surging Tampa Bay Rays to close out the regular season. Baltimore leads the American League Wild Card race currently.
"I felt like my head exploded." Adam Greenberg will never forget his first Major League at-bat, his only Major League at-bat. "I lost control of my eyes and thought my head was split open," he said yesterday as he thought back to a moment that should have been one of the best in his life. "I kept saying 'stay alive,' and just repeated that."
On July 9, 2005, Greenberg stepped to the plate as a member of the Chicago Cubs. He was pinch-hitting in the ninth inning and facing a big league pitcher in a big league game for the first time ever. The Cubs were facing the Marlins and on the hill was Valerio De Los Santos. Santos' first pitch, a 92 mph fastball, rode up and in. Greenberg had little time to react, and the pitch struck him in the side of the head, just below his right ear. Greenberg went down hard and clutched his head immediately. He thought he was going to die.
Fortunately, Greenberg recovered - at least to the point where he could play baseball again. He battled vision problems and balance issues all while trying to carve out a career in baseball. After that pitch, in the offseason, Greenberg was released by the Cubs. He re-signed with them in January of 2006, but he was cut again in June. Greenberg has bounced around in the minor league systems of the Cubs, the Dodgers, the Royals, and the Angels now for the past seven years.
He has played over 600 minor league games since the incident that could have ended his life and his baseball career. He's also been hit by pitches 49 times since that summer game in 2005, including a career-high 13 times last season with the Bridgeport Bluefish. None of those HBP have been quite as traumatic or life-shaping as the pitch from Santos.
Greenberg did not play professional baseball this season, but he is getting a shot to appear in a Major League game one more time. It may be his only shot, but the Marlins are making sure he gets a second chance. One pitch should never be all a player sees in the Majors, and Miami will ensure this. Yesterday, the Marlins announced on the Today Show that they would sign Greenberg to a one-day contract and allow him to play in Tuesday's matchup against the New York Mets.
Many people have thought this decision should have been made by the Cubs. He was a member of the Cubs organization when the injury happened, and they were the team to let him go not once, but twice. However, Chicago did not end (at least it seemed like the end until yesterday) Greenberg's career. The Marlins did. A pitch from Valerio De Los Santos did. It is fitting for the Marlins to give Greenberg this chance. It means more coming from that organization than it would have coming from the Cubs.
The Cubs were actually approached with the idea, and they rejected it according to Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune. The Cubs did not want to bring him back for one game as a publicity stunt, and Greenberg understood that. The Marlins claim the move is not a stunt, but no matter the reasoning behind it, the story is a good one. The move by the Marlins actually provides this story a better ending than had Greenberg stepped to the plate at Wrigley Field again. Redemption and recovery at the hands of the team that caused him such trauma.
Greenberg will likely never have a career in the Majors, but he will at least get one more shot thanks to the Miami Marlins.
Cincinnati Reds outfielder Ryan Ludwick continues to be
sidelined by a groin injury, and the team figures to be “extra cautious” with
the slugger since they’ve already clinched the National League Central, reports
Mark Sheldon of MLB.com:
"I want to make sure I'm right before I go out there, because I don't want it to be wrong for the next month," Ludwick said. "I feel like I'm right around the corner. I still feel a little bit in there. I don't feel it's smart with the situation we're in to push it."
Sheldon notes that Ludwick could rejoin the Reds for their weekend series against the Pittsburgh Pirates. The 34-year-old was able to take full batting practice yesterday and he’s been doing running and agility drills.
Ludwick has revived his career with the Reds this season, as he’s hit .276/.349/.532 with 25 doubles and 26 home runs over 410 at-bats.
An MRI taken yesterday revealed that Atlanta Braves center
fielder Michael Bourn is dealing with a slightly sprained left thumb, reports
David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
#Braves Bourn had MRI today, shown slight sprain and no ligament tear. He's day-to-day.
— David O'Brien (@ajcbraves) September 28, 2012
O’Brien adds that the MRI showed no signs of a ligament tear in Bourn’s thumb. The Braves are currently listing the 29-year-old as day-to-day.
Bourn has been out of the Braves’ lineup since Sept. 22 when he sustained his thumb injury, which occurred during a head-first slide.
Because Atlanta has wrapped up the first Wild Card spot in the National League, they figure to be in no rush to bring Bourn back. Still, the speedster is an important cog in the team’s offense, so they would do well to have him back to full speed by the time the playoffs roll around.
On the season Bourn has hit .274/.346/.391 with 25 doubles, 10 triples and nine home runs. He’s also stolen 39 bases in 51 attempts.
New York Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira tested his calf
injury yesterday during a simulated game at the club’s complex in Tampa,
reports Meredith Marakovits of the YES Network:
Mark Teixeira played in a simulated game in Tampa. 7ABs and played an inning in the field. Will play in another sim game tom or sat #Yankees
— Meredith Marakovits (@M_Marakovits) September 27, 2012
Teixeira, who has been out due to the calf injury since Sept. 8, registered seven at-bats during the game and also played one inning at first base. The 32-year-old was able to lightly run the bases, and he is expected to play in another simulated game today or Saturday.
Teixeira initially sustained the injury toward the end of August, but he was able to rehab and rejoin New York on Sept. 8. He then aggravated the injury during his first game back and hasn’t played since.
While Thursday’s news is certainly considered progress, the Yankees are still not putting a timeframe on when Teixeira will return to action.
“My arm was still recovering from my start, and I was able to throw my pen,” Scherzer said. “But after that, I lost my range of motion that I had gained by loosening it up.”
Scherzer has been dealing with the fatigue since a Sept. 18 contest against the Oakland Athletics which he exited after only two innings and 44 pitches. The 28-year-old said hewas pain free for his most recent start against the Twins, but that he aggravated his shoulder injury during a side session on Tuesday.
The news is certainly a blow for the Tigers, who entered the day two games ahead of the Chicago White Sox in the American League Central. On the season Scherzer has maintained an ERA and WHIP of 3.82 and 1.27 over 31 starts.
Detroit has announced that left-hander Drew Smyly with start today in place of Scherzer.
The Pittsburgh Pirates are no longer hoping for a shot at the postseason. They're now just battling to avoid another losing season. The chance at a winning season took another hit today when Andrew McCutchen had to leave the game against the New York Mets with an injury to his leg.
According to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, McCutchen had to leave with a left knee injury. His status for the remainder of the season and the extent of the injury are not yet clear.
The Pitates lost 6-5 today as the Mets' R.A. Dickey picked up his 20th win of the season. McCutchen was 0-for-4 in the game prior to having to leave. He has been fighting for the National League batting title.
McCutchen is hitting .332/.403/.558. He leads the NL in batting by one point over Buster Posey now. McCutchen has done everything he could to carry the Pirates this season including hitting a career-high 30 home runs. However, the Pirates have struggled in the second half much like they did last year. Pittsburgh has a bright future with McCutchen though. He is signed to a team-friendly six-year, $51.5 million deal. He can't become a free agent until after the 2017 season.
Pittsburgh is 76-80 this season now with six games left to play. If they lose two more, they guarantee themselves another losing season.
News is important, and we bring that to you consistently. However, we know you need background and analysis on what these injuries mean. How will the loss of a certain player affect your team? How will it affect a contract negotiation? What's causing these injuries?
Look no further than our features section. You'll notice a link at the top of the page for MLBIN Features. This will take you to all our features. These stories are the ones that go in-depth and provide you the information that other news sources won't.
So, browse through the news pieces, get caught up on the day's injuries, then take a look at our features. You'll find a wealth of information in our longer, more detailed articles.
The Texas Rangers lost again to the Oakland Athletics last night and saw their lead in the American League West cut to just three games. They still have four games to play this season with Oakland as they battle to win the division for the third consecutive season. Here are your Rangers injury news and notes:
- Yu Darvish is still on track to make his next scheduled start. According to Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas, Darvish will start Sunday or possibly be moved up to Friday if he is 100% healthy. Manager Ron Washington told ESPN Radio in Dallas that it would be a possibility for Darvish to pitch Friday, but the team would have to wait and see how he feels.
- Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News echoed Durrett's report on Darvish and said that Darvish's neck has improved significantly since having to be scratched from his last start. Grant says the team may consider starting Darvish before Sunday to give the rest of the staff an extra day off for the final week of the season.
- Adrian Beltre, who has battled injuries for most of his career, reacted to Eric Gagne's new book and claims that the Los Angeles Dodgers had 80% of the clubhouse using HgH and other performance-enhancing drugs. Beltre, according to Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas, says he did not use anything and he wishes Gagne would have named names rather than use percentages. HgH is a common PED for players who want to recover from injury quicker, but Beltre and many of the players on the Dodgers' roster during Gagne's time there have not been linked to any drug-usage.
The Rangers, as a whole, seem to be getting healthier at the right time. They have Mike Napoli, Josh Hamilton, and Adrian Beltre all back and healthy enough to contribute. They are still missing Mike Olt, who started swinging again on Monday but his return is still uncertain, but the team is healthier than they have been for weeks. Especially if they get Darvish back on the hill Friday or Sunday. They will need their players healthy for their final few games of the season and this final push for another division championship.
Yoenis Cespedes has been every bit as good as the Oakland Athletics could have hoped. They surprised the baseball world this offseason when they won out and signed Cespedes out of Cuba. The A's gave the 26-year old rookie, who would be playing American baseball for the first time, a 4-year, $36 million contract. That deal is looking like a bargain after the performance he's had this year. And it appears he's been doing it while hurt.
Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle says A's manager Bob Melvin admits that Cespedes has been playing hurt. Earlier this month, the A's outfielder was battling a sore wrist, but it hasn't seemed to affect his play.
"He's playing hurt," Melvin says of Cespedes. "He's a tough kid." #AthleticsIn 122 games-played, Cespedes is hitting .288/.349/.494 with 21 home runs and 78 RBI. He hit a triple in last night's game against the Texas Rangers to help the A's win and cut the Rangers' lead in the American League West to just three games. Cespedes is hitting just .200 in his last seven games and just .234 in September, but it appears he's been playing through pain.
— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) September 27, 2012
The A's have four more games against the Rangers. They could still come back and win the west, but it would be an improbable feat. The Rangers have had a stranglehold on the AL West for most of the season. The A's have two-game lead over the Los Angeles Angels in the Wild Card, and they trail the Baltimore Orioles by just a half-game for the top Wild Card spot.
As long as Cespedes can battle through his pain and help the A's, the team should be in good shape. There are only seven games left in the season for Oakland, and every one of them will count and they fight or at very least a Wild Card berth, but possibly a division crown as well.
Rafael Perez has not pitched since April. He's been on the disabled list with a shoulder injury that has limited him to just eight appearances this season. Yesterday, he underwent arthroscopic debridement surgery on his left shoulder, but the Cleveland Indians expect him to ready for next season.
Nick Camino fo News Radio in Cleveland reports that Perez is expected to be ready for spring training next year. The lefty will need a couple months to recover before he can start a throwing program.
#Indians LHP Raffy Perez underwent arthroscopic debridement surgery on left shoulder today, he is expected to be ready for spring training.According to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Perez developed a sore shoulder late in spring training this year, but he pitched through it. He was originally diagnosed with a strained lat muscle, but it wasn't revealed that Perez had a shoulder problem until earlier this month when the Indians decided to shut him down for the year.
— Nick Camino (@CaminoTribe) September 26, 2012
Perez was signed as an amateur free agent by the Indians in 2002 and made his Major League debut in 2006. He has been exclusively a relief pitcher for the Tribe, appearing in 338 games over seven seasons. Perez has a career 3.64 ERA. The 30-year older pitcher is arbitration-eligible next season and can become a free agent for the first time after next year.
The Indians have had a forgettable year this season. They are 65-91 this season, tied with the Minnesota Twins for last place in the American League Central. They were competitive for much of last season but took a step back this year. They have struggled to score runs, ranking 22nd in baseball in runs-scored, and have had a terrible season pitching. They rank 28th in ERA with a team ERA of 4.79. The Indians hope that Perez and others can return healthy next season and help them turn things around.
The Baltimore Orioles are attempting to make the playoffs
for the first time in over a decade, but they’ll have to do it without veteran
left-hander Randy Wolf. While Wolf is
done for the season, the O’s are hoping to get right-hander Jason Hammel back
for the end of the regular season or the start of the playoffs.
- The Orioles placed Wolf on their 60-day disabled list yesterday after it was discovered the southpaw had sustained an ulnar collateral ligament tear in his elbow. The injury usually requires Tommy John surgery, a procedure the veteran also underwent in 2005, but nothing has been announced at this point.
- Though Wolf’s season is over, there’s still a chance Hammel could rejoin the team this year. The right-hander’s been sidelined with a knee injury for the past two weeks, but he was able to log a successful bullpen session yesterday. Orioles manager Buck Showalter said Hammel could return in time to be included on the team’s playoff roster.
While there was discussion of shutting him down for the
remainder of the regular season, Philadelphia Phillies right-hander Roy
Halladay is now expected to start as scheduled Saturday against the Miami
Marlins, pitching coach Rich Dubee told Todd Zolecki of MLB.com:
“Right now, absolutely,” Dubee said. “Unless he has some type of setback, if the spasms came back or whatever. But today was very encouraging.”
Halladay was removed from his most recent start Saturday against the Atlanta Braves after throwing 51 pitches through only 1 2/3 innings. The 35-year-old surrendered seven runs on five hits and three walks over that span.
It was later revealed that Halladay was dealing with spasms in the back of his throwing shoulder. He was able to throw 32 pitches during a bullpen session yesterday, and the Phillies are ready to roll him out for one more start this season as he showed no symptoms of Saturday’s spasms.
In the midst of a very un-Halladay-like season, the veteran has maintained an ERA and WHIP of 4.40 and 1.203 over 24 starts.
The New York Yankees have several high-profile veteran
players banged up as the regular season comes to an end. Today’s injury updates involve outfielder
Brett Gardner, third baseman Alex Rodriguez and first baseman Mark Teixeira.
- Rodriguez fouled a ball off his foot during his final at-bat Tuesday night and was held out of New York’s lineup Wednesday. The foot stiffened up following Tuesday’s game and was sore Wednesday morning, but the slugger is hoping it’s just aone-day issue.
- While Rodriguez should be back in the Yankees’ lineup sooner than later, it’s not clear when Teixeira will rejoin the club. The first baseman continues to rehab his calfinjury in Tampa.
- New York was without Rodriguez and Teixeira last night, but Gardner was able to make his first appearance since April in the Yankees 8-2 win against the Minnesota Twins. The 29-year-old did not register an at-bat, but he did take the field as a defensive replacement in the 9th inning.
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Miami Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton is hopeful
that he’ll be able to return to the lineup today against the Atlanta Braves,
reports Joe Capozzi of The Palm Beach Post:
My bad -- Giancarlo Stanton optimistic he will play WEDNESDAY. He's not starting today #Marlins
— Joe Capozzi (@joecapMARLINS) September 25, 2012
Stanton last appeared for the Marlins on Sept. 16, when he felt a “tweak” to his left side. This was later diagnosed as an oblique injury, and the slugger’s been resting it since.
Miami made it clear from the onset of the injury that they’d likely take it slow with Stanton, as the club is not in the playoff picture. Still, the 22-year-old is probably antsy to rejoin his team and add to his already impressive 2012 totals. On the year he’s hit .283/.354/.595 with 29 doubles and 34 home runs.
Todd Helton has been the face of the Colorado Rockies since 1997. He has carried the team to two play-off appearances and a World Series appearance. His name is synonymous with Rockies baseball. And he wants to return next season after missing much of this year with injuries.
Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post says Helton feels better and wants to return to Colorado next season. Injuries and the team's lack of success had led to rumors that Helton would retire after this season even though he has one year left on his contract. However, the Rockies' first baseman is free of hip pain, and may be willing to return.
"I think, physically, I will be able to come back," Helton said Tuesday. "So I plan on coming back, but there are a couple of things still on my mind. I want to know I have a good chance to make it through next year — healthy. That will factor into it."Helton only played in 69 games this season. He was placed on the disabled list in August when he underwent surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right hip. He injured the hip back in June but tried to play through the pain. Now, after a month and a half of recovery, Helton no longer needs crutches and no longer feels the pain while standing and while trying to sleep. The lack of pain has sparked his desire to return to baseball.
Helton hit just .238/.343/.400 this season, but he and the rest of the world knows he is a much better hitter than that. In his career, Helton is a .320/.419/.545 hitter. He has 2,420 hits in his 16 seasons, and he has 354 home runs. Helton is a five-time All-Star and a three-time Gold Glove winner.
Should he return to Colorado, Helton will likely be used far less than he is used to, but he says he's comfortable with that. He knows he will require more rest, and will come off the bench more. Yet even with him coming off the bench, Helton will help the Rockies. A healthy Helton can provide Colorado a substantial offensive boost.
Obviously Melky Cabrera is not injured. The whole world knows where he is. He failed a drug test with elevated levels of testosterone, created a fake website to try to hide his drug usage, and was ultimately suspended by Major League Baseball for 50 games. While he is not injured, his suspension has acted much like a trip to the disabled list. The Giants have had to play without Cabrera, the 2012 All-Star Game MVP, since August 15th. The team has had to adjust, much like they would to an injury, and they have had to overcome. And they've done it beautifully.
Yesterday, news broke that the Giants had no intentions of bringing Cabrera back for the postseason. He would be eligible to return if the Giants were to advance to the NLCS. The team is currently working on finalizing the 25-man roster they will bring into the postseason, and it seems manager Bruce Bochy and GM Brian Saeban have no desire to add Cabrera to that roster.
The Giants will make an official announcement regarding Cabrera and their 25-man roster in the next few days, and they will have to present their plan not only to Cabrera but to the Player's Association and Major League Baseball. While there may be some push back from the PA, the Giants are taking a stand that not many teams would. It's respectable and it's probably a smart baseball decision.
Los Angeles Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw threw a “full-scale
bullpen session” yesterday and is scheduled to make his next start Friday
against the Colorado Rockies, reports Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times:
Clayton Kershaw threw a full-scale bullpen session Tuesday, two days after he pitched for the Dodgers in Cincinnati.
By following his normal throwing schedule, Kershaw put himself in line to start Friday at Dodgers Stadium against the Colorado Rockies, as well as the regular-season finale against the San Francisco Giants on Oct. 3.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said “everything’s been totally normal.” While Kershaw couldn’t find “medical reasoning” for why his hip felt so good compared to how it didbefore, he said he’s “not complaining.”
Kershaw rejoined LA’s rotation Sunday, throwing 92 pitches over five innings in which he allowed one run on five hits with five walks and five strikeouts.
At this point it’s unknown if Kershaw will require surgery on his hip this winter, but the 24-year-old is set to make two more starts this season as the Dodgers continue their push for the playoffs.
Cincinnati Reds manager Dusty Baker suffered a “mini-stroke” on Friday as he was being discharged from a Chicago hospital, reports Mark Sheldon of MLB.com:
Reds manager Dusty Baker revealed on Tuesday that he suffered a “mini-stroke” on Friday as he was being discharged from a Chicago hospital.
Baker was taken to the hospital last Wednesday and was laterdiagnosed with atrial fibrillation, otherwise known as an irregular heartbeat. The Reds have released a statement noting that Baker was treated immediately following his stroke, minimizing its effects.
Returning to Cincinnati on Sunday, Baker has “improved dramatically,” according to the team. His doctors expect the 63-year-old to make a full recovery.
While Baker is recovering, bench coach Chris Speier has been managing the team. He told reporters yesterday that he expects to continue his role through the Reds’ weekend series against the Pittsburgh Pirates, adding that the plan is for Baker to rejoin the club when it begins its final series of the regular season Monday against the St. Louis Cardinals.
St. Louis Cardinals third baseman David Freese was out of
the lineup again last night and will miss the remainder of the club’s series
against the Houston Astros, reports Jennifer Langosch of MLB.com:
Said Freese, who is expected to miss the rest of this series with ankle sprain, "I think I’m more sore today... I’m walking around alright."
— Jenifer Langosch (@LangoschMLB) September 25, 2012
Freese was removed from St. Louis’ lineup Monday night after spraining his ankle. He sustained the injury when he stepped awkwardly on an indoor batting cage in Houston.
Freese told Langosch that he was “more sore” Tuesday, but he was at least “walking around alright.” The Cardinals are hoping to get their third baseman back after their series with the Astros. The club has Thursday off before beginning a three-game set with the Washington Nationals this weekend.
Freese has been solid for the Cardinals this season, hitting .296/.373/.471 with 24 doubles and 20 home runs over 490 at-bats. While he’s out due to his ankle injury, the Cardinals will use Matt Carpenter at third.
Yu Darvish was scheduled to pitch last night for the Texas Rangers, but he was a late scratch with neck stiffness. The Rangers were taking on the Oakland Athletics in the second game of what was a big series between the first and second place teams in the American League West. Darvish was scheduled to make his 29th start of his rookie campaign last night.
Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas reports that Darvish woke up with a stiff neck and couldn't shake the stiffness even after treatment. Rather than press the issue, the Rangers aired on the side of caution and sent Scott Feldman to the mound instead.
"I woke up with a stiff neck," Darvish said in a statement. "I really wanted to throw tonight, it's just unfortunate I can't. I'm continuing to have treatment and am taking the situation day-to-day."The Rangers and Darvish don't think the neck stiffness is serious, but Darvish's next start has not yet been announced. The Rangers have just eight games left in the season. They saw their lead in the west shrink to four games over the A's with their loss last night. But even still, there is not much reason to rush Darvish back. Unless the A's make a furious run in the final week of the season and the Rangers collapse, the team can give Darvish as much time as he needs.
Darvish, in his first year of American baseball, is 16-9 with a 3.90 ERA this season. He struggled early in the year, but seems to have improved his command and control. The Rangers paid $51.7 million just for the right to negotiate with the Japanese pitcher back in December of 2011. They eventually worked out a six-year, $56 million contract. The posting fees were a record, but the Rangers saw something special in Darvish and took a chance.
Brett Gardner has only played nine games this season. His injury was a big reason why the New York Yankees went out and acquired Ichiro Suzuki from the Seattle Mariners. The team thought that Gardner would be out for the entire season with his elbow issues, but New York activated him today.
According to Jack Moore of CBS Sports, Brett Gardner will be available in tonight's game and for the remainder of the season. The Yankees intend to use him off the bench and as a defensive replacement. Gardner has long been New York's best defensive outfielder.
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The St. Louis Cardinals were initially holding out hope that
shortstop Rafael Furcal would be able to rejoin the club in time for the end of
the regular season or playoffs. However,
Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak told reporters, including Joe Strauss
of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, yesterday that Furcal has been ruled out for
the remainder of the year:
Mo' rules out Furcal for rest of regular season, playoffs: "The clock 's not on our side." Still believes Furcal can avoid elbow surgery.
— Joe Strauss (@JoeStrauss) September 24, 2012
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