This Great Game Comebacker

The Week That Was in Baseball: April 28-May 4, 2014
Are We Headed for a Reprise of 1968? MLB's Most Popular Local TV Crews
A Video Peak Back at the Black Sox Scandal A Gusher is Sprouted in the Minors


Best and Worst of the Week

BEST HITTER, AMERICAN LEAGUE
Desmond Jennings, Tampa Bay Rays

AB
R
H
2B
3B
HR
RBI
BB
IB
HB
SB
31 8 11 3 0 3 3 2 0 0 3

Three years ago, the young Jennings was plugged in for the departed Carl Crawford, and it’s starting to looks as if he’s finally ready to fill those big shoes. The Alabaman pretty much did it all over the last seven games; he hit to get on base, hit to round the bases, stole when given the chance—he even scored from second on a sacrifice fly. Jennings has been trying to shake that .250 label since turning full-time, maybe this is a sign of better things to come.


BEST HITTER, NATIONAL LEAGUE
Troy Tulowitzki, Colorado Rockies

AB
R
H
2B
3B
HR
RBI
BB
IB
HB
SB
21 9 13 3 0 2 8 4 0 1 0

For the second time in three weeks, Tulo takes home this honor—and does it once more by hitting in the .500’s. Okay, we know what you’re thinking: Oh, Coloardo must be having a Coors Field homestand. Well, yes and no. Tulowitzki and the Rockies began the week in Arizona which, although hardly a pitcher’s paradise, is not Coors Field. But it’s no secret that he’s been nuts at home; in fact, nobody has hit higher (.575) in their first 12 home games of a season since Texas’ Pete O’Brien back in 1988.


WORST HITTER, AMERICAN LEAGUE
Elvis Andrus, Texas Rangers

AB
R
H
2B
3B
HR
RBI
BB
IB
HB
SB
23 1 2 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 1

The 25-year-old shortstop with the newly grown Amish-like beard was in a bit of a giving mood this past week, grounding into three double plays and committing two errors while contributing little at the plate for his own team. None of this is breaking news, as he extended a prolonged slump in which he’s collected just five hits in his last 49 at-bats after a solid first two weeks to the season.


WORST HITTER, NATIONAL LEAGUE
Everth Cabrera, San Diego Padres

AB
R
H
2B
3B
HR
RBI
BB
IB
HB
SB
25 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1

If the Biogenesis drugs were still in effect for the speedy shortstop, they appeared to wear off this past week. Cabrera got single hits in each of his first two games at San Francisco, then went 0-for the rest of the week—and that includes 12 plate appearances this weekend without once reaching base against Arizona, owners of the majors’ worst pitching. This is the second straight week we’ve dishonored a past PED user in this category; it’s just more proof that they work.


BEST PITCHER, AMERICAN LEAGUE
Jon Lester, Boston Red Sox

W-L
IP
H
R
ER
BB
IB
HB
WP
BK
SO
1-0 8.0 1 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 15

The off-again, on-again Red Sox ace showed once more this past Saturday against the A’s just how brilliant he can be. In fact, only two Boston pitchers have ever allowed one hit while striking out as many batters as the 15 Lester nailed: Pedro Martinez in 1999, and Smoky Joe Wood way back in 1911. Now that’s good company. Lester’s gem improved his record to only 3-4—but dropped his ERA to 2.59.


BEST PITCHER, NATIONAL LEAGUE
Wily Peralta, Milwaukee Brewers

W-L
IP
H
R
ER
BB
IB
HB
WP
BK
SO
1-0 8.0 3 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 7

The Dominican native who turns 25 this week and already off to an impressive start had his best effort yet on Friday when he not only shut down the Reds for eight innings but also knocked in the game’s only two runs on a double. In referencing Peralta’s all-around performance, teammate Lyle Overbay told the press corps after the game: “(Peralta’s) over there. You don’t need to talk to anybody else.” Peralta is now 4-1 with a superb 2.04 ERA.


WORST PITCHER, AMERICAN LEAGUE
Sergio Santos, Toronto Blue Jays

W-L
IP
H
R
ER
BB
IB
HB
WP
BK
SO
0-1 1.0 5 6 6 1 0 0 0 0 2

Two appearances, two blown saves and no more closing opportunities for the foreseeable future as the 30-year-old Los Angeles native truly got rattled in road outings at Kansas City and Pittsburgh this past week. The Jays were counting on Santos’ past experience as finisher (30 saves in 2011 for the White Sox) as backbone to do the same in Toronto, but a current 10.61 ERA is not what they envisioned.


WORST PITCHER, NATIONAL LEAGUE
Aaron Harang, Atlanta Braves

W-L
IP
H
R
ER
BB
IB
HB
WP
BK
SO
0-1 4.2 10 9 9 1 0 0 0 0 4

The veteran right-hander epitomized the red-hot start for the Braves’ rotation, as if someone just came along and sprinkled magic upon anyone wearing an Atlanta uniform and turned them into Greg Maddux reincarnate. The magic potion ran out for Harang this past Wednesday when he got throttled by the Marlins in Miami; the nine runs piled up against him equaled what he have up over his last eight starts combined going back to the end of last season.


BEST TEAM, AMERICAN LEAGUE
Detroit Tigers (5-0)

The Tigers would like to let it be known that all the talk about those AL Central upstarts ready to knock them off their throne is nothing more than just that: Talk. The exclamation point was laid down with heavy force when the Tigers came to Kansas City and swept a weekend series from a Royals team many believed would overtake Detroit this season. An easy homestand beckons this week with the Astros and Twins coming to town, so there’s no reason to think the Tigers’ momentum will be blunted anytime soon.


BEST TEAM, NATIONAL LEAGUE
San Francisco Giants (5-1)

A punchless entity in post-Barry Bonds era, the Giants re-embraced the long ball this past week and it served them well, taking two of three from San Diego at home before flying to Atlanta and applying a nasty spanking to a Braves team down on their luck with a three-game sweep. Their reliance on the homer was particularly evident in Atlanta; they swept despite going 0-for-13 with runners in scoring position. That hadn’t happened in the majors since 1969.


WORST TEAM, AMERICAN LEAGUE
Houston Astros (1-4)

Okay, so the Lastros may still be the majors’ worst team and we’ve already lost count of how many times they’ve been stapled to this dishonor in the short season to date—but they’re at least trying. Houston feverishly rallied in the late going four times this past week—succeeding once when they took the Mariners overtime and copped their only win of the week with a 11-inning triumph. One quick fix might be to move super-prospect George Springer to the DH spot from left field; he’s already committed five errors there in only 14 games.


WORST TEAM, NATIONAL LEAGUE
Atlanta Braves (0-6)

The last two weeks, the Braves were flying high behind a patched-together rotation pitching way, way over their heads—not allowing more than six runs in any of their first 24 games. But reality crashed the party as the Marlins notched nine tallies off Atlanta in consecutive games as the Braves whispered that sign stealing had something to do with it. Back home against the Giants, it was the bats that cooled as Atlanta got swept again over the weekend.


 

 

 

Best and Worst of the Week

Monday, April 28
A week after being swept by Texas at home, the Oakland A’s come to Arlington and knock off the Rangers in the first of a three-game series, 4-0. Sonny Gray earns his first shutout, spreading a mere three hits; Texas counterpart Yu Darvish lasts less than four innings for his shortest career outing and drops his lifetime mark against the A’s to 1-7. Against all other MLB teams, he’s 29-12.

The upstart Milwaukee Brewers head to defending NL champion St. Louis and overcome a 3-0 deficit in the seventh inning to grab a 5-3, 12-inning victory when Khris Davis triples in one run and scores a second on Mark Reynolds’ sac fly. The Brewers are now 10-1 on the road—and 5.5 games ahead of the second-place Cardinals in the NL Central.

Troy Tulowitzki reaches doubles twice, walks twice and homers in five plate appearances to lift the visiting Colorado Rockies past Arizona, 8-5. The Diamondbacks are now 2-14 at home.


Tuesday, April 29
On a cold, wet, windy night at Yankee Stadium, Robinson Cano returns in the uniform of the visiting Seattle Mariners—who dump on CC Sabathia and Company, 6-2. Cano earns one of the M’s 15 hits on a single; catcher Mike Zunino collects four in his first career game at the Stadium.

Atlanta’s sensational starting pitching finally has an off-night, as Alex Wood is beat up for seven runs on ten hits in five innings—while Miami counterpart Jose Fernandez sails again, limiting the Braves to two hits over eight shutout innings to improve his career record at Marlins Park to 12-0 in an easy 9-0 romp.

Even without Ryan Braun, Aramis Ramirez and Jean Segura in the lineup, the Brewers prevail again on the road at St. Louis and once more in extra innings; Lyle Overbay’s run-scoring single in the 11th gives Milwaukee a 5-4 victory.

Billy Hamilton punches out his first career home run (no, it’s not an inside-the-parker) and steals his tenth base of the year in Cincinnati’s thrice-rain delayed 3-2 win over the Cubs. After a weak start that suggested he wasn’t quite yet ready for the big leagues, the speedy Hamilton is now batting .340 with eight steals over his last 13 games.

Rushed to the mound after scheduled starter Matt Cain cuts his pitching finger with a clubhouse kitchen knife, Yusmeiro Petit throws six shutout innings and is flanked by a potent offense to help give the Giants a 6-0 win over the San Diego Padres on a warm evening in San Francisco.


Wednesday, April 30
We too can do the road sweep thing, say the A’s to the Rangers in Arlington. For the third straight game, the A’s throttle Texas early and roll to a 12-1 rout to gain revenge for the Rangers’ three-game sweep a week earlier in Oakland. Unlike that series—which featured close results—this is definitely more one-sided, with the A’s outscoring the Rangers, 25-4.

The Los Angeles Dodgers ease past the Twins at Minnesota, 6-4, for their 10,000th victory since joining the National League in 1890 (they won an additional 410 playing in the American Association from 1884-89). Zack Greinke improves to 5-0 on the year and extends his modern era record of starts allowing two or fewer runs to 18. Next on the list to reach 10,000 (regardless of affiliation) is the New York Yankees, who are 38 wins shy of the milestone.


Thursday, May 1
After weather disturbances postponed Wednesday’s game at Boston, the Tampa Bay Rays are forced against their wishes to play a day-night doubleheader on getaway day—and sweep the Red Sox by scores of 2-1 and 6-5. The Rays come back from a run behind in each—scoring single runs in the eighth and ninth innings of the nightcap.

Two other weather-created double-dips lead to sweeps. In Baltimore, the Orioles twice deny the Pittsburgh Pirates, 5-1 and 6-5. The latter game goes ten innings and features the season debut of third baseman Manny Machado, who’s hitless in five trips for the O’s; catcher Matt Wieters wins it in overtime with a solo shot.

Meanwhile in Minnesota, the Dodgers take two from the Twins, also winning the latter game in extra innings thanks to 12th-inning homers from Scott Van Slyke and Drew Butera. Of special note are eight straight hits from Yasiel Puig, for whom the Dodgers are now 78-41 when he starts.

At Coors Field, Juan Nicasio throws seven shutout innings and drives in three runs to propel the Rockies over the New York Mets, 7-3. Nicasio had come into the game with four RBIs over 86 career at-bats.


Friday, May 2
Back home after losing six straight road games—and without DL-bound All-Star second baseman Jason Kipnis—the Cleveland Indians break out the bats and pummel the Chicago White Sox at Progressive Field, 12-5. Danny Salazar wins his first game in six tries for the Tribe despite allowing five runs over five innings.

The Rays’ bullpen lets down starter David Price in the late innings as the Yankees rally to send the game into overtime, but it also perseveres through five extra frames—allowing eight New York baserunners but no runs—while the Tampa offense explodes for five runs in the 14th to prevail, 10-5. The Yankees compile 18 hits, none of them from Derek Jeter—who goes 0-for-7 for the first time in his 19-year career.

The Brewers win on the road again, this time suppressing the Reds at Cincinnati, 2-0. Starting Brewers pitcher Wily Peralta tosses eight shutout innings and knocks in both of the game’s runs with a two-run double in the fifth inning.

Houston rookie George Springer, after striking out four times in regulation, delivers the game-winning hit with a bases-loaded infield single in the 11th as the Astros squeak past Felix Hernandez and the Mariners, 5-4, at Minute Maid Park.


Saturday, May 3
Masahiro Tanaka stakes the Rays to an early 3-0 lead, but the Yankees roar back by scoring at least one run in each of their last five innings to triumph, 9-3. The win is Tanaka’s 32nd straight, extending his record professional streak.

Trailing 2-0 in the top of the sixth, the Mariners explode for nine runs over the next two innings—then hold on for dear life as the host Astros rally to within a run before bowing, 9-8. Houston leaves the bases loaded in the eighth inning and squanders a leadoff hit batsman in the ninth.

The Los Angeles Dodgers overcome a late four-run rally by the Marlins when Carl Crawford hits a two-run blast in the 11th to snap Miami’s seven-game win streak at home, 9-7. Dee Gordon becomes the first Dodger in modern (since 1900) history to collect five hits and three steals.


Sunday, May 4
The Dodgers spoil a victory bid for the Marlins’ Jose Fernandez (who’s good, not great) with an Andre Ethier RBI double in the top of the ninth to tie the game at 4-4. But Miami survives victorious in the bottom of the frame when, with two outs and a runner on second, Jeff Baker’s long drive to the right field wall hits off the head of the Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig—who also slams into the fence post, knocking him senseless. The Marlins win and Puig is later found to have no concussion.

The Indians’ Corey Kluber is dynamite for eight innings, allowing a run on three hits while striking out 13 White Sox—including a franchise record-setting seven in a row at one point—but his 3-1 lead is ruined in the ninth when closer John Axford walks two batters and then serves up a three-run bomb to Dayan Viciedo, giving Chicago a 4-3 victory at Progressive Field. It’s the first time in 53 road games that the White Sox won after trailing entering the eighth inning or later.


Trending From the Mound?
Less than a decade ago, the splurge and scourge of steroids appeared to peak and it showed in the box scores. As late as 2007, the average major leaguer was hitting .268, reaching base at a .336 clip and slugging .423. For those active players who were around then, one thought probably comes to mind: Ah, those were the days.

Throughout the 2010s, the momentum has squarely been in favor of the pitcher. With each passing year, the numbers listed above have steadily dropped. And now that April has gone into the books, we’ve done our dissection of the season’s first month and found some telling figures to suggest that the trend is not losing steam.

For the first time in 22 years, major leaguers hit under .250 over one month, checking in at .249. On-base percentages were down to .316, and the power’s been sapped well below the .400 barrier at .389.

All of this has not been for a lack of trying by the hitters. The 6,172 strikeouts recorded by pitchers in April is not a monthly record, but only six other months in baseball history—all from the last few years—have registered more K’s, revealing another recent trend. And if you think the batters are being choosy and drawing more pitches to risk the strikeout, you might find yourself wrong; the abyss between the number of strikeouts and walks has been widening as fewer bases on balls are being drawn than in years past.

At the height of the steroids era, pitchers were highly content to keep their ERAs below 4.00. Things are different now. As April rolled along, it seemed that a day didn’t pass without the latest 1-0 game; complete-game shutouts seemed plentiful, and bullpens were efficient and effective when needed in the late innings.

Are we headed back to 1968, well recalled as the Year of the Pitcher when batting averages were stranded in the .230s, Denny McLain won 31 games and back-to-back no-hitters were thrown between the same two teams? Baseball did something about it then—lowering the mound to take away some of the throwers’ edge—and it may do something about this latest trend if it keeps up at its current pace.

Baseball can’t necessarily lower the mound any further; there wouldn’t be much left of it. It can’t move back the fences or increase foul territory; the owners would have to remove seats, and with lost revenue that’s clearly a non-starter. It can’t outlaw Tommy John surgery as performance enhancement, which some believe it is; careers would be ruined, and the union won’t have any of that.

That leaves us with a little something called the designated hitter. It’s been around for 40 years in the American League, but the National League has continued to stiff-arm it, tolerating it only when it enters AL territory for interleague action. There has already been chatter within the game’s mainstream of the NL being forced to adopt the DH, and it’s only going to grow stronger should pitchers continue to strengthen their hand (and their arms). Just to note: The NL hit and slugged six points below the AL in April, in part because pitchers hit a paltry .082.

Swinging through Denver this past week as part of his farewell tour, commissioner Bud Selig said that baseball has never been more popular. But he must be concerned about the decrease in offense. It will be curious as to how he tries to impact the future he will not rule over by overreacting to an alleged problem.

The Nine Spot Blues
Baseball’s .082 batting average among pitchers as mentioned above could be a little higher if it weren’t for the New York Mets. After Saturday, Mets pitchers were a combined 0-for-48 on the year, as not even a weekend trip to Denver’s Coors Field could wake up their bats. The atrocious effort by Mets pitchers set a major league record for the worst such start to a season—eclipsing the former mark broken by the 1914 St. Louis Browns, according to Elias.

Quotas and Challenges and Errors, Oh My…
This Week in MLB Video Replay Gone Wrong
wounded of the weekIf there is to be a movement by major league teams to trash the current video review system employed by Major League Baseball, then the Boston Red Sox are sure to be the first ones in line. They’ve received the short end of the stick on numerous occasions in high-profile situations this year, and another controversy reared its ugly head this past Thursday when
Dustin Pedroia was tagged out at home on a close play against the Tampa Bay Rays. Manager John Farrell came out to vividly state his case, and the review was on; two minutes later, the replay crew back in New York agreed with umpires’ initial call and ruled it an out. Unlike a few weeks earlier at Yankee Stadium, Farrell didn’t explode over the result; he left that dirty work to his third base coach Brian Butterfield, who got in the umpires’ faces and was promptly ejected.

To be fair, the decision not to overturn was correct; Pedroia may have beat Jose Molina’s tag, but it also appeared through numerous replay angles that his foot never actually touched home. Still, rightly or wrongly, the Red Sox have cringed at the replay process more than any other team as they keep coming up on the snakebit end of the verdicts. If a review of the review system is ever called for, expect the Red Sox to be among the first to chime in.

One curious side effect of video replay has been the reaction of the players who feel wronged by the call. Before replay, players used the time-honored tradition of getting immediately into the umpires’ faces and risking ejection. But now knowing that their viewpoints may be vindicated through replay, this is what they do: They walk away valiantly shaking their heads in disapproval (as Pedroia did) or they wag their index fingers at umpires, kind of like soccer players or the Indian guy who told Jerry Seinfeld, “very bad…very, very bad.”

That last quote, by the way, is how we still feel about MLB’s video replay process. Ours is better.

Good TV, Bad TV
Do you like the guys (and the few gals) in the TV booth for your favorite major league team? Here’s a spreadsheet that reveals whether you’re in the majority or minority among other fans who punched in their grades for announcing crews for all 30 teams in a poll released this past week. The survey comes courtesy of awfulannouncing.com, which stuck to its brand by stressing the results from worst-to-first, rather than the other way around.

The grades given, for the most part, did not surprise us. Tops on the list as the best crew is the San Francisco Giants’ duo of Duane Kuiper and Mike Krukow, two former Giants who, to borrow from no less an authority than Joe Buck, are “as good as it gets” in the TV booth. (The Giants’ radio booth is equally popular with the presence of Hall-of-Fame voice Jon Miller.) Following Kuiper and Krukow on the list is the Los Angeles Dodgers and legendary broadcaster Vin Scully, who at age 86 continues to marvel on air—though some fans admitted they tire of his seemingly effortless yet monotonous method of storytelling.

On the other end of the spectrum are those who got the worst grades, and that honor for the absolute worst—by far—was given to none other than the Chicago White Sox’ Hawk Harrelson, a shameless homer who comes off to many as an disgruntled old man barking at the world from a lonely corner of the room. But then again, Harrelson is a love-him-and-(mostly) hate-him proposition; he received more A’s from voters than 12 other announcers, but was far and away the leader in F’s.

Our biggest surprise in looking at the list was the poor marks given to the Washington Nationals’ crew of Bob Carpenter and F.P. Santangelo, which finished fourth-to-last in the poll. Santangelo can be overly opinionated at times but knows his stuff, and Carpenter is a pro’s pro we find hard to dislike. But to each their own; only Harrelson and Co. received more F’s.

Hey John Sterling, It’s My Turn!
We often wonder how broadcasters—especially those who do play-by-play for the whole game—hold up through three-to-four hours without breaking for the restroom. Maybe it’s not so easy; during Tuesday’s MLB Network telecast of the Yankees and Mariners in New York, Bob Costas told analyst/partner John Smoltz with two outs in the seventh: “How’s your play-by-play skills?” Smoltz quietly responded, “They’re not bad.” “Good,” Costas said, “You take over for awhile.” And thus, Costas skipped out to apparently take a long-overdue leak, because his previous attempt was blocked by other broadcasters lined up behind the stalls.

So the Pot is Black—Just Keep Rootin’ for the Tea Kettle
Speaking of Yankees-Mariners and the New York return of Robinson Cano, are we the only ones who find it ironic that Yankee fans yelled “You sold out!” at Cano when that’s what fans elsewhere have cried out over and over again through the years when their favorite players flee to the spare-no-expense Yankees?

YouTube Clip of the Week
A month or so ago, researchers turned up ancient footage previously considered lost (or thought to never exist) of Babe Ruth’s first game back from his infamous bellyache in 1925. This past week, we got sight of even more compelling video that had been all but forgotten: British newsreel footage of the 1919 World Series, notoriously squandered by eight members of the Chicago White Sox for money.

The closest thing we see to evidence of the fix is the Cincinnati Reds’ five-run rally off Black Sox conspirator Eddie Cicotte in the fourth inning of Game One; but just as interesting is very rare (for the times) flyover footage of Cincinnati’s Redland Field during the series and a shot of the crowd at Comiskey Park with so many fans blowing out puffs of smoke, you’d think they were Green Bay Packers fans emitting frosty breaths on a cold day at Lambeau Field. No wonder so many wooden parks burned down over 100 years ago.

Old Faithful by the Bullpen
In a minor league game at Fort Wayne, Indiana, a player running down the right field line apparently made contact with a sprinkler—and activated it, to say the least.

A Long-overdue Left Turn
Gerardo Parra’s home run this past Monday against Colorado was the first left-handed smack hit by Arizona since the Diamondbacks’ first week of 2013; in between there had been a span of 644 at-bats in which lefties had failed to go deep. That was the longest such drought since the Chicago White Sox went 1,089 straight ABs from 1989-91.

You’re Still at It?
Like a bad TV show that somehow never gets cancelled, it felt like a hangover to read the online papers this past week and find that ex-pitcher Roger Clemens and his ex-trainer Brian McNamee are still clashing in court.

As you’ll recall, McNamee outed Clemens under pressure for the Mitchell Report on steroids in baseball in 2007; while Clemens was later trying to beat the rap for lying to Congress, he sued McNamee for defamation. McNamee counter-sued. Clemens was declared innocent of the Federal charges, and his suit against McNamee was thrown out—but McNamee’s suit continues. It might have ended earlier, but Clemens has delayed in providing potentially incriminating emails, which left the judge presiding over the case fuming and led to a public scolding of Clemens this past Monday.

So now the two former friends and current combatants are back in court, with the judge demanding that they reach a settlement. Now.

Getting Out of a Sticky Situation
Jose Abreu has proven to be quite the cure offensively for the Chicago White Sox to start the season, but he also showed off some quick-thinking defensive instincts when he channeled Terry Mulholland and tossed both the ball and the glove to pitcher Scott Carroll (covering at first) for a ground out in the Sox’ 2-0 Saturday loss at Cleveland.

Chase Anything
Khris Davis, Milwaukee, through Sunday: One walk, 34 strikeouts.

This Week's Challenger to Joe DiMaggio
Colorado’s
Nolan Arenado continues his impressive run at Joltin’ Joe—granted, at 24 consecutive games with a hit, he’s not halfway there yet—but one honor certainly within sight is the 27-game franchise record set just last year by Michael Cuddyer, which he can pass this week. Also to note: Arenado’s run is the longest by anyone who began it at age 22 or younger since Benito Santiago’s rookie record of 34 straight games in 1987.

League vs. League
Can the National League be for real this year? After ten straight years of being unable to grab bragging rights in interleague play against the American League, the Senior Circuit has the look of something ready to pull away and (finally) to do some dominating of its own. The NL took seven of ten interleague matchups this past week and now holds a definitive 26-18 advantage over the AL. If the AL is to quickly catch up, they’ll have to start this week with a series of World Series rematches involving Philadelphia and Toronto (1993), Cincinnati and Boston (1975) and the good ol’ 1906 regrouping of the White Sox and Cubs in Chicago.

Wounded of the Week
wounded of the weekAlready disgraced with a ten-game suspension for using pine tar, New York Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda had injury added to insult this past week when, while doing a pitching session, he strained his shoulder. The Yankees expect him to be out three to four weeks.

Among others who made the unfortunate cut at the MLB Medical Ward was Los Angeles pitcher Hyun-jin Ryu (shoulder), Colorado pitcher Tyler Chatwood (elbow), Kansas City pitcher Bruce Chen (back), Cleveland second baseman Jason Kipnis (side), Los Angeles of Anaheim third sacker David Freese (broken finger), Chicago White Sox outfielder Adam Eaton (hamstring), Toronto pitcher Brandon Morrow (torn hand muscle, out at least two months), San Francisco pitcher Matt Cain (cut finger), Colorado catcher Wilin Rosario (viral infection), Milwaukee reliever Jim Henderson (shoulder) and Cincinnati outfielder Jay Bruce (knee surgery, out roughly a month).

Also from Cincinnati is Reds starting pitcher Tony Cingrani, who’s been moved to the shelf with mild shoulder tendinitis. Cingrani didn’t go quietly; he believed he was healthy enough to stay active and let a few reporters know about it. But for the Reds, whose pitching corps have taken a beating on the injury front this year, the last thing they want to do is risk more long-term health woes.


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