This Great Game Comebacker

The Week That Was in Baseball: June 3-9, 2013
MLB's Wagons Begin to Circle Biogenesis' Patients Mark Appel's Patience Pays Off
Working Overtime on Saturday Strange Player Ejections

Best and Worst of the Week

BEST HITTER, AMERICAN LEAGUE
David Ortiz, Boston Red Sox

AB
R
H
2B
3B
HR
RBI
BB
IB
HB
SB
27 5 7 2 1 3 13 3 0 0 0

The hits didn’t come often for Big Papi this past week, but when they did they came with brute force; six of his seven knocks were for extra bases, and his 13 RBIs for the week accounted for one of the highest totals we’ve seen in this column’s eight-plus years of existence. Ortiz’s knack for bringing ‘em home—he’s among the league leaders in RBIs despite missing the season’s first three weeks—recalls his peak period nearly ten years ago when he annually racked up around 140 a season.


BEST HITTER, NATIONAL LEAGUE
Troy Tulowitzki, Colorado Rockies

AB
R
H
2B
3B
HR
RBI
BB
IB
HB
SB
28 8 12 2 0 4 8 3 1 1 0

After years of chronic injury, much of it brought on by his aggressive defensive style, the 28-year-old shortstop has finally been asked to take a day off every so often. That strategy has paid off quit well for Tulowitzki, who says he’s been feeling far more fresh of late—and it certainly showed in his numbers this past week, highlighted by his second career five-hit game on Wednesday at Cincinnati. Time for the pace game: Tulo’s on course for a .346-41-129 campaign.


WORST HITTER, AMERICAN LEAGUE
Kelly Johnson, Tampa Bay Rays

AB
R
H
2B
3B
HR
RBI
BB
IB
HB
SB
17 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0

The once-budding Arizona talent who lost his way and found it back to start 2013…well, has kind of lost it again of late. Johnson was hitless for the week until late in Sunday’s loss to the Orioles when he finally forged a RBI single, only the second hit over his last 33 at-bats. Before all that began, Johnson was skimming the .300 mark, easily career-high territory; but he’s since dropped 40 points with this long-term funk.


WORST HITTER, NATIONAL LEAGUE
Casey Kotchman, Miami Marlins

AB
R
H
2B
3B
HR
RBI
BB
IB
HB
SB
15 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0

An Internet headline at the beginning of the week extolled that the Marlins were “excited” to get Kotchman, sidelined over the previous two months, back into action. Got to wonder what all the excitement was about. Maybe the Marlins were hoping to see the Kotchman who, when he last called Florida his home in 2011, hit .306 playing full-time for the Rays. Instead, it appears they’ve got the Kotchman who struggled to hit .229 with Cleveland last season. In fact, it may be worse: Through six overall games with Miami this season, he’s 0-for-20.


BEST PITCHER, AMERICAN LEAGUE
Lucas Harrell, Houston Astros

W-L
IP
H
R
ER
BB
IB
HB
WP
BK
SO
0-1 14 7 2 1 3 0 0 0 0 7

It’s not often we bestow a pitcher in this category with a loss and no-decision in two outings, but that’s life with the Astros these days. The right-hander from Springfield, Missouri has produced his share of rotten days, but he’s certainly given the Astros plenty of winnable starts, including two this past week—and all his mates could do in response was to supply him with a single run of support over both games, including a Sunday shutout loss at Kansas City.


BEST PITCHER, NATIONAL LEAGUE
Jordan Zimmermann, Washington Nationals

W-L
IP
H
R
ER
BB
IB
HB
WP
BK
SO
1-0 15 6 2 0 3 0 1 0 0 12

With Stephen Strasburg hurting, Gio Gonzalez scuffling and Dan Haren getting bombed, the Nationals are giving a big, tight embrace of Zimmermann, the one guy who’s done pretty much as expected this season in Washington. Zimm was zooming this past week, posting two terrific starts against the Mets and Twins at home where he’s been at his most comfortable; he’s now 6-0 with a 1.06 ERA at Nationals Park.


WORST PITCHER, AMERICAN LEAGUE
Matt Moore, Tampa Bay Rays

W-L
IP
H
R
ER
BB
IB
HB
WP
BK
SO
0-2 7 19 15 14 7 0 1 2 0 7

It was painfully funny to listen to the Tampa Bay broadcast crew on Sunday desperately spin the young lefty’s second lousy outing of the week. “All his pitches are hitting close to the zone.” “He’s manning up and taking it past the fifth inning.” Hurray for Matt! Sunday was an improvement of sorts over a Tuesday disaster at Detroit, where his control went out of control with six walks in two innings—but it doesn’t hide the fact that he did get blasted by the Orioles on Sunday. And to think, he was an 8-0 pitcher just a week earlier.


WORST PITCHER, NATIONAL LEAGUE
Bobby Parnell, New York Mets

W-L
IP
H
R
ER
BB
IB
HB
WP
BK
SO
0-2 2.1 8 5 4 0 1 0 1 0 3

The Mets’ current closer may not be one for much longer if he has another week like this. He first blew a 2-1, ninth-inning lead at Washington, then got plastered by the Marlins (of all teams) this Sunday when the first three batters he faced in the tenth inning eventually scored to give Miami victory. Maybe after watching the Mets go 20 innings the day before, Parnell was worried that he’d have to put in a starter’s effort and go eight frames like Shaun Marcum.


BEST TEAM, AMERICAN LEAGUE
New York Yankees (6-1)

The team everyone thought was headed for self-destruct continued to overachieve, if you could ever say that about the Yankees. They stiff-armed the Indians in a three-game home sweep to start the week, then used stellar pitching to take a weekend series at Seattle. The unknowns and reclamation projects continued to impress, led this past week by pitcher David Phelps (two starts, 12 innings, one run allowed on four hits). The Yankees head westward this coming week with stops at Oakland and Anaheim.


BEST TEAM, NATIONAL LEAGUE
Atlanta Braves (5-2)

Are you starting to smell the chemistry in this clubhouse? The Braves are rolling and running away with the NL East; what’s making this team tick is that everybody on the roster is pulling his weight in one form or another (well, everyone except B.J. Upton). Even Kris Medlen, with two sharp wins this past week, is starting to show that exemplary edge from late last year. The Braves started the week sweeping the pesky (and good) Pirates, then survived Puigmania in Los Angeles with a well-fought four-game split with the Dodgers.


WORST TEAM, AMERICAN LEAGUE
Cleveland Indians (0-6)

It’s getting to be hard figuring out who these guys really are. At times they’re rolling through the competition and being crowned as the surprise team of baseball, and at other times they’re getting dunked, just like this past week as they grew a losing skid to seven games with three-game sweeps at New York and Detroit. The frustrating part is, they stayed close in every game and never lost by more than three runs. Yet since an 18-4 run through mid-May, the Tribe has gone 4-15.


WORST TEAM, NATIONAL LEAGUE
New York Mets (1-3)

They only played four games this past week, but the Mets probably felt like they were at it forever—especially after an endless bummer of a weekend in which they lost back-to-back extra-inning games (one stretching to 20 innings) to the Marlins. The Mets are the one team you’d think would love to see the Marlins reset the bar on futility last touched by the 1962 Mets, but they’re their own worst enemy in helping out; Miami is 8-3 against the Mets, 10-41 against the rest of the world. Fed up, the Mets after Sunday sent three players—including struggling slugger Ike Davis—to the minors.


 

 

 

Best and Worst of the Week

Monday, June 3
The major league debut of the highly touted Cuban émigré Yasiel Puig is far from a disappointment. He singles in his first at-bat for the Los Angeles Dodgers, collects another hit later and, most impressively, ends the game on defense with a strike to first base from the right-field warning track to double up San Diego’s Chris Denorfia on a fly ball from Kyle Blanks. The Dodgers beat the Padres, 2-1, at Chavez Ravine.

After a sound lifetime success against the New York Yankees that included no home runs allowed in 53 innings against them, Cleveland’s Justin Masterson gets bruised by the Bronx Bombers’ bats. Mark Teixeira’s third-inning grand slam (his first of the year since returning from injury) and Travis Hafner’s third this season against his former teammates doom Masterson as the Yankees reign, 7-4. New York’s Andy Pettitte makes his 500th career start but fails to get his 250th win as he leaves with the game tied at 4-4 in the fifth.


Tuesday, June 4
Yasiel Puig’s second game in Los Angeles makes his first look routine by comparison. He atones for an early throwing error by smoking two home runs (one measuring 443 feet) and knocks in five runs to lift the Dodgers past the Padres, 9-7.

Philadelphia’s John Mayberry Jr., who had entered the game against Miami in the seventh inning, hits two home runs in extra innings—one in the tenth to re-tie the Marlins, followed by a grand slam an inning later to give the Phillies a 7-3, blast-off win. He’s the first player to hit multiple homers in overtime since Baltimore’s Mike Young in 1987—and the first ever to do it with a grand slam thrown in the mix.

Tampa Bay’s Matt Moore suffers his first loss of the season after an 8-0 start, looking terrible in a 10-1 loss at Detroit. In two-plus innings of work, Moore allows six runs on seven hits and six walks before being removed. The loss leaves Arizona’s Pat Corbin (9-0) and the Tigers’ Max Scherzer (7-0) as the only undefeated starters left in the majors.

The Boston Red Sox score in each of the first seven innings, knock out 13 extra-base hits and establish a MLB season-high for runs as they romp past the Texas Rangers, 17-5. Four different Red Sox players collect at least three hits, led by Stephen Drew’s four.


Wednesday, June 5
The Chicago White Sox end an eight-game losing streak but experience a historic level of torture at Seattle in reaching the winning moment. In the 14th inning, the Sox break up a 0-0 tie with five runs—but the Mariners respond with five of their own in the bottom of the inning, the last four coming on a two-out grand slam from Kyle Seager, the first game-tying, extra-innings slam in history. The White Sox recover and rally for two in the 16th, with the Mariners failing to counter this time. The 12 extra-inning runs combined between both teams ties an AL record; the five hours and 42 minutes it takes to complete the game makes it the longest (by time) for any game ever played in Seattle.

Carlos Gonzalez goes deep three times—and Troy Tulowitzki, batting right behind him, adds a few dingers of his own amid a five-hit night—as the Colorado Rockies pummel the Reds at Cincinnati, 12-4. For Gonzalez, it’s the second three-homer game of his career.

The Kansas City Royals snap an 11-game home skid with a 4-1 defeat of the Minnesota Twins. Salvador Perez and Billy Butler combine for five of the eight hits for the Royals, who have not scored more than four runs in a game since May 21.

Atlanta’s Julio Teheran is four outs away from a no-hitter when Pittsburgh pinch-hitter Brandon Inge breaks it up with a single with two outs in the eighth. The 22-year-old Colombian finishes the eighth and is done for the night, striking out 11 and walking two as the Braves roll over the Pirates, 5-0.

The Houston Astros, apparently upset over the end of their seven-game win streak the night before, take out their anger on Baltimore pitchers—smacking six home runs in an 11-7 beating of the Orioles at Minute Maid Park. Interesting to note: In a game with no substitutions, all 18 participating players from both teams collect at least one hit.


Thursday, June 6
The Yasiel Puig phenomenon, after a hitless day off, is back in high gear. The Cuban rookie belts an eighth-inning grand slam to break it open for the Dodgers, who eventually defeat Atlanta, 5-0. Puig ties a major league record for most RBIs (nine) collected through his first four games.

David Ortiz goes walk-off deep for the 11th time in his career—most among active major leaguers—and breaks a 3-3 tie to hand the Red Sox a 3-2 win over the Rangers at Boston.


Friday, June 7
After laying an egg a week earlier in his return to the majors following a three-year absence, Jeremy Bonderman earns a win in style with his second start of the season, nailing down the Yankees with a run allowed on three hits and a walk through six innings; the Mariners support him well enough to take home a 4-1 win at Seattle.

The Colorado Rockies lead the San Diego Padres after three innings, 9-3—but in the latest example of how no lead at Coors Field is safe, the Padres come storming back to tie thanks in large part to a five-run, seventh-inning rally. To the rescue comes young Rockie third baseman Nolan Arenado, whose defensive gems keep the Padres from taking the lead—and whose leadoff homer in the ninth wins it for Colorado, 10-9.

Behind a resurrected Francisco Liriano (4-2, 1.75 ERA), the Pirates shut out the Cubs at Chicago, 2-0; in the 61 games they’ve played, the Pirates have won ten by shutout, the fastest they’ve reached that mark since 1908—when Deadball Era pitching excellence was at its peak.


Saturday, June 8
The Blue Jays and Rangers battle it out for 18 innings at Toronto, with the Jays winning 4-3 on a Rajai Davis single that brings home Emilio Bonifacio—who had advanced to third base just moments earlier on a two-base error from Texas pitcher Ross Wolf, who threw wildly past first trying to pick him off. The game matches the record for longest by innings for both franchises.

The Miami-New York game at Citi Field has the Rangers-Blue Jays tilt beat in the innings count. The Marlins and Mets take it to 20 innings, the longest major league game in three years, with Miami prevailing when they rally off a fading Shawn Marcum, who throws eight innings of relief—longer than any of his previous 29 starts. Kevin Slowey, who complies seven innings of shutout relief work of his own, gets his second win of the year after earning just one win in 21 previous starting assignments dating back to 2010. Final ignominy: The Mets are 0-for-19 with runners in scoring position.

Andy Pettitte becomes the 47th pitcher (and the 37th in modern, post-1900 times) to earn 250 wins, reaching the milestone with seven-plus innings of outstanding work at Seattle in the Yankees’ 3-1 win over the Mariners. The 40-year-old lefty allows just a run on three hits and no walks, his stingiest effort of the year to date; Mariano Rivera gets the save, his 71st when closing for Pettitte.


Sunday, June 9
Another day, another round of extra innings for the Marlins and Mets at New York. Thankfully for both teams, only one extra frame is needed to decide things: The Marlins explode for four runs in the tenth and sweep a weekend series from the Mets, 8-4. Miami is now 8-3 against the Mets—and 10-41 against the rest of baseball.

The St. Louis Cardinals, despite entering the day with the majors’ best record at 40-22, are baseball’s only winless team in extra innings—until tonight. Behind a thunderous seven-run tenth capped by Matt Holliday’s grand slam, the Cardinals finally take one in overtime with an 11-4 win at Cincinnati.

The majors are still looking for their first ten-game winner on the year—but they have their first ten-game loser: Los Angeles of Anaheim’s Joe Blanton. The veteran right-hander is beaten up by the Red Sox, who pound three home runs against him and breeze to a 10-5 victory over the Angels at Fenway Park. No pitcher has allowed more earned runs (50) or hits (111) than Blanton this season.


The Pimp Squeaks
Major League Baseball apparently won the bidding war this past week for Anthony Bosch’s cooperation. The embattled owner of Biogenesis, the Florida strip-mall, anti-aging clinic used by numerous major leaguers for their PED fixes, collapsed under the pressure of a potential lawsuit from MLB and agreed to share what, when and who he knew in relation to his company and the players connected to it.

Nobody knows more about what happened at Biogenesis than Bosch, the Big Man who reportedly supplied steroids to star players such as Alex Rodriguez, Ryan Braun, Melky Cabrera and Bartolo Colon. And if he has the smoking-gun evidence to prove his association with of these players, then it becomes more than a simple case of his word against theirs. If Bosch has the goods and the players can’t mount any kind of legitimate defense to combat them, suspensions as high as 100 games could be just around the corner.

The Pavlov Response
At that point, the players’ union—who assuredly will be ready to fight tooth and nail to defend their constituents—will be cornered into denying, defusing, delaying and possibly suing to buy the players time. But they’ll be defending the inevitable, a highly public and embarrassing chapter in the long, sordid history of players doping up to reach star status while the clean ones, straining to uphold the union’s airtight alliance among its members, mutter privately in disgust. For union head Michael Weiner, Biogenesis could become the equivalent of the collusion scandal that rattled baseball in the late 1980s and cost the owners mega-millions.

What’s Your Fix?
In the wake of the ESPN report on Bosch’s cooperation agreement with MLB, there were numerous counter-punches delivered by sportswriters criticizing MLB, as if to start a debate for debate’s sake. Baseball has failed the drug war. Baseball will regret going after the Biogenesis players. Baseball will never rid itself of the PED pestilence. To those people, we ask: What the hell is MLB supposed to do? Hide its head between its legs and let the players freely inject themselves, as it was doing over a decade ago?

MLB’s anti-PED policy is not perfect, but it’s the best they can do under the circumstances. Remember, the union has to sign off on any such policy, and so it’s their natural response to try and limit the penalties and defend those accused by MLB in the name of due process and personal privacy.

How do you totally rid the game of steroids? We’ve discussed it before, and we’ll say it again: Zero tolerance. Get nailed once, get banned from the game for life. Beyond execution or—worse—forced seizure of players’ finances, it’s the only way to scare the players clean.

Scram, Faust!
Even then, there will be some players who will still think steroids will be worth the risks. The money is simply too great. A minor leaguer trying to make that big, last step to major league prominence will certainly think of—and perhaps act on—trading in his middle-class existence for the riches that The Show brings if steroids were part of the deal. Yes, if he gets caught, he’ll have to deal with the suspension, notoriety and the other warts that come with the territory. But he’ll likely have made some good money thanks to PED pimps like Bosch—and he’ll have the option of pulling from that bank account to buy him off, which is what Alex Rodriguez could have done (but reportedly refused to do) before MLB got its paws on Bosch.

My Dog Made Me Do It
In the shadows of the latest tidal wave of Biogenesis chatter, it almost seemed trivial that Cleveland’s Chris Perez made news this past week for his arrest on possession of marijuana. Police charged the outspoken closer as well as his wife; it’s somewhat surprising that the family dog wasn’t cuffed as well, because the drugs were delivered to the Perez home in its name. Perez cooperated with authorities and, after his arrest, was released on personal bond. Since pot is not considered a performance enhancing drug by MLB, Perez is not expected to be suspended under the sport’s anti-PED code, but could face a fine and be asked to undergo treatment.

The Appel of the Astros’ Eye
Mark Appel’s risk paid off with a handsome reward this past week, being named the number one pick in the 2013 amateur draft by the Houston Astros. Disappointed after Pittsburgh selected him eighth in last year’s draft when he expected to be chosen first, Appel turned down a $3.8 million offer from the Pirates and returned to Stanford, where he was a crisp 10-4 with a 2.12 ERA and 130 strikeouts in 106 innings this spring. By strengthening his position and avoiding the ‘risk’ of suffering a major injury, Appel is now set up nicely to receive far more money than he would have had he stuck it out last year with the Bucs. Added tonic for Appel is that he’s been drafted by his hometown team in Houston.

Also chosen in this year’s draft—and so that we’re all on the same page, this is not the year 2000 as commissioner Bud Selig kept blurting out during the live draft telecast—were the usual assortment of major league legacies and relatives. J.P. Crawford, the younger cousin of Los Angeles outfielder Carl Crawford, was selected 16th overall by Philadelphia; six picks later, pitcher Hunter Harvey, the son of former major league closer Bryan Harvey, was chosen by the Baltimore Orioles.

Other players taken in the early rounds with bloodlines to former major leaguers included Luke Farrell (son of Boston manager John Farrell), Jacob May (grandson of Lee May), L.J. Mazzilli (son of Lee Mazzilli), Mike O’Neill (nephew of Paul O’Neill), Chad Wallach (son of Tim Wallach) and Joe Jackson, who is the great-great nephew of the great Joe Jackson of Chicago Black Sox lore. Let’s hope this Shoeless Joe heeds the clubhouse warning signs on gambling.

The Marathon Matinees
Perhaps it was a way to make up for all the rainouts baseball endured over the past week, but Saturday afternoon served up two never-ending games that lasted 18 innings and beyond—the first time two such games were played on the same day in major league history. It became a case of must-see mlb.tv for those hanging around the household on a late spring weekend afternoon or early evening, wherever you happened to be.

One saga took place in Toronto, where the Texas Rangers forced extra innings with two runs in the ninth to tie the Blue Jays. The 44,000 who showed up had no idea they’d be getting two games for the price of one, but that’s essentially what they got—or at least, those who stuck it out through the 18th inning (not many did). It was a shame for one of the few who had to stick it out: Texas reliever Ross Wolf, who was excellent in the longest outing of his sporadic major league career until he threw wild past first base on an attempted pickoff of the Jays’ Emilio Bonifacio, who reached third and scored easily when the next batter, Rajai Davis, ripped one fair down the left-field line to finally end it. The winning pitcher for Toronto was Aaron Loup, who pitched only the final inning—and, as Yahoo!’s Mark Townsend pointed out, has a last name that’s French for “wolf.”

But the Texas-Toronto double-dip that really wasn’t did not end up being the ultimate endurance test on the day. That honor was bestowed down in New York upon the Mets and Miami Marlins, who boxed for 20 innings before the Mets hit the canvas and got KO’d by a rally capped with Adeiny Hechavarria’s RBI single. While the Marlins’ 2-1 win tied for the longest game by innings in Florida/Miami franchise history, it was nothing for the Mets, who’ve previously been involved in three of the eight longest in all of baseball annals—including the very longest that determined a winner, a 25-inning marathon in 1974 lost by the Mets to St. Louis, 4-3.

Shaun Marcum took this loss for the Mets even though he allowed just the one run on five hits through eight innings of relief work—the longest by any major leaguer coming out of the pen since Scott Sanderson in 1989. In fact, Marcum and Kevin Slowey—who pitched seven shutout frames to earn the win for Miami—pitched longer than both starters, the Marlins’ Jose Fernandez (six) and the Mets’ Matt Harvey (seven). Interesting to note: The last time Fernandez and Harvey hooked up to pitch (on April 29), the Marlins and Mets couldn’t decide anything until the 15th inning.

Ejecting Common Sense
Two of the stranger player ejections in recent times took place this past Tuesday in separate games. In Boston, the Red Sox’ Mike Carp was tossed for arguing a third strike call from home plate umpire Andy Fletcher; the odd part wasn’t that Carp argued, but that he did with the Red Sox up 17-5 in the eighth inning. Maybe he was upset from being embarrassed by Ranger outfielder David Murphy, who struck Carp out while doing emergency clean-up work on the mound.

Meanwhile in New York, in a game far less one-sided, the Cleveland Indians were trailing 4-3 and trying to start a ninth-inning rally against Yankee closer Mariano Rivera; with two outs and none on, Mike Aviles checked his swing on a high pitch that glanced off the top of Yankee catcher Chris Stewart—but umpire Tony Randazzo said it tipped off of Aviles’ bat, which replays conclusively proved did not happen. After Aviles flied out to end the game, he ran past Randazzo, said a few choice words and was ejected. To which Aviles, turning around with hands outstretched, yelled, “But the game’s over!”

Hey, It All Evens Up
We’ve seen more than our share of blown calls of late to suggest that MLB needs to get on their high horse and do something about it, but nothing more dramatically revealed how bad umpiring seems to have gotten—or how good multiple hi-def television angles have gotten in exposing the bad calls that have probably always been being made. It happened in the 12th inning of Thursday’s San Diego-Colorado game at Denver: With the Padres up and the bases loaded, Yasmani Grandal bounced a ball to Rockie third baseman Nolan Arenado, who fielded the ball behind the bag, raced to force Kyle Blanks and instantaneously threw to first, where Grandal was declared safe.

Replays showed a much different story; Arenado actually got his throw off before touching the third base bag, which meant Blanks should have been safe—while it was revealed that Grandal was clearly out, not safe, at first. Using the TGG Method of video replay, the correct calls would not have changed the outcome of the game; the out would have been made (at first instead of third) and the go-ahead runner still would have scored. As it was, the play gave the Padres a 6-5 lead they would keep.

Let the Power of Chris Compel You
Most people know that
Chris Davis became the first major leaguer to reach 20 homers on the year, but this past week he also made it to 20 doubles in the Orioles’ 58th game of the season, making him the fastest to get to 20 homers and doubles each. Mel Ott (1929) and Ivan Rodriguez (2000) had previously held the standard by reaching 20-20 by their teams’ 60th game.

This is Paradise?
After ten years and 924 games in the minors,
Ed Lucas was finally given his first major league promotion when he was called up by the Miami Marlins. Question: Do the Marlins qualify as a major league team?

League vs. League
The American League maintained its slim advantage over the National League as it seeks to win the interleague wars for the tenth straight season. The NL (or, more pointedly, the Washington Nationals) did well to close the gap on Sunday with a day-night doubleheader sweep of the Minnesota Twins—who hope to reverse the momentum by hosting Philadelphia for three to start this coming week.

This Week’s Challenger to Joe DiMaggio
With an extra-innings reprieve on Sunday night, the Cardinals’
David Freese extended his hitting streak to 19 games, the longest active run in the majors to end the week. Freese singled in the tenth after going hitless in his four at-bats in regulation. The streak represents a career high.

Wounded of the Week
wounded of the weekOne week it’s Bryce Harper; the next, it’s Stephen Strasburg. Both young Washington stud stars are now on the disabled list, with Strasburg entering the picture this past week with an oblique issue that will keep him sidelined for the minimum 15 days—or so it is hoped for the struggling Nationals, who are not playing the stellar brand of ball many had anticipated before Opening Day.

A more alarming tone was sensed with the news that Texas reliever Michael Kirkman is on the DL due to a recurrence of lymphoma near his right triceps. It was first discovered in the same area early last year and he underwent radiation treatments throughout 2012.

And amid a week where Arizona starting pitchers were crashing and burning, along came this news: Daniel Hudson, the promising young pitcher who was 28-17 in roughly two seasons’ worth of service with the Diamondbacks when he suffered a tear of his elbow a year ago and underwent Tommy John surgery, suffered a re-tear of that same muscle this past week. Hudson was hoping to return in mid-summer, but now that appears highly unlikely. Rounding out the list of the wounded is Cleveland shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera (torn quad muscle), Cincinnati pitcher Johnny Cueto (oblique), Chicago White Sox pitcher Jake Peavy (fractured rib, out at least a month), Texas first baseman Mitch Moreland (hamstring) and pitcher Alexi Ogando (elbow strain), San Diego first baseman Yonder Alonso (hand) and Philadelphia catcher Erik Kratz (knee).


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