This Great Game Comebacker

The Week That Was in Baseball: June 17-23, 2013
San Jose Sues to Kickstart the A's Ballpark Will Manny Ramirez Get Another Shot?
Giancarlo Stanton's Dominance of the West Here Comes Bushers!

Best and Worst of the Week

BEST HITTER, AMERICAN LEAGUE
Chris Davis, Baltimore Orioles

AB
R
H
2B
3B
HR
RBI
BB
IB
HB
SB
23 5 8 2 0 4 10 0 1 1 0

It was just another power-laden week at the office for the Oriole slugger, whose stunning progress just won’t cease. The pinnacle came on Wednesday with a two-homer, five-RBI performance at Detroit that likely impressed Miguel Cabrera, who’s going to have to fight with this guy to earn a second MVP. Everyone thought Davis had the big breakout campaign last year with 33 homers and 85 RBIs, but he’s already closing in to surpassing those totals.


BEST HITTER, NATIONAL LEAGUE
Pedro Alvarez, Pittsburgh Pirates

AB
R
H
2B
3B
HR
RBI
BB
IB
HB
SB
29 5 12 3 0 4 11 2 0 0 0

The 26-year-old New Yorker often hangs too close to the Mendoza Line and his defense at third may be a liability—but when he gets hot with a bat, look out. It took him a while to get going this past week—he was 3-for-13 with seven strikeouts in the first three games at Cincinnati—but knocked in five during the series finale, then went deep in each of the three games over the weekend at Anaheim. Alvarez is on pace for 38 homers, which would be the most hit by a Pirate since Brian Giles in 2002.


WORST HITTER, AMERICAN LEAGUE
Josh Hamilton, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

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

It was a good start to the week for the Angels’ latest gazillionaire, clubbing a home run among two hits against Seattle—but it all came crashing down with all the force of a jaw-breaking slam—or maybe he landed hard on his wrist, for that’s where a cortisone shot was injected after Friday’s game. Overall, he struck out seven times, hit into four double plays and lowered his season average to .207—nearly 100 points below his career mark


WORST HITTER, NATIONAL LEAGUE
Tyler Colvin, Colorado Rockies

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

The 27-year-old outfielder enjoyed a fabulous first week back with the Rockies after starting the year at Triple-A Colorado Springs, cranking out three homers. Second week, not so good. Colvin went hitless at the plate and struck out ten times, throwing temporary cold water on a comeback attempt following a crisp .290-18-72 effort last year for the Rockies. With Dexter Fowler’s finger all but healed, expect Colvin to see more of the bench—or maybe a bus ride back to Colorado Springs.


BEST PITCHER, AMERICAN LEAGUE
Max Scherzer, Detroit Tigers

W-L
IP
H
R
ER
BB
IB
HB
WP
BK
SO
2-0 13 13 3 3 2 0 0 0 0 16

The strong-armed right-hander has played the role of Justin Verlander’s Tonto or Robin or Johnny Sain over the last three years, but there’s some role-reversal going on as Scherzer is playing like the Cy Young Award-like ace while a more vulnerable (but still decent) Verlander is throwing like the old Scherzer. With two more wins this past week, Scherzer became the first Tiger pitcher to start a season at 11-0—and the first American Leaguer to do it since Roger Clemens in 1997. Scherzer is now 42-16 at Detroit since the start of 2011.


BEST PITCHER, NATIONAL LEAGUE
Chris Capuano, Los Angeles Dodgers

W-L
IP
H
R
ER
BB
IB
HB
WP
BK
SO
1-0 11 7 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 9

The veteran lefty played both the good pitcher and the good soldier, not allowing a run (or even a walk) over two starts—the second of which was performed on three days’ rest when the Dodgers were desperate for a Sunday starter at San Diego. It was a positive rebound from an unsatisfying, injury-riddled first two-plus months that included a 1-4 record, 5.45 ERA and two stints on the DL. Although they weren’t workhorse efforts, Capuano and the Dodgers will take five or six innings of this kind any day.


WORST PITCHER, AMERICAN LEAGUE
P.J. Walters, Minnesota Twins

W-L
IP
H
R
ER
BB
IB
HB
WP
BK
SO
0-1 0.2 1 6 6 5 0 1 0 0 0

One look at the above line put forward by the 28-year-old right-hander and you gotta wonder if he ever took warm-up tosses. Walters allowed seven baserunners in a disastrous first inning at Cleveland this past Saturday—five by walk, one by hit batsman, the other a double; before the inning—and Walters’ night—was done, six runs had plated for the Indians. Walters had thrown at least five innings in his five previous starts on the year, so the Twins are hoping this was nothing more than an anomaly.


WORST PITCHER, NATIONAL LEAGUE
Alfredo Figaro, Milwaukee Brewers

W-L
IP
H
R
ER
BB
IB
HB
WP
BK
SO
0-2 7.2 14 11 10 4 1 0 1 0 7

There was once this cartoon where Bugs Bunny and an opera star were sparring with another; at one point, Bugs gives the tenor a shot of “liquid alum” which causes his head to shrink while repeatedly trying to croon “Figaro.” That tune’s namesake must have felt the same way after two disastrous outings this past week, his confidence shrinking while that of his opponents grew. Four home runs allowed—including a first-inning Brian McCann grand slam that really got Figaro off to a bad start on Sunday—certainly didn’t help.


BEST TEAM, AMERICAN LEAGUE
Toronto Blue Jays (6-0)

So, they’re late to the party—but maybe they’re fashionably late. The Blue Jays have roared to life and become the team everyone thought they’d be from Opening Day on, ending the week with an 11-game winning streak that’s the majors’ longest this year and tied for the longest in franchise history. The momentum will certainly be on the line this coming week as the Jays hit the road at AL East foes Tampa Bay and Boston, and here’s some promising news: Jose Reyes may be back in the lineup by week’s end


BEST TEAM, NATIONAL LEAGUE
Pittsburgh Pirates (5-2)

Are you sitting for this one? The Pirates, your Pirates, the Pirates who haven’t won anything since the reign of Bush I, have the second best record in all of baseball to finish the week. The Bucs held their own in a tough four-game series at Cincinnati to start, then headed off to Anaheim where they swept a weekend series from the Angels, overcoming a three-run, ninth-inning deficit in the Sunday finale to keep the sweep alive. They only have to go 36-50 the rest of the way to finish with that long-elusive winning season. Don’t blow it, Buccos! (Like you did the last two years, FYI.)


WORST TEAM, AMERICAN LEAGUE
Oakland A's (2-5)

More frustrated than overwhelmed, the A’s began the week in first place but ended it looking slightly up at Texas, which took three of four from Oakland at Arlington; the skidding A’s then went to Seattle where they lost two more out of three. It might have been much different, as the A’s either led or were tied in the late innings in every game—but a normally reliable bullpen was hardly at its best, giving up 15 runs in 18.2 innings of work.


WORST TEAM, NATIONAL LEAGUE
Colorado Rockies (2-5)

The Rockies thought they had a break by hitting the road at Toronto and Washington, two highly underachieving teams on the year to date—but the Jays and Nats picked a fine time to heat up and play to their expected greatness, handing Colorado five straight losses to begin the week. Victories on Saturday and Sunday at Washington salvaged things, but the Rockies—struggling without an injured Troy Tulowitzki—know they have it tough in getting back on the winning track.


 

 

 

Best and Worst of the Week

Monday, June 17
Detroit’s Max Scherzer strikes out ten and allows a run over six innings to give the Tigers a 5-1 win over Baltimore and become the first American League pitcher since Roger Clemens in 1997—and the first Tiger since George Mullin in 1909—to start the year at 10-0.

Dillon Gee is two outs away from his first career shutout, but the Braves’ Freddie Freeman gets in the way with a two-run blast—his second walk-off hit in three games—to hand Gee and the New York Mets a 2-1 loss at Atlanta. The game doesn’t start until nearly 11:00 in the evening as officials desperately try to wait out rains on an evening before a scheduled doubleheader between the two teams; Freeman’s homer ends the action at 1:22 in the morning.

The Reds power four home runs, all solo, and that’s all the offense they get—and need—in a 4-1 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates at Cincinnati. Zack Cozart, Todd Frazier, Joey Votto and Jay Bruce supply the longballs for the Reds.

In Houston’s 71st game of the year, the Astros’ Chris Carter becomes the first major leaguer on the year to reach 100 strikeouts during a 4-2 loss to the Chicago White Sox at Minute Maid Park. Carter is on pace to break Mark Reynolds’ all-time mark for strikeouts from 2009.


Tuesday, June 18
The Mets’ future is present and delivers a double blow on the Braves in Atlanta. In the first game of a doubleheader, Matt Harvey takes a no-hitter into the seventh inning for the third time this year and later survives an Atlanta uprising to hold on for a 4-3 victory. It breaks a five-game winless skid in which he had suffered a loss and four no-decisions; he strikes out a career-high 13.

In the nightcap, highly prized prospect Zack Wheeler (stolen from San Francisco in 2011) makes his big-league debut and throws six shutout innings despite walking five—he throws 55 of his 102 pitches for strikes—and strikes out seven as the Mets run away late with a 6-1 win.

The Pirates strike out 17 times against Cincinnati starter Mat Latos and three relievers but still win, handing the Reds a 4-0 defeat. Never have the Bucs struck out as much during a nine-inning victory; the loss for Latos is his first after 21 undefeated starts dating back to last August 24.

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim signed Josh Hamilton with the idea he’d help an already impressive lineup pummel opponents, but it hasn’t quite worked out so far and, tonight, it really backfires in a 3-2, 10-inning loss at home to Seattle. Hamilton hits into double plays in each of his first three at-bats, then strikes out in the next two appearances. He’s batting a paltry .213 on the year with ten home runs and only 24 RBIs in 69 games.


Wednesday, June 19
The Texas Rangers assure themselves of at least a split in a crucial four-game series against the front-running Oakland A’s at Arlington with a 9-4 win. Justin Grimm goes the minimum five innings to secure the win, the first by a Ranger starting pitcher since May 31—a span of 17 games, the longest such drought in franchise history.

Pittsburgh closer Jason Grilli, the NL saves leader with 25, blows his first opportunity of the year when he serves up a one-out home run to the Reds’ Jay Bruce in the ninth inning to erase a 1-0 lead; the Reds will win it in the 13th on a Brandon Phillips single. Grilli’s off-night ruins a win opportunity for Pirate starter Jeff Locke, who’s allowed no runs in five of his last seven starts.

The Los Angeles Dodgers split a doubleheader with the Yankees in their first visit to Yankee Stadium (new or old) since the 1981 World Series—but the talk of the town on this day is Yasiel Puig, the Cuban rookie who continues to dazzle. Puig combines for four hits with four runs, a double and a home run, and ends the day hitting .474 (27-for-57) with five homers on the year to date; no other major leaguer has ever begun a career with as many hits and home runs through his first 15 games.


Thursday, June 20
Seattle ace Felix Hernandez is spotted a 7-0 lead by the Mariners at Anaheim, but the King is not deserving of his throne on this night as the Angels rebound and win, 10-9; it’s the largest lead that Hernandez has ever blown. Everyone in the Angel lineup gets at least one hit—except the scuffling Josh Hamilton, hitless in four at-bats.

Pedro Alvarez drives in all five Pittsburgh runs and finishes a triple shy of the cycle as the Pirates topple the Reds in an afternoon series finale, 5-3; Alvarez improves his career daytime batting average to .260 (as opposed to a .222 mark at night) and has 30 homers in 430 at-bats—versus 36 over 901 ABs after sunset.

Jordan Zimmermann’s dominance at Nationals Park continues with a 5-1 Washington win over Colorado. For the third straight time at home, Zimmermann does not allow an earned run, and he’s now given up two or fewer runs in 11 straight home starts—which according to the Elias Sports Bureau is something no pitcher representing Washington (including even the great Walter Johnson with the Senators) has ever achieved. The losing pitcher for the Rockies: Roy Oswalt, making his first major league appearance since the end of 2012 (when he threw for Texas), striking out 11, walking none—and giving up four runs on nine hits through five innings.

After failing to earn a win in any of his first eight career starts, Miami’s Tom Koehler takes a no-hitter into the sixth inning at San Francisco and gets that long-sought victory, but only after Marcel Ozuna’s eighth-inning pinch double with two outs and two strikes brings in the two runs the Marlins will need to knock off the Giants, 2-1.


Friday, June 21
In their first game in St. Louis since the two heartbreaking losses to end the 2011 World Series, the Rangers rally for two runs in the ninth—and this time, hold off the Cardinals to prevail, 6-4. The winning tallies come courtesy of a single from Nelson Cruz.

The Toronto Blue Jays, considered a major threat before the start of the season, win their ninth straight game and finally reach .500 for the first time all year with a walk-off, 7-6 victory over Baltimore at Rogers Centre. Rajai Davis’ bloop single in the ninth wins it; with the result, all five AL East teams are now at .500 or better.

The Marlins overcome a strong start by Tim Lincecum and pound on the Giants’ bullpen after his departure, winning their ninth straight game at AT&T Park, 6-3; it’s the longest such streak at a visiting ballpark in Florida/Miami franchise history. (They’ll finally lose the next day in 11 innings.)


Saturday, June 22
Francisco Rodriguez, apparently back to vintage form and closing again for Milwaukee, earns his 300th career save in the Brewers’ 2-0 win over Atlanta at Miller Park. The 31-year-old right-hander is the 25th major leaguer to reach the milestone; among active players, only Mariano Rivera and Joe Nathan have more saves. For the Braves, the defeat is their second straight shutout loss—and 11th on the year, tops in the majors.

Wil Myers, perhaps the most publicized of the rookie call-ups so far this season, breaks out for the first time with three hits—including a sixth-inning grand slam, his first career homer, off the Yankees’ CC Sabathia—but it’s all not enough as the Rays lose 7-5 on a bases-clearing, pinch-hit double in the seventh by Vernon Wells.

The Dodgers’ Zack Greinke saves his best performance of the season for San Diego in his first start against the Padres since breaking his collarbone in a brawl with Carlos Quentin on April 11. In eight innings of work, Greinke allows a run on four hits with eight strikeouts; Quentin is 0-for-3 with two K’s. The Dodgers win, 6-1.


Sunday, June 23
It’s not a majestic outing, but Toronto’s Josh Johnson finally gets his first win of the season in eight tries, as he’s aided by a 14-hit barrage (including five doubles and a pair of homers) to give the Blue Jays a 13-5 thrashing of the Orioles. The 11-game win streak for Toronto is the majors’ longest thus far in 2013, and ties an all-time Blue Jay record.

The Pirates rise up from a 6-3, ninth-inning deficit at Anaheim to force extra innings—then notch four more in the tenth, which will prove important as the Angels score three in the bottom of the frame and fall just shy in a wild, 10-9 contest to give the Bucs a weekend sweep.

After a three-hour rain delay, the Rangers sweep the Cardinals, 2-1 in a game that ends after 1:00 in the morning. Cardinal shortstop Pete Kozma, whose drop of a seemingly easy soft liner kept a seventh-inning Texas rally going and led to the Rangers’ go-ahead run, appears ready to atone in the bottom of the ninth—but Texas third baseman Adrian Beltre snares his lacing liner and doubles up Shane Robinson, who would have tied the game, on second base.


Your Move, Bud
This past week, the City of San Jose—which wants the Oakland A’s, and vice versa—lost its patience. After four years of silence from a three-man committee appointed by commissioner Bud Selig to recommend a new ballpark for the A’s, San Jose decided to force the issue and sued Major League Baseball, claiming that the game’s antitrust exemption is keeping the city and the A’s from partnering to build a new venue near downtown.

MLB’s reaction was predictable; they scoffed at the lawsuit and scolded San Jose for trying to disrupt the ongoing “process,” such as that is. The reaction of the San Francisco Giants—who own the territorial rights to San Jose and don’t want to give it away to the A’s—was also predictable; there was none. (Not publicly, anyway.) Slightly less predictable and, at first glance, more puzzling was the reaction of A’s owner Lou Wolff, who was disappointed in the lawsuit and reiterated his desire to hash things out without lawyers getting involved.

San Jose is hoping that the legal challenge to the antitrust exemption—gifted to baseball way back in 1922 when the Supreme Court essentially ruled that baseball was a sport and not a “business”—will scare MLB into bowing to pressure and allow a ballpark to be built for the A’s. It’s worked before; other legal threats to the exemption have led to the existence of the second Washington Senators (now the Texas Rangers), the Kansas City Royals, the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays, all from markets that sued after earlier teams left or, in Tampa’s case, none would be allowed to come, echoing San Jose’s argument.

There’s an “A” in Welfare
Why is Lou Wolff being soft while San Jose plays hardball? After all, he’s an old man whose team is playing in the O.co Coliseum, the majors’ least desirable facility that’s ugly, aging and stinky to boot after a sewage pipe busted and chased players out of their locker rooms last week. You think he’d been screaming and shouting to get the San Jose deal quickly done before the rest home comes calling. But Wolff has this strange obedience to Selig, his Wisconsin frat brother from way back when; what Bud says, Wolff toes the line. Al Davis this man is not.

But there’s something else as well. Because Wolff is allowed to run the franchise on a shoestring and still win thanks to the magic of general manager Billy Beane, Wolff is listed among MLB’s poor collecting millions from the rich per the owner’s revenue sharing and luxury tax agreements. So while a new ballpark is obviously in Wolff’s long-term plans, there’s no financial desperation in the short term, because the bank account has hardly run dry.

TGG Goes to Press!
Bushers cover We’re thrilled to announce that Ed Attanasio and Eric Gouldsberry (hey, that’s us!) have sealed a deal with McFarland Publishers to publish Bushers, a collection of Ed’s unique and highly praised illustrations of fictional characters from baseball’s Deadball Era. The illustrations will be complimented by humorous bios written by Ed and Eric including, for example, the legend of Orson “Stumbin’” Urrea, a notorious baserunner “who once fell between second base and third, starting a rundown that lasted most of the afternoon—until Urrea stumbled all the way home.” Bushers will run roughly 120-plus pages in full color, is expected to be available for purchase late this year and cost a spartan $17.99.

Go West, Big Man
This past week, Giancarlo Stanton became the tenth youngest player to belt his 100th career home run when he went deep twice at Arizona, knocking in all three runs in Miami’s 3-2 win over the Diamondbacks. At that moment, Stanton was 23 years and 221 days old; the youngest player to reach 100, for the record, is Mel Ott, who did it 132 days after turning 22.

Rumors persist as to whether the Marlins will trade Stanton for a boatload of prospects; the Pittsburgh Pirates are reportedly the latest team to inquire on the 6’5”, 233-pounder’s availability. The Marlins say they’re not interested in dealing Stanton, but when’s the last time we’ve trusted anything they’ve said?

If Stanton gets the trade—something he’d likely be happy with, considering his angry reaction to losing all of his veteran teammates over the winter—he would really covet a NL West address. This is what he’s done against in the five ballparks from that division in 53 career games: A .293 average with 18 doubles, 25 home runs and 50 RBIs. Project those last three numbers over 162 games and this is what you get: 56, 76 and 153.

Mannywood Redux?
Homesick from his family in New York and probably from MLB as well, Manny Ramirez bolted from his team in Taiwan, hoping to get a new start on a ballfield in America. In 49 games with the EDA Rhinos, the 41-year-old Ramirez hit .352 with eight homers and 49 RBIs—gaudy stats in an admittedly inferior league which consists of only four teams, but hopefully solid enough to boost his stock with MLB general managers. But the GMs gave the controversial slugger no love after a decent winter in the Dominican Republic, and they’re not likely to give him any now; as Sports Illustrated points out, it can just as easily bring Jim Thome or Vladimir Guerrero out of retirement and not deal with Manny's act.

Don’t Mess With the Rook
When Tom Seaver was drafted by the New York Mets in 1966, he was asked about the loveable losers’ image that the young franchise had acquired thanks to an inaugural 120-loss campaign in 1962 and ol’ manager Casey Stengel’s goofball antics. With a deadpan demeanor, a serious and very talented Seaver quipped that he didn’t find losing to be particularly funny. His new teammates took his dogma to heart and, within three years, the Mets were world champions.

We were reminded of that story after reading an article from Yahoo!’s Jeff Passan’s article on the Mets’ current young pitching phenom, Matt Harvey. During Harvey’s first few months in New York late last year, he was tired and in need of a nap one day in the clubhouse and repaired to a side room. Moments later, he was jolted out of his sleep by a pail of ice water, thrown on him by veteran reliever Jon Rauch as an ad-lib, spur-of-the-moment hazing ritual. Most rookies would have grinned it off as part of the process so inherent within baseball for generations, but Harvey wouldn’t have it; that the ice water soaked his cell phone, lying on top of his stomach, probably didn’t make him any happier. He jumped up and angrily challenged Rauch—who at 6’11” is the tallest player ever to play in the majors—to a fight. Rauch backed down; he’s no longer on the Mets. Harvey is and he’s dealing—and he’s serious about the Mets’ future, as Seaver was nearly 50 years earlier.

When asked by reporters about Passan’s story, Harvey said this: “I’m not discussing that at all.”

Never Mind the MLS, What’s the WHIP?
If you’ve got a couple million bucks loose and looking to buy real estate over the hill east of Oakland, perhaps Billy Beane’s home might interest you. The A’s general manager has placed his residence of 11 years on the market for $1.895 million; it includes nearly 5,000 square feet of living space, a pool, a modestly sized backyard, an office and a bonus room. Buy it and you can say you live in a house once visited by Brad Pitt, the actor who portrayed Beane in Moneyball.

That's Forty-something!
Bartolo Colon is making 40 look like the new 30—maybe even the new 20. (Perhaps Biogenesis will do that to you.) Since hitting the big 4-0 back on May 24, the Oakland pitcher has won all six of his starts for the A’s with a miniscule 1.20 ERA; he’s now 10-2 on the year, matching his entire win total for last season (which ended in mid-August after getting suspended for steroid use).

To All the Hits I’ve Loved Before
Jose Iglesias’ 18-game hitting streak came to an end this past week, but the young Boston shortstop who’s been hot all year became the third rookie in major league history to knock out 43 hits within 100 at-bats to start a season (but not a career; Iglesias has 74 at-bats’ worth of call-up experience over the last two years). The other two players are Tony Oliva (1964) and Luke Scott (2006).

That’s Some Deep Fly—And We’re Not Talking the Baseball
The Cardinals’
Matt Holliday homered on Thursday against the Cubs and didn’t realize until after he returned to the dugout that he had done so with his pants unzipped.

Channeling Ricky Vaughan
The Chicago Cubs traded for hard-throwing reliever
Henry Rodriguez, who holds promise but also frustrated his previous employer, the Washington Nationals, with his wildness. So what did Rodriguez do in his first game as a Cub, this past Monday at St. Louis? His first pitch hit home plate umpire D.J. Reyburn on the foot. His second hit the Cardinals’ Carlos Beltran on the knee. “The man looks a little rusty,” said Cub play-by-play man Len Kasper.

King of the Hill
Amid a 10-1 trashing by the Houston Astros, Carlos Gomez provided the Milwaukee Brewers with the game’s most memorable highlight when he conquered Tai’s Hill, the incline in front of Minute Maid Park’s center field fence.

Heath Gets His Bell Rung
Arizona pitcher
Heath Bell has given up a home run in each of his last five appearances for the Arizona Diamondbacks, setting a franchise record. In those five games, Bell has saved two, blown one opportunity and lost a game; the most homers Bell had given up in any one season coming into 2013 was in 2006, when he allowed six for the New York Mets.

Leaving the Bats Behind at Home
This will not get you that World Series appearance that everyone expected out of you in spring training: The Washington Nationals are hitting .212 on the road, the worse such figure among all 30 major league teams.

League vs. League
It’s still somewhat early, but the American League is starting to show signings of pulling away from the National League in interleague play, expanding its edge on the year to 82-73. If the NL is looking to make a fast track to overcoming the AL’s advantage, then this coming week brings a glut of interleague action with seven different series taking place in midweek—but six of those will be hosted by AL cities, so good luck.

This Week’s Challenger to Joe DiMaggio
Michael Cuddyer of the Colorado Rockies ends this past week with a 21-game hitting streak that’s the majors’ longest active run and the longest this year; it’s also just two games shy of the all-time Rockies record, held by Dante Bichette from 1995. If it weren’t for a hitless pinch-hit appearance on May 27, Cuddyer’s streak would be at 27 games.

Wounded of the Week
wounded of the weekThe Detroit Tigers may be trying to run away with the AL Central title as most people expected they would, but this can’t be helping: This past week, the Tigers placed three players—pitcher Anibal Sanchez (shoulder), catcher Alex Avila (forearm contusion) and super-benchwarmer Matt Tuiasosopo (strained left intercostal) on the disabled list.

Rounding out the list of those taking a seat on the Ouch Couch was the return of New York Yankee slugger Mark Teixeira, whose bothersome wrist threatens to derail the rest of the season if quick-fix treatments don’t work out; Atlanta catcher/clutch hero Evan Gattis (oblique), Boston pitcher Clay Buchholz (neck), the Mets’ Jonathon Niese (partial tear of rotator cuff) and Lucas Duda (that strained left intercostal again), Los Angeles of Anaheim pitcher Jason Vargas (blood clot in his pitching arm), Seattle outfielder Mike Morse (strained quad), San Diego speedster Everth Cabrera (hamstring) and Minnesota pitcher Mike Pelfrey (back).


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