The Closer Carousel Turns

The Closer Carousel Turns
Brad Johnson covers an epic week of closer news including a major trade, a self-inflicted injury, and a demotion. More closers sit on the bubble.
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Justin Verlander had his next scheduled start bumped up to Sunday against the Royals.

Verlander will switch places with Gerrit Cole, who will start on Monday against the Blue Jays to keep both on regular rest. Verlander has been sensational in 2018, posting a 1.60 ERA and striking out 130 hitters over 107 innings in 16 starts for Houston.
Jun 20 - 5:50 PM

Martin Perez (elbow) is hoping to begin a minor league rehab assignment starting on Monday.

Perez was able to toss live batting practice on Wednesday; a positive sign for a pitcher that has been out since the end of April. The Rangers have yet to make a decision as to whether or not Perez will begin his rehab assignment next week. He was transferred to the 60-day disabled list on Friday, and was hammered for a 9.67 ERA in his five starts earlier this year for the Rangers.
Jun 20 - 5:34 PM

Brady Rodgers (elbow) is beginning a rehab assignment with short-season Tri-City on Wednesday.

Rodgers is currently recovering from his second Tommy John surgery. He'll likely make a few appearances in the lower levels, and then report to Triple-A Fresno or possibly Double-A Corpus Christi. It's very unlikely we see Rodgers pitching for the Astros in 2018.
Jun 20 - 5:28 PM

Jose Martinez received treatment on his shoulder after Wednesday's game against the Phillies.

Martinez hurt the shoulder on an awkward-looking play at first that appeared to be an injured wrist. He told reporters after the game that he'll see how he feels after the game, but that he's played through pain before. For now, consider Martinez day-to-day, but we should know more on Thursday.
Jun 20 - 5:23 PM

Mets optioned RHP Hansel Robles to Triple-A Las Vegas.

Robles goes down, Chris Flexen comes up to help the Mets' bullpen. The 27=year-old right-hander owns a 5.03 ERA over 19 2/3 innings in 16 appearances in 2018.
Jun 20 - 5:17 PM

Mets recalled RHP Chris Flexen from Triple-A Las Vegas.

Flexen will take the place of Hansel Robles, who is being optioned to Las Vegas. The right-hander was hit hard for seven runs over a two-inning relief appearances on May 26, and he owns a 5.43 ERA over 12 games -- 11 starts -- in the Pacific Coast League this year.
Jun 20 - 5:15 PM

Michael Wacha (oblique) will undergo an MRI on Thursday.

Wacha was diagnosed with a strained left oblique after his start on Wednesday against the Phillies, and reportedly was in so much pain that it hurt to breathe. A trip to the disabled list seems imminent even if the MRI comes back negative, and he'll likely be back with the Cardinals at some point after the All-Star break. It's a major loss for the St. Louis rotation, with Wacha posting a 3.20 ERA and 71 strikeouts over his 64 1/3 innings in 2018.
Jun 20 - 5:13 PM

Corey Kluber dominated Wednesday, allowing just one hit over seven shutout frames in the Indians’ 12-0 victory over the White Sox.

He racked up seven Ks and only walked one batter. Kluber probably had another inning in him—he left after 95 pitches—but manager Terry Francona played it safe with Cleveland staked to a commanding 11-0 lead. The only hit he gave up came in the second inning when Omar Narvaez plopped a two-out single to left field. The reigning AL Cy Young winner leads the majors with 11 victories and also ranks second in WHIP (0.81) and fifth in ERA (2.10). He gets the Cardinals in his next start Monday at Busch Stadium.
Jun 20 - 5:11 PM
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