Yu Got What I NeedWednesday, April 25, 2012
Yu Darvish Mania has been cleared for liftoff.
Facing fellow Japanese right-hander Hiroki Kuroda on Tuesday night at the Ballpark in Arlington, Darvish surrendered no runs and struck out a career-high 10 batters over 8 1/3 innings as the Rangers, now 10 games above .500, cruised to a 2-0 victory over the Yankees.
Darvish has struggled with jitters and flighty command as he makes the tough transition from Nippon Professional Baseball to the major leagues, but an ERA that sat at 7.94 after his shaky April 9 debut against the Mariners is now down to 2.42. The 6-foot-5, 25-year-old right-hander is starting to flash the kind of swing-and-miss stuff that prompted the Rangers to make a $100-plus million commitment to him this offseason and he has us here at Rotoworld wondering again whether he’s capable of becoming a rookie-year ace.
Darvish sits 3-0 with 24 strikeouts in just 26 innings. He’ll get the Blue Jays next.
Crawford To Meet With Dr. James Andrews
When outfielder Carl Crawford began developing elbow discomfort earlier this month, the Red Sox called it a byproduct of his grueling rehab from last year’s wrist surgery. Turns out, it may be much more serious than that.
Sean McAdam of CSNNewEngland.com reported early Wednesday morning that Crawford has a visit scheduled this week with Dr. James Andrews, whose primary gig these days is performing Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgeries.
If Crawford needs the procedure, he would miss the rest of -- rather, all of -- the 2012 campaign.
It’s another tough blow to the last-place Red Sox, and another bit of horrible and untimely news for Crawford. The 30-year-old left fielder batted just .255/.289/.405 with 11 home runs, 56 RBI and 18 stolen bases in 130 games last season after inking a whopping seven-year, $142 million contract in the winter. That deal, just a season-and-change in, is already looking like a complete and utter bust.
Ryan Zimmerman Facing Shoulder Issues
The amount of injured stars in Major League Baseball is becoming the story of the first half. And the Nationals, who stand alone atop the National League East standings regardless, have been hit as hard as any club.
Already without left fielder Michael Morse since the start of the regular season, the Nats are now bracing for bad news on third baseman Ryan Zimmerman. He’s been battling a sore shoulder since last Friday and was scheduled to undergo an MRI on Tuesday night, with manager Davey Johnson expressing publicly a fear that the 27-year-old slugger might have a muscle tear.
Zimmerman has batted just .224/.324/.345 with one home run, seven RBI and nine strikeouts in 68 plate appearances since signing a six-year, $100 million contract extension in the offseason. If a shoulder strain is his confirmed diagnosis, he’s certain to be placed on the 15-day disabled list and could miss the next several weeks. Steve Lombardozzi filled in at the hot corner in Tuesday night's series-opener against the Padres.
National League Quick Hits: Mets right-hander Mike Pelfrey could need Tommy John surgery to repair a partial tear of his ulnar collateral ligament … Cliff Lee (oblique) has been able to throw the last few days and is reporting improvement … Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval is working on a 17-game hitting streak … Adam Wainwright had his best start of the season Tuesday night in an extra-innings loss to the Cubs … Hunter Pence blasted a two-run homer Tuesday in his return from a shoulder injury … Johan Santana fanned 11 batters over 6 2/3 innings Tuesday in a win over the Marlins … Astros second baseman Jose Altuve hit his first home run of the season in Tuesday’s loss to the Braves … Carlos Gonzalez homered twice and drove in four total runs in Tuesday’s defeat of the Pirates … Mat Latos had his best outing as a member of the Reds on Tuesday, holding the Giants scoreless over seven frames … Cubs starter Jeff Samardzija tossed 6 2/3 innings of scoreless ball in Tuesday's 10th-inning defeat of the Cardinals … Brandon Crawford is day-to-day with a hyperextended elbow … Marlins ace Josh Johnson has allowed just three runs combined in his past two starts … Jamie Moyer held the Pirates to one run in six innings Tuesday … Dodgers reliever Matt Guerrier is on the disabled list with elbow tendinitis … Brandon Phillips has gone deep twice in three contests since being moved to the heart of the Reds’ lineup … Nationals starter Chien-Ming Wang (hamstring) will begin a rehab assignment with High-A Potomac on Saturday … Aubrey Huff could soon be placed on the bereavement list because of a family emergency … Brewers lefty Chris Narveson needs season-ending shoulder surgery … Ryan Madson’s rehab from Tommy John surgery is underway.
American League Quick Hits: Owner of MLB's 21st perfect game, Philip Humber left the White Sox on Tuesday morning to be with his wife as she gives birth but is expected back for his Thursday start against Boston … $250 million man Albert Pujols is hitless in four straight starts for the Angels, matching a career-worst streak of futility … Adrian Beltre went 0-for-3 Tuesday in his return from a sore left leg … Mike Aviles finished 4-for-5 with a homer in Tuesday’s blowout victory over the Twins … Orioles closer Jim Johnson is day-to-day after being hospitalized Monday with flu-like symptoms … Rays left-hander David Price tossed his first shutout of the 2012 campaign Tuesday in a win over the struggling Angels … Shin-Soo Choo is day-to-day with left hamstring tightness … Orioles catcher Matt Wieters hit his sixth home run of the season Tuesday … Nolan Reimold remains day-to-day with neck spasms … Michael Pineda will get a second opinion on his ailing right shoulder Wednesday from Dr. David Altchek … An MRA taken Tuesday revealed ligament damage in Tsuyoshi Wada’s throwing elbow … Josh Willingham already has 13 RBI despite anchoring a weak Twins lineup … Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler hit his fifth home run of 2012 on Tuesday … Chris Perez has played with fire but is up to seven saves … A’s outfielder Coco Crisp is day-to-day due to a recurrence of inner ear issues … Dontrelle Willis has filed a grievance against the Orioles for placing him on the restricted list rather than allowing him to sign with another team … The Red Sox are nearing a decision on Aaron Cook, who can opt out of his minor league deal on May 1.