Not only did the Nationals lose a division showdown with the Phillies Sunday, but they also lost a key piece of their offense in the process.
Jayson Werth suffered a broken left wrist when he tried to make a sliding catch in the sixth inning. He’ll visit with a specialist Monday, but the Nationals anticipate him being sidelined for at least six weeks (UPDATE: Werth had surgery on Monday and is out for 12 weeks). It’s obviously a notable blow to the first-place Nats, as Werth was off to a nice start this season following a disappointing first year in Washington, batting .276/.372/.439 with three homers.
The good news is that Washington will get one of their other stars back soon to help soften the blow of losing Werth, as Ryan Zimmerman (shoulder) is on track to return from the disabled list Tuesday. The Nats third baseman has declared himself “100 percent” and will return to the middle of the batting order.
As far as who replaces Werth, Bryce Harper, who has played both center and left field, will slide into the everyday right field role. Tyler Moore could be looking at a boost in playing time and offers some intrigue. He strikes out a ton but has banged out 31 homers in two straight years in the minors and could be worth a speculative pick-up in NL-only formats.
Davis Stinks Early, Stars Late
Sunday’s 17-inning marathon between the Orioles and Red Sox was one of the most interesting games of the season to date, and no one had a more interesting afternoon than Chris Davis.
Davis the hitter had a horrible day, going 0-for-8 at the plate while striking out five times and grounding into one double play. Davis the pitcher, though, was surprisingly effective. After running out of relievers, O’s manager Buck Showalter looked to Davis, who fired two shutout innings while striking out two batters, flashing a 90 mph fastball and an unexpectedly good changeup.
The win gave the Orioles a series sweep at Fenway after they took the final two games in Yankee Stadium last week. They now sit at 19-9 and in first place in the AL East, a half-game up on the Rays and 7.5 games ahead of the Red Sox.
Downs Goes Down
Angels manager Mike Scioscia might have to go back to Jordan Walden as his closer sooner than he wanted to.
Walden’s replacement, Scott Downs, was forced to leave a save opportunity Sunday after twisting his left knee while avoiding a J.P Arencibia line drive. There’s been no diagnosis yet, but we’ll know more about the left-hander’s status Monday after he's re-evaluated.
Unfortunately, we already know about the status of LaTroy Hawkins, who replaced Downs Sunday. Hawkins was able to induce a game-ending, line-drive double play off the bat of Omar Vizquel, but he fractured his right pinkie in the process. Hawkins might have been an option for the ninth inning if Downs has to miss time and Scioscia didn’t want to give Walden his old job back yet, but, as it is, he’ll be placed on the DL.
If Downs joins Hawkins on the DL, we suspect Walden will go back to his ninth inning role. If he’s not the choice, newcomer Ernesto Frieri or perhaps veteran Jason Isringhausen could get a look.
National League Quick Hits: Matt Kemp didn’t start Sunday due to a tight left hamstring. He was able to pinch-hit, though, and it appears to be nothing more than a day-to-day ailment … An MRI on Ruben Tejada’s revealed something significant enough that a DL stint is expected. Jordany Valdespin could handle shortstop until Ronny Cedeno is ready later this week … Jason Bay (rib) is eligible to return from the DL later this week, but Mets manager Terry Collins says he won’t be back “for awhile.” … Jeremy Guthrie (shoulder) isn’t ready to return from the DL to start Tuesday. Alex White will likely get the ball instead … Allen Craig doubled in a run and belted a two-run homer Sunday. He’s now 6-for-16 with four extra-base hits and seven RBI in his first four games since being activated … Taylor Green got his first career start at first base Sunday. He’s a career .326/.404/.547 hitter at Triple-A and could get on the fantasy radar if the Brewers decide to give him ample time at first base. Milwaukee has also been linked to free agent first baseman Derrek Lee … Huston Street is out indefinitely with a lat injury. Andrew Cashner is the favorite for saves while he’s out, but Luke Gregerson and Dale Thayer could also be in the mix … Chris Young (shoulder) will begin a rehab assignment Thursday and could rejoin the Mets rotation by the end of the month … Pedro Alvarez has been moved up to the cleanup spot by the Pirates … Daniel Hudson felt "really good" during a flat ground session Saturday but won’t start a rehab assignment for over a week … Edward Mujica nailed down a painless save Sunday. It’s possible Steve Cishek, who pitched three innings Friday, was unavailable, as he was the expected closer after Heath Bell was temporarily removed from the gig. Perhaps it will be more of a committee situation, though. … Javy Guerra blew his third save of the season Sunday. Though he boasts a tidy 16/5 K/BB ratio over 12 1/3 innings, he’s simply not as dominant as Kenley Jansen and could be losing his grip on the closer job.
American League Quick Hits: Albert Pujols finally got off the schnide, belting his first homer as an Angel Sunday. He did it in his 117th plate appearance with his new club … Adam Dunn homered for the fourth time in five games Sunday. He now has nine bombs on the year and looks to be on his way to a bounce-back season … Dayan Viciedo left Sunday's game after being hit on the right elbow by a pitch, but X-rays were negative and he should return soon … Brian Dozier will be the Twins’ new starting shortstop after being promoted Sunday. He batted .320/.399/.491 with nine homers and 24 steals between High- and Double-A last year and deserves to be picked up in AL-only leagues immediate … Yu Darvish punched out a career-high 11 batters Sunday but also gave up four runs – three earned – and walked four. He’s averaged 10 strikeouts over his last three starts but has also walked at least four batters four times this season … Andy Pettitte didn’t pitch very well in his third minor league start Sunday, but he’ll likely be brought up by the Yankees for a start this week … Jemile Weeks didn’t play Sunday due to slight groin tightness. It’s the second game he’s missed in the last week with the ailment, but he’s expected to be OK … Adrian Beltre (hamstring) didn’t start again on Sunday but is expected to be back in the lineup Monday. He’s been limited to pinch-hitting recently … Doug Fister has been activated from the DL and will start Monday. He should return to fantasy lineup immediately … Desmond Jennings exited Sunday’s game with left knee soreness. At this point, it doesn’t seem like he’ll miss more than a game or two, but more will be known Monday.