Patrick Daugherty

Baseball Daily Dose

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The Price Is Alright?

Thursday, May 16, 2013

David Price is going to turn things around. Really. He didn’t go from being the American League Cy Young award winner to Luke Hochevar in one season.

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But things got a little bit more complicated Wednesday, where his latest sub-par outing was interrupted by a case of left triceps tightness. An MRI turned up “nothing serious,” while Price said the exam went "as good as (possible).” Regardless, manager Joe Maddon said it was “probably unlikely” that Price makes his next scheduled start on Monday, and hinted the disabled list is a real possibility.

The Rays will know more after Price comes in and plays catch Thursday, but weekly-league owners should plan on being without their would-be ace for at least one week. A minimum DL-stint might not be the worst thing for Price. His ERA now rests at 5.24, but his velocity remained fine Wednesday — his final pitch was 95 miles per hour — while his 49/14 K/BB ratio is about what you’d expect through 55 innings. Price might just need a little time to clear his head and regroup. 

Jake Odorizzi — who is on turn after pitching for Triple-A Durham Wednesday — and Chris Archer are the two most likely candidates to fill-in if Price can’t go Monday. Baseball America’s No. 93 prospect this season, Odorizzi entered Wednesday’s outing with a 2.97 ERA, 1.04 WHIP and 41/13 K/BB ratio through 39 1/3 frames. He’ll be worth spot-start consideration if he gets the call against the Blue Jays Monday.   

Another Long Night For Vogelsong

Like David Price, Ryan Vogelsong had another rough outing on Wednesday. Unlike Price, there’s not much light at the end of the tunnel. Only three of Vogelsong’s eight runs were earned thanks to a pair of first-inning errors, but he couldn’t bear down after a five-run first, serving up three more in the second. Manager Bruce Bochy decided not to trot him out for the third.

“I don’t want three innings and 80 pitches,” Bochy said of the decision. “That’s when you start to get concerned.” Vogelsong has now been quality in just one of eight outings this season, and allowed at least six runs in four straight starts. This, after Vogelsong tied for 11th in the league with 22 quality starts last season, at one point reeling off 16 straight.

His struggles are concerning enough that Bochy is talking about skipping his next turn in the rotation for the second time in as many outings. The problem is, the Giants have almost no alternatives at the big-league level, and few compelling options in Double-A or Triple-A. There’s a chance they’ll decide Vogelsong’s latest disaster might not have ever happened if Angel Pagan and Marco Scutaro had just made plays they’d usually make in the first inning, and decide to let him pitch on Monday against the Nationals.

On the other side of the coin is Vogelsong’s 8.06 ERA, 1.84 WHIP, 38/17 K/BB ratio and 11 home runs allowed through only 41 1/3 innings. Something’s got to give, and for now, it might be Vogelsong’s rotation spot.

The Mets Catch A Break

Things are not going well for the Mets. They’re sitting at 14-23 after losing their sixth straight game Wednesday, and staring down a four-game sweep in St. Louis.

But things could have gotten a whole lot worse had Zack Wheeler’s (clavicle) MRI turned up anything serious. Thankfully, it didn’t, and Wheeler could rejoin Triple-A Las Vegas’ rotation by the weekend.

Wheeler got off to a rough start in the thin, dry air of Vegas, but has settled down to allow just three runs over his past 20 innings of work (1.35 ERA). Overall, he’s the owner of a 3.74 ERA, 1.34 WHIP and 47/18 K/BB ratio through 43 1/3 frames. That’s positively solid for a player making his first go-round through the scrumptious hitting environment of the Pacific Coast League. Baseball America’s No. 11 overall prospect remains on pace to join the Amazins sometime this summer.

Game Notes: Zack Greinke (collarbone) was limited to 83 pitches in his return from the disabled list, but held the Nationals to just one run on five hits in 5 1/3 innings, striking out four while walking none in the process. He’s ready to go. … Opposing Greinke was Ross Detwiler, who was forced to depart after just three innings with a back injury. He briefly pitched through the issue, and will likely make his next start. … Bryce Harper (not a concussion) pinch hit, grounding out for the second-to-last out of Washington’s loss. … Jon Lester improved to 6-0. … Shelby Miller lowered his ERA to 1.40. His WHIP held steady at 0.88. … Shin-Soo Choo blasted his eighth and ninth home runs. … Wilson Ramos is expected to go back on the disabled list after re-injuring his hamstring.     

National League Short Hops: Coming off a scoreless rehab outing for Low-A Daytona on Tuesday, Johnny Cueto (lat, oblique) will rejoin the Reds' rotation on Monday against the Mets. Although he’ll likely be on a pitch count, he should be started in all weekly leagues. He’ll get the Cubs next weekend. … Yasmani Grandal (PED suspension) has been cleared to begin a minor-league rehab assignment. He’s eligible to rejoin the Padres on May 28, where he’ll likely start off in a platoon with Nick Hundley. … With the drop-dead date for his minor-league deal at hand, Francisco Rodriguez was recalled by the Brewers. Jim Henderson is holding his own in the ninth inning, so K-Rod should be limited to the middle innings for the foreseeable future. … Jayson Werth (hamstring) began his rehab assignment. He’s expected to return when first eligible on Saturday. … The Phillies signed Carlos Zambrano for whatever reason. … Ditto the Dodgers and Jonathan Sanchez. … Corey Hart (knee) isn’t expected to return before mid-June.    

American League Short Hops: Melky Cabrera has been cleared to play through his quad/hamstring “irritation.” He doubled, walked and scored two runs in Wednesday’s rout of the Giants. … Coco Crisp (hamstring) went 0-for-3 in his return from the disabled list. … Mark Teixeira (wrist) “couldn’t be happier” with his rehab, and is hoping to return by May 30 or 31. … Andrew Bailey (biceps) will come off the disabled list no later than Monday, reclaiming closing duties from Junichi Tazawa. … Travis Hafner (shoulder) could return as early as this evening. … Ryan Madson (elbow) remains “several weeks” away from a return. Ernesto Frieri is entrenched as the Halos’ closer.   

Patrick Daugherty is a football and baseball writer for He can be found on Twitter .
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