D.J. Short

Baseball Daily Dose

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Daily Dose: Pujols Shut Down

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

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Albert Pujols recently indicated that he was holding out hope that he would be able to return in September, but the Angels quickly put the kibosh on any such talk by announcing Monday that he has been shut down for the rest of the season.

Pujols landed on the disabled list in late July with a partially torn plantar fascia in his left foot and recently shed his walking boot, but the Angels would prefer that he focus on 2014 rather than play some meaningless games down the stretch. And given that the 33-year-old is just finishing up the second year of a backloaded 10-year, $240 million contract, that would appear to be the prudent approach.

Hobbled all year by the foot injury, Pujols batted just .258/.330/.437 with 17 home runs and 64 RBI in 99 games this season while seeing 65 starts out of the DH spot. In addition to his streak of 12 consecutive 30-homer seasons being snapped, his OPS has dropped from 1.011 to .906 to .859 to .767 since 2010. Not a very promising trend. It's fair to expect a bit of a rebound if the foot issue is truly behind him (it's expected to heal without surgery), but he's likely to fall outside the first three or four rounds in standard fantasy drafts next spring.

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D'Arnaud Sticking Around

With John Buck on the verge of returning from the paternity leave list, the Mets optioned catcher Anthony Recker to Triple-A Las Vegas after Monday's win over the Twins, which means that top prospect Travis d'Arnaud will remain with the big club.

There was some speculation that d'Arnaud would be the one to go down to the minors when Buck was ready to return, but that scenario never made much sense, as the 25-year-old is viewed as the catcher of the future for the Mets and should get as much playing time as possible down the stretch. Buck will still play here and there, but it's safe to drop him in most fantasy leagues.

D'Arnaud, who acquired from the Blue Jays in the R.A. Dickey deal, is 0-for-7 with five walks and two strikeouts through his first three games in the majors. Injuries have slowed his development, but he's capable of hitting for both average and power. Make sure to pluck him off waivers in two-catcher mixed formats if he's still available.

Gibson Demoted

There was much fanfare when Twins right-hander Kyle Gibson made his long-awaited major league debut in late June, but his first taste of the big leagues didn't exactly live up to the hype.

Gibson was demoted to Triple-A Rochester on Monday after he was touched up for four runs on 10 hits and two walks over 3 2/3 innings in a loss to the Mets. The 25-year-old will head back down to the minors with an ugly 6.53 ERA and 29/20 K/BB ratio in 51 innings across 10 starts. Opposing batters knocked him around to the tune of a .327 batting average.

This is Gibson's first full season back from Tommy John surgery, so after logging 143 2/3 innings between the majors and minors, it's very possible that he has hit a wall. He was expected to run into an innings limit eventually, so a shutdown could be right around the corner. Gibson obviously has some work to do to prove that he belongs in a major league rotation, but the Twins figure to give him every opportunity to do just that next year. He'll have to earn his way back on the radar in mixed fantasy leagues, though.

NL Quick Hits: Carlos Gonzalez (finger) could resume swinging a bat Wednesday … Dodgers manager Don Mattingly admitted Monday that Matt Kemp (ankle) is unlikely to return before September …  Francisco Liriano fanned a season-high 13 batters over seven scoreless frames in Monday's win over the Padres … Carlos Gomez (knee) could be available off the bench this week against the Cardinals … Adrian Gonzalez (neck) went 1-for-3 with a walk in his return to action Monday …  Jose Fernandez allowed two runs over six innings and struck out eight in a win over the Dodgers on Monday … Carlos Beltran connected for his second home run since the start of July in Monday's win over the Brewers … Anthony Rizzo didn't play Monday due to illness … Starling Marte was held out of the Pirates' lineup Monday due to a right hand contusion … Jeff Samardzija allowed one run in a complete game win over the Nationals on Monday … Padres manager Bud Black estimates that Carlos Quentin (knee) is 50-50 to return this season … Jonathan Papelbon notched his first save since July 11 in Monday's win over the Rockies … Dillon Gee allowed only an unearned run over 7 2/3 innings and struck out nine in a victory over the Twins on Monday … The Dodgers activated former All-Star closer Brian Wilson on Monday … Jhoulys Chacin was placed on the bereavement list Monday, but is expected to return for his start Friday … Nate Schierholtz and Donnie Murphy each homered twice in Monday's win over the Nationals … Placido Polanco was placed on the 7-day disabled list with a concussion … The Nationals acquired outfielder David DeJesus from the Cubs for a player to be named later … Yorvit Torrealba was placed on the 7-day disabled list with a concussion …

AL Quick Hits: Mike Trout didn't play Monday due to right hamstring tightness and is considered day-to-day … Matt Moore (elbow) felt good while playing catch Monday and could rejoin the Rays' rotation around the end of the month … Desmond Jennings (finger) went 1-for-4 with a walk in his return from the disabled list Monday … The Red Sox hope to get Mike Napoli (foot) back in the starting lineup Tuesday … Jon Lester fired 8 1/3 scoreless frames in Monday's victory over the Giants … Matt Wieters went 3-for-5 with a home run and two RBI in Monday's win over the Rays … Jarrod Parker held the Mariners to just one run Monday in his first career complete game … Michael Morse missed his second straight game Monday due to a left wrist injury … The Angels have placed shortstop Erick Aybar and left-hander Jason Vargas on waivers …The Angels could wait until Friday to activate Howie Kendrick (knee) from the disabled list … A.J. Pierzynski went 4-for-4 with a home run, four RBI and two runs scored in Monday's blowout victory over the Astros … Brandon Moss launched a walk-off homer in a win over the Mariners on Monday … Derek Jeter (calf) appeared in a simulated game Monday, but isn't ready to start running the bases … Zach McAllister tossed 6 1/3 innings of one-run ball in Monday's win over the Angels … Jason Hammel (forearm) felt good during a flat-ground session Monday and could throw from a mound on Friday … Mariners manager Eric Wedge is expected to return on Friday after suffering a minor stroke last month …

D.J. Short is a Rotoworld baseball editor and contributes to NBCSports.com's Hardball Talk blog. You can also find him on Twitter.
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