Drew Silva

Baseball Daily Dose

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Daily Dose: Mets Mess?

Thursday, June 23, 2016


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Congratulations to the New York Mets for sweeping this week’s two-game 2015 World Series rematch against the Kansas City Royals. But the mood on the charter to Atlanta, where the Mets begin a four-game weekend set on Thursday, was probably mostly somber.


Noah Syndergaard left his start Wednesday afternoon at Citi Field after experiencing discomfort in his right elbow around the beginning of the fifth inning. He had posted zeros up until that point, but Cheslor Cuthbert belted a solo homer, Jarrod Dyson singled, and Whit Merrifield drove in Dyson for the second run of the frame. Kansas City would strike for one more run in the sixth on a Paulo Orlando RBI single before Syndergaard was finally lifted. He watched his season ERA rise from 1.91 to 2.08 because of those two uncommonly-rough innings.


Mets manager Terry Collins wouldn’t get into many details after the game. In fact, he abruptly vacated his chair on the press conference dais as soon as he announced the news. No further questions.


Mike Puma of the New York Post says Syndergaard is expected to avoid the disabled list and an MRI did come back clean for structural damage, but “Thor” is not quite out of the woods yet with what has become a lingering elbow issue. Syndergaard also had tests run on his right elbow last month -- and there was nothing abnormal found. Look for a new, firmer update around the time of his between-starts bullpen session, likely scheduled for Friday. Either way, he seems doubtful to take his next turn Monday against the Nationals.


Another thing hanging over Collins and the Mets is the status of star center fielder Yoenis Cespedes. “Yo” appeared to tweak a muscle in his left hand on a hard swing in the fifth inning Wednesday and was escorted to the dugout by a trainer a few minutes later after reaching first base on a walk. Alejandro De Aza entered to play center field. After the game, Cespedes was diagnosed with a mild left wrist sprain.


Cespedes also doubled and singled Wednesday in the Mets’ eventual 4-3 victory and boasts a .946 OPS in 65 games this season. Losing him or Syndergaard (or both) for an extended period of time would obviously be a massive blow for a team that entered play Wednesday trailing the Nationals by 4 1/2 games in the NL East.


You might be wondering about the status of Zack Wheeler at this point, maybe as a possible replacement for Syndergaard should Syndergaard require a disabled list stint. Wheeler just recently had a setback with his surgically-repaired right elbow and his Tommy John rehab has been shut down indefinitely. He received a cortisone injection Wednesday and won’t be an option anytime soon.


As for Cespedes replacements -- in the event this is a DL type of injury -- maybe the Mets will look to Brandon Nimmo. The former first-round pick (13th overall in 2011) is batting .323/.407/.506 with five home runs and five stolen bases in 60 games this season at Triple-A Las Vegas. His prospect stock lost some luster after a few uninspiring years in the lower minors, but the 23-year-old center fielder wouldn’t be the first late bloomer. And age 23 isn’t really late. Heck, the Mets should just go ahead and call up Nimmo anyway.



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Rangers Rotation Hit With More Injuries


Competing with the Mets for most-injury-riddled day, the Rangers placed both Derek Holland and Colby Lewis on the disabled list ahead of Wednesday night’s 6-4 win over the Reds -- Holland for left shoulder inflammation and Lewis for a Grade 2 strain of his right lat muscle. Holland doesn’t have a timetable yet, but shoulder injuries can be tricky and the left-hander has a long history of serious problems with that joint. Lewis is expected to miss at least two months. He won’t pick up a baseball for the next four weeks.


Texas is already down ace right-hander Yu Darvish, though he’s expected to throw his first bullpen session Saturday as he recovers from neck and shoulder discomfort. He had registered a 2.87 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, and 19/6 K/BB ratio across 15 2/3 innings (three starts) since returning from Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery in late May. A mid-July return seems plausible.


A.J. Griffin (shoulder) is due back this weekend and he was quietly off to a terrific start this season, but the Rangers need to conjure up some other internal options to fill all these gaps. One possibility is veteran right-hander Kyle Lohse, who was signed to a minor league contract on May 13 and has registered a 5.09 ERA in 40 2/3 innings at Triple-A Round Rock.


Good thing Texas had such an excellent May and June. The next month could be a challenge.



A’s Hill Expected Back Next Weekend


Athletics manager Bob Melvin announced Wednesday that Rich Hill, out since May 29 with a right groin strain, is scheduled to make a rehab start Monday with High-A Stockton. And he could return to the Oakland rotation the following weekend if all goes according to plan. Hill’s groin strain was initially labeled as mild and he’s been throwing on the side for a couple of weeks, so one tune-up outing in the minors should do the trick.


The veteran left-hander had an impressive 2.25 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, and 74/24 K/BB ratio through 64 innings this season with the A’s. On a bargain one-year, $6 million contract, he’s going to make for a very useful trade chip next month (or maybe even later this month) for Billy Beane and Co.


Moving away from the pitcher-friendly Oakland Coliseum might dent Hill’s fantasy value a little bit, but if he joins a contender his win probability is going to shoot way up. The 36-year-old has somehow eked out eight wins in 11 starts this season for an A’s team that enters play Thursday with a record of 29-42. They are in last place in the American League West -- a whopping 17 games behind the red-hot Rangers.



National League Quick Hits: Nationals manager Dusty Baker expects Stephen Strasburg (back) to make his next scheduled start Sunday against the Brewers … Cuban infielder Yulieski Gurriel is known to be drawing interest from the Dodgers and Mets … Starling Marte was held out of the Pirates’ starting lineup Wednesday after leaving Tuesday’s game with pain in his left foot … Mets lefty Steven Matz (elbow) threw a successful bullpen session Wednesday and is on track to start Friday against the Braves … Joey Votto was absent again Wednesday due to a stomach bug … Aledmys Diaz went 3-for-4 with a two-run homer Wednesday in the Cardinals' defeat of the Cubs … Bartolo Colon (thumb) is expected to make his next start Sunday against the Braves … Adam Conley tossed eight scoreless innings Wednesday in the Marlins' blanking of the Braves … Mets closer Jeurys Familia collected his 24th save of the season Wednesday against the Royals … Anthony Rizzo made an early exit Wednesday due to mild back stiffness … Brewers closer Jeremy Jeffress was unavailable Wednesday because of an eye infection … Pirates athletic trainer Todd Tomczyk said Wednesday that there is no current timetable for Gerrit Cole (triceps) to return to the mound … Paul Goldschmidt went 2-for-2 with a double and a pair of walks in Wednesday's loss to the Blue Jays … Rockies starter Jon Gray made an early exit Wednesday due to arm fatigue … Vincent Velasquez (biceps) said that he felt "back to normal" following Wednesday's rehab outing at Double-A Reading … Miguel Montero left Wednesday’s game against the Cardinals with a knee injury but checked out fine afterward … Gregory Polanco finished 3-for-5 with his 10th home run of the season Wednesday versus the Giants … Brewers second baseman Scooter Gennett went 3-for-5 with a two-run home run in Wednesday's win over the A's … Reds placed Alfredo Simon on the 15-day disabled list with a right shoulder injury.


American League Quick Hits: Alex Gordon (wrist) is on track to be activated from the disabled list this weekend … Albert Pujols was held out of the Angels’ lineup again on Wednesday due to lingering discomfort in his left hamstring and ankle … Starlin Castro slugged a walkoff solo home run in the bottom of the ninth inning Wednesday as the Yankees beat the visiting Rockies … Mark Teixeira (knee) is hoping to be activated from the disabled list Saturday … Astros closer Will Harris gave up a run on three hits but was able to secure his sixth save Wednesday against the Angels … Blue Jays outfielder Ezequiel Carrera missed Wednesday’s game because of a sore Achilles … Felix Hernandez (calf) threw off flat-ground from 75 feet out on Wednesday … CC Sabathia made an early exit Wednesday against the Rockies after rolling his right ankle two different times … Russell Martin slugged a three-run homer Wednesday in the Blue Jays’ defeat of the Diamondbacks … Tigers outfielder Steven Moya launched two solo home runs Wednesday versus the Mariners … Travis Shaw left Wednesday's game against the White Sox with a right shin contusion … Indians starter Trevor Bauer allowed just one run and struck out 10 in a win over the Rays on Wednesday … Melky Cabrera went 4-for-5 with a homer, a double, and four RBI as the White Sox beat the Red Sox on Wednesday in Boston … Mariners acquired left-hander Wade LeBlanc from the Blue Jays for a player to be named later and intend to start him Friday night against the Cardinals … FOX Sports' Jon Morosi reports the Orioles are interested in Pirates starter Francisco LirianoCole Hamels limited the Reds to one run in six innings and struck out eight in a victory Wednesday … Mariners signed reliever Tom Wilhelmsen to a minor league contract … Astros agreed to terms with first-round pick Forrest Whitley.



Drew Silva is a baseball editor for Rotoworld and also contributes on NBC Sports' Hardball Talk. He can be found on Twitter.
Email :Drew Silva



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