Dan Dobish

Baseball Daily Dose

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Daily Dose: Mig Trouble?

Thursday, May 18, 2017


Fans of the Detroit Tigers and fantasy owners apparently can breathe a sigh of relief, as it appears an oblique injury to Miguel Cabrera is just a minor injury.

 

The All-Star was scratched from Wednesday's lineup against the Orioles due to a Grade 1 oblique strain on the left side, according to MLB.com's Jason Beck. The skipper expects his fun-loving slugger to only be sidelined for two or three days. Alex Avila stepped in at first base and went 1-for-3 with a double, walk and run scored while handling first base. He is likely to play first base regularly until Miggy is able to prove he can swing a bat.

 

It's uncertain if the team will summon reinforcements from the minors or just gut it out for a few days with a short bench. The team released veteran James Loney from Triple-A Toledo earlier in the month after he hit just .229 with one extra-base hit and two RBI across 48 at-bats through 16 games. They found Efren Navarro has been more than capable of handling first base down on the farm, and he has been hot lately. Navarro has driven in six runs over the past three games while drawing three walks and coming across to score three times. He has hit safely in six straight for the Hens and could be an option to see some time with the big club.

 

If the team is looking to replace Cabrera's power for a few days, they could also consider looking to John Hicks. He has driven in 21 runs over 19 games with Toledo, and he hit an impressive .423 with three doubles, a homer and seven RBI in 26 at-bats earlier in the season across seven games with the big club. Hicks slashed .423/.444/.654 while posting a 1.098 OPS in his earlier appearance with the Tigers. He is also slashing .338/.342/.563 over 71 at-bats in 19 games with the Hens. Previous to this season, however, Hicks wasn't really considered much more than organizational depth and he is more known for his defense and skill blocking the ball rather than his work with the twig.

 

If something changes with the status of Cabrera and he is forced to miss more time, Nick Castellanos, J.D. Martinez and Victor Martinez will need to pick up the slack in the power department. Tyler Collins also did a good job getting off the schneid on Wednesday, belting a pair of homers with four RBI to snap an 0-for-30 skid. In fact, Collins became the first player since 1913 to enter a game in an 0-for-30 slump (or longer) and hit multiple home runs, according to Alan DeKelaita of FOX Sports Detroit.

 

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Just Joshing

 

Blue Jays skipper John Gibbons previously said the team was hopeful Josh Donaldson (calf) might be ready for this weekend's battle against the division rival Orioles, but he has since backpedaled from his original statement. While Donaldson hasn't had any kind of a setback, although he has yet to progress to the point when he can start a minor-league rehab assignment, MLB.com's Gregor Chisholm reports.

 

Donaldson's not expected back until at least next week's interleague series with the Milwaukee Brewers. Meanwhile, Troy Tulowitzki (hamstring) needs a little more time before he is summoned back to the big club. The veteran has been dealing with a hamstring injury, and his minor-league rehab stint with Class A Dunedin (Fla.) has gotten off to a tough start. The team played it safe and rested him with wet field conditions last Saturday, and then he was rested Wednesday after playing back-to-back games with the Florida State League team. He is scheduled to play at least one more game on the rehab stint, meaning he won't be back Thursday when Gibbons earlier predicted the veteran would come off the 10-day disabled list.

 

With Tulo nearing a return it will be mean the end of regular playing time for Ryan Goins at shortstop. He has done next to nothing offensively, checking right at the Mendoza line after taking the collar in Wednesday's loss in Atlanta. He and Devon Travis will likely be fighting for at-bats at second base, and neither has done much to separate himself from the other. Once Donaldson and Tulo are each back in the lineup it might mean Darwin Barney plays regularly at second base with Goins and Travis seeing rather sporadic playing time.

 

Freddie Got Fingered

 

Freddie Freeman (wrist) was plunked on the wrist in the fifth inning of Wednesday's game against the Blue Jays after relief pitcher Aaron Loup hit his fourth batter of the season. Fantasy owners prefer to see a negative report after X-rays are taken following a game, but X-rays were inconclusive instead. That means Freeman is expected to undergo further testing to determine whether he'll be back sooner rather than later.

 

If Freeman is forced to miss any length of time it would likely mean Jace Peterson slides over to play first base. That was the setup in Wednesday's game with Johan Camargo entering to the game at the hot corner. Peterson was already expected to play regularly following the injury to Adonis Garcia (Achilles'). Now, he might be forced into regular action at first base to create unexpected regular playing time for Camargo, who was just summoned from Triple-A Gwinnett to give the team infielder depth.

 

National League Quick Hits: Jose Urena certainly deserved a better fate in Wednesday's loss against the Astros. He allowed three runs - one earned - with six hits and two walks over 5 2/3 innings. While his record slipped to 1-2 he actually lowered his ERA to an impressive 1.91 through nine appearances (three starts). … Jose Reyes still has a sub-.200 average, but he is showing signs of life at the plate again. He had a three-hit game Wednesday in Arizona and is batting .276 (21-for-76) over the past 21 games dating back to April 22, raising his average from a dismal .095 to .194. … Chris Herrmann belted his third homer of the season in a win against the Mets. Neither he nor Jeff Mathis has given the Snakes much in the way of offense from the receiver position, but Herrmann is the player you want to own for his pop. … Michael Conforto has reached 10 homers through 116 at-bats. Last season he had 12 homers over 304 at-bats across 109 games, and he swatted nine homers in 174 at-bats in 2015. … Clayton Kershaw dominated the Giants, improving to 7-2 while lowering his ERA to 2.15 with seven scoreless frames. … Adam Frazier collected two more hits to push his average to .329. He is giving the Bucs a nice table setter at the top of their lineup. … The bottom fell out for Zach Eflin. After looking somewhat respectable from a fantasy perspective with four consecutive quality starts, he was pasted for seven runs and 11 hits over four innings at Texas in a loss. It was Eflin's first decision in six starts this season. … Dexter Fowler launched his fifth homer of the season and 22nd leadoff homer of his career. … The Rockies-Twins were rained out Wednesday, so German Marquez will pitch in the afternoon game of a doubleheader on Thursday with Tyler Chatwood looking to turn things around in the interleague night cap.

 

American League Quick Hits: Jose Altuve collected four hits in Wednesday's series finale in Miami, giving him 19 four-hit games over the past four seasons, most in the majors. No one else has more than 15. … Josh Tomlin was clubbed for six runs and seven hits while recording just seven outs in an ugly 51-pitch performance against the Rays. He slipped to 2-5 with a 6.86 ERA. He didn't lose his fifth game until Aug. 10 last season. … Corey Dickerson launched his ninth homer of the season while he raised his average to .335 while collecting his 16th, 17th and 18th RBI of the season. … Edwin Encarnacion was given a wheelbarrow full of money from Cleveland management, but he has yet to produce. He was hitless with a walk and two strikeouts Wednesday, dropping his slash line to just .203/.343/.348. … Welington Castillo collected three more hits against the Tigers, raising his average to .350. … Xander Bogaerts collected a pair of triples in an extra-innings win at St. Louis, giving him four three-base hits on the season. … Rookie Andrew Benintendi was 0-for-5 with a sacrifice fly on Wednesday, and he is now hitless over his past 26 at-bats. … David Price (elbow) will make a minor-league rehab start Friday for Triple-A Pawtucket while Pablo Sandoval (nee) is expected to begin his minor-league stint with the PawSox on Friday. … Jared Hoying and Delino DeShields each collected four hits in Wednesday's win, as the team's No. 8 and 9 hitters combined to go 8-for-8 with a double, two-run homer (Hoying), four runs scored and two RBI. … Brett Gardner, Gary Sanchez, Matt Holliday and Starlin Castro combined to go 9-for-18 with two doubles, a triple, four runs scored and three RBI, and each player had at least two hits. … Avisail Garcia finished with three hits, including a double, raising his average to .348. … Mike Trout homered for the fifth time in the past six games. Meanwhile, Cameron Maybin collected three hits with a pair of runs scored to make him 8-for-10 over the past two games as the team's new leadoff hitter.

 

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