Nathan Grimm

Baseball Daily Dose

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Dose: Frazier Says Hello

Sunday, July 2, 2017


Clint Frazier made headlines in spring for things like the length of his hair.

In his major league debut, he let his bat do the talking.

Frazier doubled and homered in Saturday's loss to the Astros, announcing his arrival by doing what he does well. He batted ninth and played right field in the game.

His talent, and the reason the Yankees made him the centerpiece of their return for Andrew Miller in last year's deal with the Indians, was on display, as he waited on a hanging breaking ball from left-handed reliever Tony Sipp in the seventh inning and clubbed it into Houston's Crawford Boxes, not even taking a full swing. The 22-year-old had 12 homers at Triple-A Scranton this year.

It's still not clear how long Frazier's stay in New York might be. The Yanks promoted multiple other outfielders ahead of Frazier, but injuries kept mounting -- including to one of those previously-promoted outfielders, Dustin Fowler -- and forced them to move on Frazier, possibly before they wanted to.

“We needed another outfielder,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.

Even so, Frazier has enough ability to similarly force the club's hand into keeping him around. He was MLB.com's No. 17 prospect at the time of his promotion Saturday.

Speaking before the game, the outfielder said he learned from the spring training incident and while he's more aware of his actions, he's also going to keep doing the things that make him the player he is.

“If I clip my own wings, I won’t be able to play the way I want,” he said. “But as long as I can be myself without being a distraction or cause harm to the clubhouse or the team, I think I’ll be in good shape.”

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Rangers Remove Bush As Closer

In a twist of fate, a former Rangers closer saved his first game for his new club Saturday while his old club opened up the ninth inning in hopes of finding a new closer capable of doing the same.

While Sam Dyson was earning the save for the Giants in their 11-inning win over the Pirates, the Rangers were busy replacing Matt Bush after he blew yet another save chance Friday. Bush allowed three runs on four hits in one-third of an inning in the loss, his fifth blown save of the year.

“We’ll use multiple pitchers out there based on who’s available to us and the set of hitters,” Banister said of the bullpen plan. “We’re not committed to one single guy.”

For those looking for a dart to throw, Rangers manager Jeff Banister said reliever Keone Kela is likely the team's best option if it were to turn to one individual in the pen as it's currently comprised. He's been sidelined recently with a nagging biceps injury, but if there's a reliever worth owning, it's Kela.

“Kela probably has the best stuff to be able to do it but at this point it might be two guys in the inning just based on the match ups,” Banister said.

Paulino Popped For PED

The Astros' ongoing search for passable rotation arms just decreased by one candidate.

David Paulino, who has made six starts for the club since being promoted on May 30, was suspended Saturday for 80 games by Major League Baseball for testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug. The 23-year-old allegedly tested positive for Boldenone.

"He feels bad about it and feels bad that he's put the organization in this position," Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said. "He'll learn from it, and I'm sure David's going to have a long and fruitful major league career. ... He's got a lot of talent."

Paulino wasn't tearing it up for the Astros -- he held a 6.23 ERA in those six starts -- but he'd shown flashes of what landed him on some prospect lists this past spring, striking out 34 batters in 29 innings of work. The 80-game ban likely precludes Paulino from pitching again this season, Luhnow said.

The suspension leaves another hole in an Astros rotation that has had a few of them this year. Nine different players have started at least one game for the team through three months. Joe Musgrove, who was recently demoted for posting a 6.01 ERA in 13 starts, may be a candidate to fill Paulino's shoes.

National League Quick Hits: Starling Marte will begin a minor league rehab assignment with High-A Bradenton on Sunday. Marte will dust off the cobwebs by spending a couple weeks in the minors as he prepares to return from his 80-game suspension, which is up on July 18. The 28-year-old was off to a slow start before his suspension (.241 AVG in 54 at-bats) but carries a lifetime .288 average and stole a career-high 47 bases last year. If he's still available in your league, now would be the time to scoop him up ... Sam Dyson pitched a scoreless 11th inning Saturday to earn the save in the Giants' 2-1 win over the Pirates. Dyson allowed a hit but nothing more, striking out one en route to the save. It was his first as a member of the Giants after saving 38 last year for the Rangers. There was some uncertainty who would close games for the Giants in the wake of Mark Melancon's injury, but Giants beat writers quickly identified Dyson, and not Hunter Strickland, as the top choice. He's flawed, but owners looking for saves can feel comfortable scooping up Dyson in Melancon's absence ... Kris Bryant (ankle) returned to the Cubs' lineup for Saturday afternoon's contest against the Reds. Bryant hadn't played since leaving Wednesday's game with an ankle sprain. He made it through agility drills on Friday without issue though and has made a quicker than anticipated recovery. Bryant went 1-for-4 Saturday ... Jason Heyward (hand) will begin a minor league rehab assignment with Low-A South Bend on Sunday. This comes only a day after manager Joe Maddon said Heyward didn't look "quite right" in the batting cage. It's surprising Heyward would begin a rehab assignment without being 100 percent, but here we are. We'll see how Heyward fares in South Bend but if he's still struggling, the team could certainly wait until after the All-Star break to activate him ... D.J. LeMahieu (groin) was not in the Rockies' lineup Saturday against the Diamondbacks. It was his third straight absence after tweaking his groin Tuesday night at San Francisco. LeMahieu remains day-to-day ... Mets placed OF Michael Conforto on the 10-day disabled list, retroactive to June 28, with a bruised left hand. Conforto has already missed five games, so at this point a decision had to be made rather than continuing to play short-handed. Curtis Granderson will continue to hit atop the Mets' lineup in his absence.

American League Quick Hits: Nelson Cruz left Saturday's game against the Angels with right knee discomfort. Mike Zunino pinch-hit for him during the fifth inning. Cruz may have injured himself in the second inning when he was thrown out at second base after trying to stretch a single into a double. The Mariners are calling him day-to-day ... Angels activated RHP Bud Norris from the 10-day disabled list. Norris missed the minimum 10 days while recovering from a minor knee injury. Look for him to immediately regain his role as the Angels' closer. He needs to be owned and started in all formats.  ... according to the Boston Globe, David Price had a heated confrontation with NESN analyst Dennis Eckersley on the team's flight to Toronto. It's the second time Price has sparred with a media member in the last month following a similar altercation a few weeks ago with CSN New England's Evan Drellich. It's unclear what started it, but Price seems to be at war with the Boston media, refusing to speak to reporters except on days that he pitches. The latest incident led to a closed door meeting Friday with manager John Farrell and President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski. Does it make any difference to his fantasy stats? Probably not. But it's certainly interesting nevertheless ... CC Sabathia (hamstring) will return Tuesday against the Blue Jays. Sabathia felt he didn't need a rehab assignment after a strong showing in Thursday's simulated game and apparently the Yankees agreed. The left-hander has enjoyed a resurgent season for the Bombers, though he hasn't pitched particularly well in his two starts against Toronto (6.10 ERA) ... Justin Upton (oblique) didn't start either game of Saturday's doubleheader against the Indians. Upton was a late scratch for the first game and tested his side out between games to see if he could play, but wasn't able to get the green light. It seems he's day to day for now ... Logan Morrison hit two home runs and walked twice in a 10-3 win over the Orioles on Saturday. Both homers came against starter Dylan Bundy. He drilled a two-run blast to center in the first inning, then rocked a solo shot to right field in the third. Morrison was a fantasy dud for years but is having a major breakout at the age of 29. He has a .256 batting average with 24 bombs, 46 runs and 57 RBI. Only Aaron Judge has more home runs than Morrison this year. George Springer and Cody Bellinger also have 24 ... Elvis Andrus muscled his 11th home run of the year Saturday in the Rangers’ win over the White Sox. He broke a 2-2 tie by mashing a two-run shot off Derek Holland in the fifth inning. The 28-year-old has had a career year, batting a robust .301 with 49 RBI and 20 steals.



Nathan Grimm is a baseball writer for Rotoworld. He can also be found on Twitter (@Nate_Grimm).
Email :Nathan Grimm



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