Drew Silva

Baseball Daily Dose

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Daily Dose: Freedom!

Wednesday, July 5, 2017


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When the Braves placed Freddie Freeman on the disabled list May 18 with a fractured left wrist, the expectation was that he would miss 8-10 weeks. But there he was in the starting lineup for Atlanta on Tuesday night against the visiting Astros, just over six weeks after suffering the injury.

 

Freeman played in just two minor league rehab games -- Saturday and Monday at Triple-A Gwinnett -- but he started at third base in both and went 2-for-3 with two walks in five plate appearances. The hot corner is where Freeman plans to get the majority of his playing time in the second half, with Matt Adams sticking at first base. Though it’s likely Adams will become a trade candidate for the rebuilding Braves around the July 31 deadline given that he carries only one more year of contractual control and has mashed at a career-best clip since being acquired May 20 from the Cardinals.

 

Freeman singled to center field Tuesday in his first plate appearance since coming off the disabled list and he played all nine innings at third base in Atlanta’s 16-4 blowout loss to Houston.

 

The 27-year-old is slashing .338/.456/.734 in 169 plate appearances this season, including Tuesday night’s 1-for-4. He had racked up 14 home runs in his first 37 games before landing on the disabled list, making good use of SunTrust Park’s short right-field porch.



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Britton Back, Will Be Eased In

 

Good news if you’ve stuck it through with Zach Britton during his 60-day stay on the disabled list.

 

As planned, the left-hander will be activated ahead of Wednesday night’s series finale at Milwaukee’s Miller Park and Orioles manager Buck Showalter told the Baltimore Sun on Tuesday afternoon that a return to closer duties in the cards … eventually.

 

“We’ll move towards returning to that role,” Showalter said. “We’ll see what the game allows us to do.”

 

Britton will probably make a few low-leverage appearances out of the gate, but if those go well he could unseat Brad Brach in the ninth inning before the All-Star break. Brach has mostly been excellent as a fill-in closer, with a 2.72 ERA, 0.91 WHIP, and 36 strikeouts in 36 1/3 total innings, but he blew his fourth save of the season on June 30 and hasn’t pitched since.

 

Britton had a brilliant 0.54 ERA in 67 innings last season and tallied an American League-best 47 saves, finishing fourth in the AL Cy Young Award voting. He was sporting a 1.00 ERA through nine innings this season when he landed on the disabled list May 6 with a left forearm strain and he allowed just one run in seven minor league rehab appearances.



Trout Nearing Minor League Rehab

 

Angels general manager Billy Eppler offered this promising status update on injured superstar Mike Trout through the Angels’ public relations Twitter account on Tuesday evening …

 

“Mike successfully went through a full workout today with our Inland Empire affiliate. He reports continued improvement in his thumb and he will continue workouts tomorrow with the Inland Empire team, potentially playing either Wednesday or Thursday.”

 

Trout and the Angels have already announced that the perennial MVP candidate will not participate in the 2017 All-Star Game, but he should return to action right after the break -- a little over six weeks after his May 31 surgery for a torn left thumb ligament.

 

Trout was on pace for a career year before the injury, if you can believe that, with his .337/.461/.742 batting line, 16 home runs, 36 RBI, 10 stolen bases, and 36 runs scored in 47 games.

 

The type of thumb injury Trout suffered can sometimes stunt offensive output for months, but it would be foolish to regard him as anything other than a top-tier fantasy performer for the second half. Not that owners in respectable fantasy leagues would ever sell low on Trout.

 

 

National League Quick Hits: Cubs farm director Jaron Madison believes Kyle Schwarber is close to being ready for a return to the majors … Clayton Kershaw worked seven shutout innings Tuesday night against the Diamondbacks, lowering his season ERA to 2.19 … Daniel Murphy tortured the Mets yet again on Tuesday by going 4-for-5 with five RBI and a run scored … Brewers slugger Eric Thames belted a pair of solo home runs in Tuesday's win over the Orioles … Yasmany Tomas has been diagnosed with a mild right groin strain and will likely remain sidelined through the end of July … Yoenis Cespedes sat out Tuesday’s game against the Nationals with a hamstring cramp … Andrew McCutchen went 3-for-4 with a pair of solo home runs in Tuesday's victory over the Phillies … Dodgers starter Brandon McCarthy (knee) is scheduled to return Saturday against the Royals … Christian Yelich hit a go-ahead three-run homer in the Marlins' win over the Cardinals on Tuesday … Jimmy Nelson yielded just one unearned run and whiffed eight over seven frames Tuesday in the Brewers’ defeat of the Orioles … Jameson Taillon set a career-high with nine strikeouts across five shutout innings in Tuesday’s win over the Phillies … Starling Marte (suspension) has moved his minor league rehab assignment to Triple-A Indianapolis … Diamondbacks center fielder A.J. Pollock was activated from the disabled list ahead of Tuesday night’s series opener at Dodger Stadium … Kyle Hendricks (hand) threw a bullpen session Tuesday for the first time since landing on the disabled list … Padres closer Brandon Maurer had a 1-2-3 inning to record his 17th save of the season in Tuesday's win over the Indians … Cardinals second baseman Kolten Wong (triceps) will begin a minor league rehab assignment on Wednesday with Double-A Springfield … Felipe Rivero notched his fourth save of the season with a scoreless frame Tuesday in Philadelphia … Reds right-hander Homer Bailey limited the Rockies to one run in six innings Tuesday to pick up a win at Coors Field … Eduardo Nunez has been backed off his rehab assignment for at least the next four days due to concern over his hamstring … Dodgers placed Hyun-Jin Ryu on the 10-day disabled list with a left foot injury … Marlins designated left-hander Jeff Locke for assignment.

 

American League Quick Hits: Astros shortstop Carlos Correa was pulled from Tuesday’s game against the Braves after injuring his left thumb on a head-first slide into home plate … Andrew Benintendi went 5-for-5 with six RBI and four runs scored as the Red Sox dominated the Rangers on Tuesday … Mariners starter Hisashi Iwakuma has been shut down after feeling renewed right shoulder discomfort during his most recent bullpen session … Miguel Cabrera said he expects to play Wednesday despite leaving Tuesday’s game with left hip tightness … Aaron Judge slugged his MLB-leading 28th home run Tuesday in the Yankees’ loss to the Blue Jays … Brian Dozier (back) was available off the bench Tuesday versus the Angels … Tigers closer Justin Wilson tossed a perfect ninth inning against the Giants on Tuesday for his ninth save … Yonder Alonso smashed a solo shot and a two-run homer Tuesday in the A’s victory over the White Sox … Mike Moustakas launched his 24th home run of the season Tuesday night against the Mariners … Ryon Healy was held out of action again on Tuesday due to back spasms … Charlie Morton (lat) will return to the Astros' rotation Friday at Toronto … Byron Buxton went 3-for-4 with a solo homer, a stolen base, and two runs scored as the Twins defeated the Angels on Tuesday afternoon … Mark Trumbo exited Tuesday's game against the Brewers after suffering a left calf contusion … Tim Beckham went 2-for-4 with his 11th home run of the season Tuesday in the Rays’ defeat of the Cubs … A’s youngster Franklin Barreto had an RBI triple and a walk-off solo home run in Tuesday's win over the White Sox … Danny Duffy’s first start since returning from the disabled list was a good one, as he limited the Mariners to two runs over 5 2/3 frames in a win … Corey Kluber recorded 10 strikeouts across eight innings of one-run ball but was still saddled with a loss against the Padres on Tuesday … Dallas Keuchel (neck) could begin throwing off a mound later this week … Nelson Cruz (knee) reached base in all three plate appearances and drove in two runs in his return to the Mariners’ lineup Tuesday … Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez (knee) allowed four earned runs over four innings Tuesday in a rehab appearance with Triple-A Pawtucket … Astros outfielder Josh Reddick homered, doubled, singled and knocked in four runs Tuesday against the Braves … Tigers outfielder Alex Presley (concussion) has been cleared for baseball activity … Blue Jays reliever Joe Smith (shoulder) is not expected to return until after the All-Star break … Tigers signed first-round pick RHP Alex Faedo … Yankees designated Chris Carter for assignment.




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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