Nathan Grimm

Baseball Daily Dose

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Daily Dose: National Issues

Sunday, May 13, 2018


If this were the NHL, perhaps the Nationals would simply call Ryan Zimmerman's ailment an upper-body injury.

 

The organization called Zimmerman's injury that landed him on the 10-day disabled list Saturday an oblique strain, but neither the club nor the first baseman could really pinpoint the issue when discussing it Saturday. Zimmerman did say, though, it was awkward slides and dives, three in particular, in recent days that led to Saturday's decision.

 

“I’ve been kind of dealing with it for a little while. It was trending in the right direction, and then some of those dives kind of made it worse,” Zimmerman said. “It just got to the point where I couldn’t sustain it for five months. I want to give it some time, get it better. I don’t think it should be too long.”

 

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Mark Reynolds was promoted to take Zimmerman's place on the roster, but it's Matt Adams who benefits the most. Adams is blistering the baseball, batting .275/.394/.648 with 10 homers and 25 RBI in 34 games, and Adam Eaton's injury had already opened the door for Adams to get more run in left field. Now, Adams can play his more natural first base position until Zimmerman returns.

 

Even when he does, there's no guarantee Zimmerman finds the same playing time after the 33-year-old's slow start to the year. Prior to the injury, Zimmerman was batting just .217/.280/.409 in 33 games.

 

The injury was just the latest for the Nats, who have been hit harder than almost any team this year. Regulars Adam Eaton and Daniel Murphy have missed most of the year, and Anthony Rendon, Matt Wieters and more have missed time due to injury.

 

DeGrom (Elbow) To Start Sunday, For Sure, We Think

 

A week ago in this space, I attempted to assuage Mets fans' fears regarding the health of pitcher Jacob deGrom.

 

The Mets had said he was fine, after all. They had nothing to worry about.

 

Clearly I'm not a Mets fan.

 

Hours after Mets manager Mickey Callaway confirmed deGrom would make his scheduled start this past Monday, the team instead placed him on the 10-day disabled list for his hyperextended elbow. The move was overly cautious, Callaway said, but still made some baseball writers look silly.

 

Fool me once, shame on you, but fool me -- you can't get fooled again, as a former U.S. president liked to say.

 

DeGrom is set to come off the disabled list and start Sunday's game against the Phillies, the team maintained Saturday. Callaway said deGrom won't have any limitations to his workload but that the team would like deGrom and the rest of their pitching staff to wear an additional protective brace on their throwing elbow while batting.

 

“That keeps their arms from locking out, especially those guys that hit opposite-handed,” Callaway said. “It won’t let it hyperextend.”

 

It's a good idea, considering that deGrom is worth more to the Mets on the mound than he is in the batter's box. Through seven starts this year, the 29-year-old has a sparkling 1.87 ERA, 0.99 WHIP and 54/11 K/BB ratio.

 

Castellanos In The Clear After HBP

 

It's hard not to fear the worst.

 

After all, the similarities are hard to ignore. Both times, Nicholas Castellanos was hit by a pitch on the left hand, more specifically the pinky finger. Both times, he left the game to undergo X-rays. Would the results be the same as well?

 

Not on this day. After Castellanos missed seven weeks at the end of the 2016 season due to a non-displaced fracture of the fifth metacarpal in his left hand, X-rays Saturday came back negative following a HBP in the nightcap of Saturday's doubleheader against the Mariners. Castellanos suffered a contusion to his pinky finger, and after the game bench coach Steve Liddle said Castellanos was sore.

 

It may cost him a day or two, but this time around the 26-year-old avoided serious injury, it seems. And that's good news both for the Tigers and Castellanos' fantasy owners, as the right fielder is off to another strong start at the dish.

 

After posting a career-best year in 2017, hitting 26 homers with 101 RBI and 73 runs scored, Castellanos is hitting .326/.386/.500 with three homers, 23 RBI and 20 runs scored this year. He'll likely sit out Sunday, but Castellanos should be back in action sooner than later.

 

National League Quick Hits: Jake Lamb (shoulder, elbow) will begin a rehab assignment Sunday with High-A Visalia. Lamb has been on the disabled list since April 3, so the rehab stint may be more than the few-day variety. Even so, he's on track to return before the end of the month, a welcome sight for the D'backs and fantasy owners. Lamb is coming off a year in which he hit .248/.357/.487 with 30 home runs and 105 RBI ... Padres designated 3B Chase Headley for assignment. Headley had moved into a reserve role -- rather gracefully, it should be noted -- with the Padres' youth movement in full swing, but even as a veteran mentor the team couldn't justify holding onto him in lieu of another, more productive option. Cory Spangenberg was recalled to take Headley's roster spot. The 34-year-old may catch on somewhere else, but his days as a regular contributor are over ... Brewers placed RHP Chase Anderson on the 10-day disabled list with an illness. Freddy Peralta, who was scratched from a scheduled start for Triple-A on Saturday, will make his major league debut in Anderson's stead. Since the move can be retroactive, it's likely that Anderson will miss just the one turn due to the illness, which kept him up most of the night Friday ... Trevor Story went 3-for-3 with two homers and four runs batted in during a 4-0 win over the Brewers on Saturday. Story also walked, and he essentially was the offense for the Rockies in this one. Both homers came off of Brent Suter, and he's now up to 10 on the 2018 season, with three coming in the last two games. The shortstop hasn't had the hits drop so far this year as seen in his .233 average, but his .542 slugging percentage -- particularly from a shortstop -- will certainly play ... Freddie Freeman homered twice, finishing 3-for-4 with three RBI and three runs scored, as the Braves doubled up the Marlins 10-5 on Saturday. Freeman pounded a Jarlin Garcia fastball off the second deck facade in right-center in the first inning for a two-run shot, so Garcia tried a slider a few innings later and Freeman sent it to left-center for a solo jack. The first baseman cost fantasy players a high pick this spring and he's delivered a return on investment, batting .331/.431/.593 with eight homers, 31 RBI and 28 runs scored through 38 games ... Stephen Strasburg allowed just one run in 6 2/3 innings to earn a 2-1 win over the Diamondbacks on Saturday. He punched out nine batters against one walk in the gem outing. He surrendered just five hits, including an RBI-double by A.J. Pollock in the third inning. Strasburg improves to 5-3 with a fine 3.28 ERA and 1.03 WHIP after nine starts. He has 68 strikeouts and 13 walks in 60 1/3 innings.

 

American League Quick Hits: Ervin Santana (finger) will throw live batting practice Monday. He'll then throw another batting practice session Thursday before making a start at extended spring training on May 21. His first rehab start is scheduled for May 26, in which he's expected to throw four innings or 60 pitches. Given the timeline, it'll be June before he's back, but not too far into June ... Bradley Zimmer was scratched from the Indians' starting lineup on Saturday due to a bruised chest. Zimmer was still feeling sore when swinging the bat, so he took another day off to recover ... Charlie Morton pitched superbly in Saturday's 6-1 win over the Rangers, striking out 14 batters while allowing just one run on four hits over seven innings. Simply brilliant work from Morton, who has been dealing all season. In Saturday's outing, only a solo home run by Ronald Guzman in the third inning served to do damage to the scoreboard. This was his third start with double-digit strikeouts, tying his total number of such outings from the 2017 campaign. He has now allowed one run or fewer in five of his eight starts this year. It all adds up to a stellar 2.03 ERA, 0.97 WHIP and 62/17 K/BB ratio over the course of 48 2/3 innings ... Francisco Lindor went 4-for-4, cracked a pair of solo home runs and scored four times in a 6-2 win over the Royals on Saturday. He came to the plate four times and rapped an extra-base hit each time. He doubled twice and homered off both Jake Junis and Kevin McCarthy. Lindor got off to a very slow start to the season but has turned that around with a vengeance. He is rocking a .311/.376/.615 triple slash with 12 home runs and 24 RBI. He's scored 33 runs and has stolen five bases ... Jonathan Schoop mashed a pair of home runs to spearhead a 6-3 win over the Rays on Saturday. Both were solo dongs and both came off Rays' starter Chris Archer. Schoop had just one homer all year prior to today -- quite a surprise considering he went deep 32 times a year ago. Perhaps this is the start of a hot streak. He has a .250 batting average with nine RBI and 12 runs scored.



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



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