Daily Dose: Minor Improvement

Daily Dose: Minor Improvement
In Friday's Daily Dose, D.J. Short discusses progress for Mike Minor and Carlos Carrasco's continued success in the Indians' rotation.
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Alex Presley (oblique) will take batting practice on Friday.

It will be the first time he's done so since he had a setback with his right oblique strain earlier this month. The hope is that he'll be ready for activation next week. "That’s what I hope," Presley said. "I know we have an off-day on the first, which is nice. I’ll probably hit through the weekend and then see where it’s at after this weekend. I can’t predict how I’ll feel at this point, but I am feeling better."
Aug 29 - 10:09 AM

Rusney Castillo is expected to play for the Gulf Coast League Red Sox on Saturday if the club wins their first playoff game Friday.

It would be his first minor league game since he signed a record seven-year, $72.5 million contract with the Red Sox last week. It's not clear how many games in the minors Castillo will play, but the plan remains for him to join the big club sometime next month.
Aug 29 - 9:47 AM

Justin Masterson plans to pitch exclusively out of the stretch during Saturday's start versus the Cubs.

The idea is to simplify his mechanics as much as possible. With a 7.43 ERA over five starts with the Cardinals, Masterson is willing to give it a shot. If he doesn't pitch better Saturday, he could be booted from the rotation. "For the most part, I was pitching out of the windup, and things would get better out of the stretch at times," Masterson said. "So we simplified it. I went only out of the stretch (in the bullpen). Less moving parts. You don’t have to worry about step back, turn around, ready to throw. We’re simplifying, really simplifying."
Aug 29 - 9:05 AM

Charlie Morton (sports hernia) struck out six while allowing two runs over four innings in his first rehab start with Double-A Altoona on Thursday.

Morton could be ready to rejoin the Pirates' rotation next week, though the club hasn't made anything official. He's been on the shelf since mid-August with a sports hernia.
Aug 29 - 8:23 AM

Howie Kendrick hit a sacrifice fly in the 10th inning to give the Angels a 4-3 win over the A's.

The Angels had squandered a bases loaded situation in the 9th inning. They made up for it the next inning on a Howie Kendrick sacrifice fly that scored Albert Pujols. Kendrick would finish the game 2-for-3 with the one RBI. He's slashing .281/.337/.370 this season.
Aug 29 - 2:10 AM

Josh Donaldson hit a solo home run in the sixth inning of the A's 4-3 loss to the Angels on Thursday.

Donaldson hit the bomb off of Angels starter C.J. Wilson. He also doubled in the contest, finishing 2-for-3 with one RBI and two walks. He has 88 RBI to go with the 26 long balls. While Donaldson's average is down from his breakout 2013 campaign (.256 this year vs .301 in 2013), he's been an integral part of the A's offense this season, having already set a career high in home runs. He's also on-pace to set a career high for RBI. On the year, he's slashing .256/.346/.471.
Aug 29 - 2:03 AM

Gordon Beckham drove in two runs on Thursday.

The RBI single was his only hit of the game, as he finished 1-for-3 with a walk. Beckham's now put together back-to-back solid games for the Angels. He homered on Wednesday. As we're optimists, we'd like to say that this is a sign of rejuvenation for the former top prospect. We are also realists, though, and it's unlikely that Beckham discovered magic fairy dust in Anaheim. On the season he's slashing a less-than-magical .221/.263/.340.
Aug 29 - 2:01 AM

Sonny Gray gave up six hits and allowed three runs against the Angels on Thursday.

Gray was victimized by the bottom portion of the Angels lineup. He allowed an RBI single to Erick Aybar in the second and a few batters later, Gordon Beckham drove in two. He struck out six and walked three as he managed his way through seven innings. Following a sterling 5-0 July, Gray is just 1-4 in August. These kinds of hiccups are to be expected of a second-year pitcher, as he learns how to pace himself through a full season. Despite the rough month, Gray still boasts a 3.03 ERA while holding opposing hitters to a .233 BAA. Gray will try to make his September a good one, starting with his scheduled start against the Mariners in a few days.
Aug 29 - 1:58 AM
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