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Baseball Daily Dose

Cain Opts Out

by Seth Trachtman
Updated On: August 2, 2020, 12:38 pm ET

Just over a week into the 2020 60-game sprint, Brewers center fielder Lorenzo Cain and Marlins second baseman Isan Diaz have apparently seen enough and opted out of the remainder of the season.

One has to wonder if these two in-season opt outs are just the beginning with more than half the Marlins 30-man roster testing positive for COVID-19, the Phillies staff receiving a scare, and three Cardinals players and multiple staff members also testing positive as of Saturday.

The loss of Cain could be difficult to replace for the Brewers, though Ben Gamel has demonstrated that he’s a capable center field replacement. Miami, of course, is in a tougher situation with Diaz’s absence being added to the 18 COVID-19 positive players they will be without for the foreseeable future.

In the meantime, the dire situation has also led to disarray in the MLB schedule, with a bevy of game postponements over the last week. There does finally seem to be some clarity for the teams most impacted going into the new week. The Marlins, Phillies, and Cardinals are now scheduled to get back on the field with adjusted schedules this week:

  • The Marlins are scheduled to resume play on Tuesday, but instead of facing Philadelphia, they will make up last week’s scheduled games vs. Baltimore. Their remaining healthy players and likely a group of players from their alternate camp will play the Orioles four times in three days.
  • The Yankees and Phillies will play a four-game home-and-home series beginning Monday at Yankee Stadium.
  • Assuming no additional positive tests, the Cardinals will go directly to Detroit and play four games at Comerica Park from Tuesday through Thursday. The series was previously scheduled to be split between St. Louis and Detroit.

 

As with seemingly everything else in the 2020 MLB season, this schedule is subject to change. Despite all the postponements and positive tests, Commissioner Manfred is still steering the boat full speed ahead. But with two big strikes already from the Marlins and Cardinals outbreaks, we have to wonder if another COVID-19 situation would finally halt the season.

 

Robert Osuna to Undergo MRI

Astros closer Roberto Osuna was reported to be behind the rest of the team’s pitchers for most of camp, finally throwing off a mound just a few days before the season started. That was enough for him to start the year on time, but it sounds like he wasn’t out of the woods.

Pitching in a save situation against the Angels last night, Osuna summoned the Astros trainer after throwing to two batters. The right-hander apparently had discomfort in his right arm, and is set to fly back to Houston for an MRI.

The Astros are looking at potentially another tough loss after already losing Justin Verlander to an arm injury in what has been a brutal start to the season for pitchers of all stripes.

Ryan Pressly, who pitched earlier in the game, would seem to be the most likely replacement if Osuna has to miss time, though Pressly has had injury issues of his own this season. He missed time in camp with a blister, and was also on the shelf for part of last week with elbow soreness.

Like many teams this season, Houston’s pitching is beginning to be a mess. At this point, they just hope Osuna’s arm pain is nothing serious.

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Going Twice…

Notes: The list below is two-start pitchers for the week beginning August 3. Probable pitchers are as of Saturday, August 1, and subject to change.

 

American League

Strong Plays

Shane Bieber: @CIN, @CHW

Gerrit Cole: PHI, @TB

Jose Berrios: PIT, @KC

Lucas Giolito: @MIL, CLE

Rich Hill: PIT, @KC

 

Decent Plays

Frankie Montas: @SEA, HOU

Jesus Luzardo: TEX, HOU

Zach Plesac: @CIN, @CHW

Charlie Morton: BOS, NYY

Kyle Gibson: @OAK, LAA

Cristian Javier: @ARI, @OAK

Matthew Boyd: STL, @PIT

 

At Your Own Risk

Brady Singer: @CHC, MIN

Matt Shoemaker: @ATL, @BOS

Danny Duffy: @CHC, MIN

Asher Wojciechowski: MIA, @WAS

Carlos Rodon: @MIL, CLE

Justus Sheffield: OAK, COL

 

National League

Strong Plays

Jacob deGrom: @ATL, MIA

Mike Soroka: NYM, @PHI

Max Fried: TOR, @PHI

Walker Buehler: @SD, SF

Sonny Gray: CLE, @MIL

Kyle Hendricks: KC, @STL

Chris Paddack: LAD, ARI

 

Decent Plays

Jack Flaherty: @DET, CHC

German Marquez: SF, @SEA

Aaron Nola: @NYY, ATL

Zack Wheeler: @NYY, ATL

Adrian Houser: CHW, CIN

Joe Musgrove: @MIN, DET

Madison Bumgarner: HOU, @SD

 

At Your Own Risk

Johnny Cueto: @COL, @LAD

Derek Holland: @MIN, DET

Alec Mills: KC, @STL

Chi Chi Gonzalez: SF, @SEA

 

American League Quick Hits: Boston ruled out Eduardo Rodriguez for the rest of the season due to heart complications following COVID-19. … Nick Goody got the first save opportunity with Jose Leclerc out, but manager Chris Woodward said he could go with a committee. Tim Anderson was placed on the 10-day IL with a right groin strain. … The Twins will use a bullpen day on Sunday, pushing Homer Bailey’s next start to Money… Rougned Odor was removed with right oblique tightness. … Nicky Lopez departed with a shin contusion. … Chris Devenski was placed on the 10-day IL by the Astros with right elbow soreness. … Danny Santana was on the bench Saturday due to tightness in his forearm, and he’s not expected to play the field for the next week. … Jose Urquidy (COVID-19) remains at least two weeks away from returning to the Astros. … Yordan Alvarez is somewhat closer to returning, somewhere between 10-14 days, according to Astros manager Dusty Baker… Kevan Smith was placed on the 10-day IL by the Rays due to illness. … Tommy La Stella was scratched by the Angels due to tightness in his neck… Top Astros pitching prospect Forrest Whitley apparently had discomfort in his throwing arm in camp and recently, so his availability for 2020 is in doubt. … Chris Davis was scratched due to knee soreness. … Jose Iglesias remains day-to-day with a quad injury. … Derek Fisher is day-to-day with left quad tightness. … Matt Shoemaker is set to start Tuesday’s game after Toronto got the weekend off. … Jakob Junis could return from COVID-19 to start today, while Brad Keller also isn’t far away for the Royals. … Brendan McKay (COVID-19) has been cleared to return to baseball activities.

Success in MLB has been foreign to Yusei Kikuchi, but he got on track vs. the A’s on Saturday, throwing six scoreless innings with nine strikeouts. … Hansel Robles needs a good outing soon, after blowing a save against Houston Saturday, when he allowed three runs. He’s now allowed nine earned runs in only 3.2 innings this season. … Masahiro Tanaka returned from a concussion to allow two runs – one earned—in 2.2 innings against the Red Sox… Aaron Judge is on fire, launching his fourth home run in as many games. … Desperate AL-only managers might have a look at Wade LeBlanc, who allowed only one run in 5.2 innings against the Rays… Kenta Maeda threw six scoreless innings to beat Cleveland.

 

National League Quick Hits: The Pirates pitching woes continue, as Mitch Keller left his start with left side discomfort. … Juan Soto (COVID-19) played an intrasquad game on Saturday, and should be ready when Washington returns to the field this week. … Looking for more MLB players, the Marlins acquired reliever James Hoyt from Cleveland for cash considerations. … Kris Bryant was a late scratch with stomach issues. … Jose Quintana (thumb) threw a 38-pitch bullpen session as he nears a return. … Anthony DeSclafani is scheduled to throw the first game of Cincinnati’s doubleheader against the Tigers on Sunday. It’s unclear if Trevor Bauer will pitch the second game, as he warmed up Saturday before the Reds/Tigers game was postponed. … Eric Hosmer has been placed on the 10-day IL, retroactive to July 29, with gastritis… Howie Kendrick is day-to-day with upper back tightness. … Stephen Strasburg (hand) threw on flat ground, and could return over the next week.

Ronald Acuna Jr. finally got a track with a home run and a double after a slow start to his season. … Joey Lucchesi was bombed for the second time this week, allowing three runs in 1.2 innings at Coors Field. … Kyle Freeland, meanwhile, shutout the Padres over six innings. He’s seemingly regained his 2018 form. … Colin Moran is doing his best Josh Bell impersonation, launching his fifth home run of the season. … Edwin Rios is doing his best to earn more playing time, hitting a two-run home run on Saturday. … Touki Toussaint might have earned himself another start by allowing only one run in four innings against the Mets. … Rowan Wick was given a save opportunity for the Cubs and converted. He could get more opportunities of Craig Kimbrel continues to struggle. … Tyler Chatwood is finally making good on his contract, throwing 6.2 scoreless innings with 11 strikeouts against Pittsburgh.