Cole Hamels gave up five earned runs in his Rangers debut August 1 against the Giants and four earned runs in his second start for the Rangers on August 7 versus the Mariners. And it was announced Tuesday evening that he will not make his next scheduled start Thursday against the Twins due to a groin issue.
Hamels told MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan that this is a precautionary thing: “I understand the situation, where the team is at and what I want to do here,” said the left-hander. “I want to play a good part in this, but if I'm not able to do that close to 100 percent, I don't want to jeopardize the team or the bullpen. So we'll play it out, be smart and miss a game.”
And manager Jeff Banister is on board with the thought that this injury will not require a disabled list stint: “My level of concern sits with him," said the first-year skipper. “He doesn't seem too concerned.”
Texas stands 4 1/2 games back of the Astros in the American League West standings and 3 1/2 games behind the Angels for the second American League Wild Card spot. Picking up Hamels from the Phillies a few days before the July 31 trade deadline was done with this October in mind, but the 31-year-old is under contract through 2018. You can bet the Rangers are going to play it safe with the guy they just dealt six players for.
Chi Chi Gonzalez or Anthony Ranaudo will be called up from Triple-A Round Rock to fill in on Thursday. That spot start should probably be avoided for fantasy purposes, even against the floundering Twins.
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Utley Eligible To Be Traded
FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reported Tuesday that Chase Utley has passed through revocable trade waivers, which means he can now be offered up to any team. The veteran second baseman carries full no-trade protection via his 10-and-5 rights, so he would have to personally approve a deal.
Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com heard Monday that the Giants have been scouting Utley regularly, and there’s also word of interest from the Yankees, Angels, and Cubs. Those are all contending teams in attractive markets, so a trade might actually go down in this case. The deadline for waiver trades is August 31.
Utley is batting just .196/.266/.298 in 70 total games this season for the last-place Phillies, but he went 2-for-4 on Tuesday night in Arizona and is now 7-for-17 (.412) since returning last week from an ankle injury. The 36-year-old impending free agent is owed around $4 million of his $14 million salary for 2015.
A change of scenery might be a boost to his fantasy value. He’s already showing new life with Philly.
Tazawa, Machi, Cook? Oh My
It’s difficult to get a read on what the Red Sox are planning to do at closer with Koji Uehara ruled out for the remainder of the season due to a fracture near his right wrist. Red Sox manager John Farrell indicated over the weekend that newcomer Jean Machi was going to get the first shot, but Machi worked the eighth inning on Tuesday night and it was Junichi Tazawa who got the save opportunity in the ninth.
Tazawa blew that chance, allowing a run on two hits in an eventual 10-inning loss to the Marlins. Machi pitched a scoreless eighth, though he did surrender a walk and a hit. Maybe former A’s closer Ryan Cook can work his way into the mix. He was recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket on Tuesday afternoon and threw a scoreless sixth inning on Tuesday night in Miami. The 28-year-old right-hander looked sharp in his short stay at Triple-A, too.
It’ll probably be a guessing game with the Boston bullpen all the way down the stretch.
National League Quick Hits: Marlins ace Jose Fernandez (biceps) expects to pitch again this season … Matt Harvey blanked the Rockies over eight innings on Tuesday and boasts a 1.45 ERA in 68 1/3 innings since June 16 … Bryce Harper was scratched from the Nationals’ starting lineup Tuesday due to soreness in his left knee … Cardinals closer Trevor Rosenthal struck out the side in the ninth inning Tuesday against the Pirates to earn his 34th save … Ryan Braun was held out of the Brewers’ lineup Tuesday because of a stiff back … Madison Bumgarner struck out a dozen Astros and gave up only one run in a complete game win on Tuesday … Mets first baseman Lucas Duda is day-to-day with a stiff back … Todd Frazier broke out of his slump, going 3-for-4 with an RBI double and a solo home run in Tuesday's loss to the Padres ... Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant had a double, a stolen base, and a run scored in Tuesday's win over the Brewers … Yasiel Puig was placed on waivers last week by the Dodgers but got pulled off once a team claimed him … Marlins outfielder Christian Yelich was a late scratch from Tuesday’s lineup with a left knee bruise … Maikel Franco suffered a bruised wrist Tuesday when he was struck by a pitch … Cubs manager Joe Maddon said Tuesday that Starlin Castro will soon see starts at second base … Mike Leake (hamstring) threw a bullpen session Tuesday without issue and may be ready to return to the Giants’ rotation when first eligible on August 18 … Stephen Piscotty went 3-for-4 with the game-winning RBI in the Cardinals' comeback win over the Pirates on Tuesday … Giants center fielder Angel Pagan was placed on the disabled list Tuesday with patellar tendinitis … Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said Tuesday that he expects Howie Kendrick (hamstring) to be sidelined for at least three weeks … Jedd Gyorko finished 2-for-4 with a two-run single and a two-run home run Tuesday in the Padres’ rout of the Reds … Yasmany Tomas left Tuesday’s game against the Reds with calf tightness … Padres signed right-hander Bud Norris to a major league contract.
American League Quick Hits: White Sox left-hander Carlos Rodon struck out 11 batters over seven scoreless innings Tuesday in a win over the Angels … Indians manager Terry Francona said Tuesday that Jason Kipnis (shoulder) could be ready to return to the active roster early next week in Boston … Lorenzo Cain finished 4-for-4 with a double, a home run, and two runs scored Tuesday in the Royals’ win over the Tigers … Blue Jays slugger Edwin Encarnacion is day-to-day with lingering discomfort in his left middle finger … Michael Brantley had two doubles, a walk, and a walkoff RBI single Tuesday in the Indians’ defeat of the Yankees … Mariners slugger Nelson Cruz made an early exit Tuesday with neck spasms … Mookie Betts went 3-for-5 with a double, two RBI, and a stolen base Tuesday in his return from the concussion disabled list … Miguel Cabrera (calf) ran the bases and took live batting practice without issue on Tuesday and could return to the Tigers this weekend … Rays right-hander Erasmo Ramirez kept the Braves scoreless in seven innings of work on Tuesday … Hanley Ramirez (foot) expects to return to the Red Sox starting lineup Wednesday against the Marlins … Royals starter Yordano Ventura struck out eight Tigers over six shutout innings on Tuesday night … Jose Bautista swatted his 27th home run Tuesday in the Blue Jays’ defeat of the Athletics … Marcus Stroman (knee) said that he felt "great" after throwing off the mound on Tuesday and there’s talk of him returning in September … Yankees third baseman Chase Headley was held out of action Tuesday due to minor leg discomfort … Matt Wieters left Tuesday's game against the Mariners with a right hamstring strain … Yankees closer Andrew Miller allowed two runs in the 10th inning, blowing a save in Tuesday's 16-inning loss to the Indians … Dustin Pedroia (hamstring) won't do any baseball activities until the final week of August and will likely remain sidelined until at least mid-September … White Sox closer David Robertson worked a scoreless ninth inning against the Angels on Tuesday to earn his 23rd save.