Take a look at the latest Major League Baseball News and Notes:
Kenley Jansen Out With Irregular Heartbeat
One of the premier closers in all of baseball is out for the foreseeable future. In a very scary situation, Kenley Jansen suffered an irregular heartbeat, one that required doctors to shock therapy to correct it. While this has been an issue that Jansen has dealt with before, he had heart surgery following the 2012 season to try to correct the problem. Things seemed to be good until this last week. Jansen still plans to pitch this season and will meet with doctors on August 20th to plan the next steps. He still hopes to beat the 4-6 week timetable that was initially set. Regardless, the Dodgers’ closer may be facing another surgery this offseason.
Astros Feeling Effects of Injuries
Objects in rear view mirror are closer than they appear. After losing five straight games, the Houston Astros now only hold a one game lead in the AL West. With the offense sputtering as of late, they have not won a home game in over a month (July 14th against the Detroit Tigers was their last home victory). One of the biggest reasons for their poor play is the number of injuries adding up. George Springer, Jose Altuve, Brian McCann, Jake Marisnick, Chris Devenski and Lance McCullers Jr. are all on the disabled list. Carlos Correa recently returned from the disabled list, but he has looked quite sluggish since his return. If the Astros don’t turn it around, the defending champions may be playing for a wild card spot instead of a divisional lead.
James Paxton Leaves Game After Taking Line Drive Off Of Forearm
James Paxton had to leave his start on Tuesday in the first inning after being hit in the upper left forearm by a line drive from Jed Lowrie. While x-rays were negative, it was a huge loss for the Mariners, who are trying to claw their way back into the postseason picture. On the season, Paxton is 10-5 with a 3.63 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and opponents are hitting .222 against him. In 139 innings, he has 175 strikeouts and 37 walks. The Mariners went on to lose that game 3-2 to the surging Oakland Athletics, who are now within a game of the division leading Houston Astros.
Trevor Bauer To The Disabled List
Speaking of getting hit by comebackers, Trevor Bauer has been placed on the 10-day disabled list as a result of being hit by on in a recent start. He has been diagnosed with small stress fracture in his right fibula. On the positive side, the Indians stand in good position to make the playoffs as they currently hold a 12.5 game lead in the division. The bad news is that you never know how a player will return from injury and with the postseason in the not so distant future, the Indians really need a healthy Bauer. This season he has been pretty remarkable as he currently has a 12-6 record with a 2.22 ERA, 1.09 ERA and opponents are hitting just .205 against him. In 166 innings, he has 214 strikeouts, 56 walks and has only allowed 8 home runs. If healthy, he and Corey Kluber would be a tough top of the rotation for any postseason opponent to face.
Ronald Acuna Jr. Makes History
Ronald Acuna Jr. is seeing the ball pretty well these days. The 20 year old Atlanta Brave has hit leadoff home runs in three consecutive games. If that wasn’t impressive enough, he is now also the youngest player ever to hit home runs in five straight games. On the season, Acuna is batting .288/.346/.576 with a .922 OPS. He has 19 home runs, 43 runs batted in and has scored 49 runs in only 264 at bats. If he wasn’t already, he has to be the leader in the race for the National League Rookie of the Year award.
Shane Baz Is Player To Be Named Later In Archer Deal
When the Rays were able to acquire both Tyler Glasnow and Austin Meadows in the deal for Chris Archer, most thought that they had done pretty well in the deal. In a shocker on Tuesday, they went from having done pretty well to great by also acquiring top pitching prospect Shane Baz. Baz, who was the player to be named later, was one of the top ranked pitching prospects in the 2017 draft. At only 19 years old, he was the 95thranked prospect in the game according to MLB.com. While Shane Baz is still a few years away from reaching the major league level, the Rays may have added a top-of-the-rotation type arm to complement the other two pieces they received in the deal.
Robinson Cano Reinstated
To try to help down the stretch, Robinson Cano has been reinstated from his 80-game suspension and added to the active roster for the Mariners. Cano, who had been serving a suspension after failing a PED test, was hitting .287/.385/.441 prior to his suspension. With Dee Gordon now entrenched at second base, Cano may serve as more of a utility role, possibly playing some second, third and first base. Regardless, while he can help them for the rest of the regular season, his suspension means that he will not be able to be on the playoff roster if the Mariners were to make it.
Carlos Martinez To Move To Bullpen
The St. Louis Cardinals have been on quite a run as of late and their bullpen might become a whole lot scarier. With the Cardinals inching towards a playoff spot, there are concerns that by the time Carlos Martinez gets healthy and stretched back out as a starter it might be too late. Thus, as a way to get him back quicker, and to hopefully manage his workload, the Cardinals plan to utilize him as a reliever down the stretch. This is certainly not a permanent fix, though, as they plan to stretch him back out as a starter next spring.