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MLB News And Notes

As we approach the halfway point of the season, division races are starting to take shape, and teams are beginning to identify whether they will be contenders or pretenders this season. While most of the focus is on the action on the field, let’s take a look at some of the major stories off the field around Major League Baseball this week.

Mets Activate Slugging First Baseman Off Injured List

Beating some of the projected timelines, New York Mets’ first baseman Pete Alonso was activated from the injured list on Sunday. Alonso had been out with a wrist injury after being hit by a pitch against the Atlanta Braves on June 7.

In 233 at bats this season, Alonso is hitting .227/.321/.536 with a team-leading 22 home runs, 49 runs batted in, and 41 runs scored. As a team, the Mets rank 17th overall, averaging 4.41 runs per game.

Currently, New York sits fourth in the NL East, 12.5 games behind the Atlanta Braves. For a team that spent heavily in the offseason, this is certainly not how they expected the season to start.

Alonso’s return to the lineup on Sunday saw him go hitless in the Mets’ loss to the Cardinals.

Currently, the Mets have the third-best odds of winning the division at +3500, and they are +4000 to win the World Series.

Several Players To Undergo Surgery

This week saw several announcements of players that will have to undergo surgery in the near future.

First, the Houston Astros announced that Lance McCullers Jr. would be out for the remainder of the season as he underwent surgery on a flexor tendon in his right forearm. McCullers has not pitched this season after going 4-2 with a 2.27 ERA in eight starts last year.

With McCullers and Luis Garcia out for the year, and Jose Urquidy on the injured list, the Astros’ rotation depth has certainly been tested.

The Astros also announced that slugger Yordan Alvarez (17 HR, 55 RBI, 41 R) will be out several weeks as he tries to bounce back from an oblique strain.

Elsewhere, the San Francisco Giants announced that outfielder Mitch Haniger underwent forearm surgery this week after being hit by a pitch from Jack Flaherty earlier this week.

This season, the 32-year-old Haniger is hitting .230/.281/.372 with four home runs and 22 runs batted in.
Lastly, Kansas City Royals’ first baseman Vinnie Pasquantino’s season is done as he needs surgery on his right shoulder to help repair a torn labrum. In 231 at bats this season, he was hitting .247/.324/.437 with nine home runs, 26 runs batted in, and 24 runs scored.

Guardians DFA Zunino

On Opening Day, Mike Zunino was the Cleveland Guardians’ starting catcher. On Friday, he was designated for assignment by the club.

Signed to a $6 million, one-year deal in the offseason, Zunino has disappointed this season. In 124 at bats, he is hitting just .177/.271/.306 with three home runs and 11 runs batted in.

For a team that ranks 27th in the majors in scoring (3.79 runs per game), the Guardians are certainly looking for more production than that.

With Zunino gone, increased playing time will likely go to Cam Gallagher and David Fry, or potentially even minor leaguer Bo Naylor.

Still, for a Guardians team that sits in second place in the AL Central, just 2.5 games back of the Minnesota Twins, they will hope to piece together a solution behind the dish.

Cleveland currently has the second-best odds of winning the division at +300, and they are +9000 to win the World Series.

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