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MLB News and Notes for Monday May 16, 2022

As temperatures are starting to heat up, so are teams around MLB. The New York Yankees have the best record in the majors at 25-9, while the Houston Astros have won 11 of their last 12. In total, ten teams have hit the 20-win mark as many teams are establishing their early dominance.

While most of the focus is on the field, let’s take a look at some of the biggest stories off the field from around the league this week.

Harper Suffers Major Injury, Will Continue Playing

Bryce Harper suffered a major injury this week as he was diagnosed with a tear in his UCL. For pitchers, this is usually a season-ender as it often requires Tommy John surgery, but Harper will continue to play through it.

For the time being, the team will utilize him as their designated hitter as they hope to avoid any throwing for at least a month. After that, the team will reexamine Harper to see where he is at.

Harper has been dominant at the plate for the Phillies this season. In 131 at bats, the 29-year-old is hitting .305/.361/.634 with nine home runs, 27 runs batted in, 29 runs scored, and six stolen bases.

Philadelphia is currently 17-18 on the season. That record is good enough for second in the NL East, 5.5 games behind the New York Mets. They are +650 to win the division and +2500 to win the World Series this season.

Kershaw Also Injured

Harper isn’t the only superstar that is dealing with an injury. The Los Angeles Dodgers put starter Clayton Kershaw on the injured list with right SI joint inflammation.

Re-signed in the offseason, Kershaw was off to a stellar start. The 34-year-old is currently 4-0 in five starts with a 1.80 ERA, 0.733 WHIP, and has 32 strikeouts in 30 innings pitched.

The Dodgers pitching as a whole has been strong this season as they rank second in the majors with a staff earned run average of just 2.82.

At 21-12, Los Angeles is the favorite to win a loaded NL West at -250. They are also the favorites to win the World Series at +430.

Padres Get Reinforcements

The Dodgers aren’t the only team off to a great start in the NL West. The San Diego Padres are 22-13 and have the second-best odds of winning the division at +380.

The Padres currently rank ninth in scoring this season, averaging 4.50 runs per game. This week, they added some reinforcements to their offense.

After being released by the New York Mets, the Padres inked veteran Robinson Cano to a deal. Cano was suspended all of last season for performance-enhancing drugs and started this season off slowly with the Mets.

In 41 at bats this year, he hit .195/.233/.268 with a single home run. While he is a shell of the hitter he used to be, the Padres are hoping to catch lightning in a bottle to help keep them in NL West contention.

Of course, the biggest addition that the Padres will add this year is when Fernando Tatis Jr. is able to return from injury, but in the meantime, the Padres look at Cano as a low risk high reward type acquisition.

Astros Acquire Depth

In a small trade this week, the Houston Astros picked up utilityman Mauricio Dubon in a trade with the San Francisco Giants. In exchange, the Giants acquired minor league catcher Mike Papierski.

The Astros have a stellar middle infield of Jose Altuve and Jeremy Pena, but with both players dealing with minor injuries recently, Astros’ general manager James Click realized that they needed more production out of their backups.

In the offseason, the Astros signed utilityman Niko Goodrum, but he has gotten off to a rough start this year. In 43 at bats, Goodrum is hitting .116/156/.318 with 23 strikeouts. After acquiring Dubon, the Astros optioned Goodrum to the minor leagues.

With San Francisco, Dubon has hit .239/.245/.391 with two home runs in 46 at bats this season. He and Aledmys Diaz will share in a lot of the utility duties moving forward for Houston.

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