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MLB News and Notes: June 11, 2019

David Ortiz Shot In Dominican Republic

In an amazingly scary situation—and scary video for those that have seen the surveillance footage—“Big Papi” David Ortiz was shot in his hometown of Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic at a club. As the footage shows, Ortiz was sitting on a ledge talking with a friend when a man comes up from behind him and shoots him point-blank in the back. It has been revealed that the bullet went “through and through,” going through his back and then exiting his abdomen. Reports indicate that he did suffer some damage to his liver and had to have parts of his colon in addition to his gall bladder removed (according to ESPN’s Marly Rivera and Enrique Rojas). The most encouraging news is that Ortiz is in stable condition and doctors expect him to make a full recovery. The Boston Red Sox have sent a plane to be able to bring Ortiz back to Boston, where he will be further evaluated. Police have suspects in custody in connection with the shooting.

Craig Kimbrel and Dallas Keuchel Sign

After spending an entire offseason on the unemployment line, two of the biggest pitching free agents from last offseason have finally found a home, and all it took was the ability to shake that pesky draft compensation component (the day of the draft, teams no longer were required to forfeit a draft pick in order to sign these two after the Boston Red Sox and Houston Astros had given qualified offers, which the two refused).

For Kimbrel, he has signed with the Chicago Cubs to a three-year, $43 million contract that pays him $10 million this year and $16 million in 2020 and 2021. There is also an option worth another $16 million for 2022 that comes with a $1 million buyout. As part of the deal, he also has a no-trade clause this year, a limited no-trade clause next year (8 teams) and no limitations the following year. Last year, with the Boston Red Sox, Craig Kimbrel went 5-1 with 42 saves. In 62.1 innings, he had a 2.74 ERA, 0.995 WHIP and 96 strikeouts versus 31 walks. He will certainly help a Cubs’ bullpen that has been shaky at best, particularly with the absence of incumbent closer Brandon Morrow due to injury. There is a belief that Kimbrel will be ready in the span of just a couple weeks to join the big club.

Dallas Keuchel, the southpaw starter, has also found a new home with the Atlanta Braves. Unlike the multi-year deal that Kimbrel signed, Keuchel signs for just this year, meaning he will once again test the free agent market next winter. He signed for $13 million for the rest of the season (works out to roughly $20 million prorated if taken over the whole season). Like Kimbrel, the Braves intend to call him up sooner than later, only expecting to have him make just a couple starts for their Triple-A club before getting the call. Last year, with the Astros, Keuchel was 12-11 in 34 starts with a 3.74 ERA and 1.314 WHIP. IN 204.2 innings, he allowed 211 hits (a career high) while striking out 153 and walking 58. One major difference this year is that Keuchel will also have to take his talents to the batter’s box, something that he hasn’t done regularly since 2012, his rookie year and last year that the Astros were in the National League.

Astros’ No. 3 Prospect Has Big Debut

Speaking of those Houston Astros, they recently called up their number three prospect, Yordan Alvarez, on Sunday, and he certainly didn’t disappoint. The big slugger, who has spent some time at left field and first base, but is probably best suited as a designated hitter, had hit 23 home runs in the minor leagues this season and, on cue, homered for his first hit for the Astros Sunday, hitting a 400+ foot home run opposite field in his second at-bat. On the day he went 1 for 3 with a home run, 2 runs batted in and a walk. As the Astros try to battle through an array of injuries including Carlos Correa, Jose Altuve, and George Springer, some of the young guys have picked up the slack, including Derek Fisher, Jack Mayfield, and Garrett Stubbs. When the injured players return, though, it will likely mean they are sent down. For Alvarez, you have to believe that if Jeff Luhnow and company was willing to call him up, they are hoping he is here to stay.

Adam Wainwright To The Injured List

Starting pitcher Adam Wainwright of the St. Louis Cardinals has found his way to the injured list. In the Sunday night game against the Chicago Cubs, Wainwright had to leave after just 4.1 innings due to hamstring tightness. That hamstring tightness has forced the Cardinals to put him on the 10-day IL. However, the Cardinals are still not sure of the severity of the injury, which means that Wainwright could find himself out even longer than that. This season, Wainwright is 5-6 in 13 starts with a 4.46 ERA, 1.40 WHIP and opponents are hitting .263 against him. In 70.2 innings, he has allowed 68 hits, 35 earned runs, 9 home runs and has struck out 61 versus 31 walks. After being swept by the Cubs over the weekend, the Cardinals now find themselves 5.5 games behind both the Chicago Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Central.

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