MLB Closing Bell: Say It Ain't Sano
Greg Jewett lets us know what's happened and what is happening around Major League Baseball for tonight's closing bell.
Trying to avoid injuries or bad selections so far in 2018 has proven problematic. Add to the litany of issues the demotion of Miguel Sano to High-A Fort Myers by the Twins following their game. Sano entered the season a former All-Star from the year before with an average draft position near the top-100 in NFBC drafts (112th overall) with prodigious power and a huge hole in his swing. Injuries and a lack of production resulting in Sano slashing .203/.270/.405 with seven home runs and 27 RBI in 37 games with horrific 40.7 strikeout percentage (66 strikeouts).
While in the minors, Sano will try to regain confidence in his approach and perhaps fully heal without being in the spotlight of the major leagues. Patience may be needed here, but roster constraints will determine if it’s possible to await his return. For the speculating crowd, stashing Sano could pay dividends in the second half or it’s a sunk venture.
As if San Francisco needed another injury, Evan Longoria departed after the fourth inning on getaway day in Miami after being hit by a pitch. After the 16 inning marathon ended, news surfaced Longoria broke the fifth metacarpal in his left hand. There’s no timetable as of yet with Longoria slated to see the same specialist Joe Panik visited. Much will depend on if Longoria needs surgery. For now, look for Alen Hanson and Pablo Sandoval to share the playing time at third base for the Giants and this could expedite the return of Brandon Belt , some suggest as soon as Friday when the team faces the Dodgers.
That Just Happened
Cleveland continues to receive strong starting pitching from its top four in the rotation. On Thursday afternoon, Mike Clevinger won his fifth game lasting seven innings giving up five hits, two runs (one earned) and a walk with 11 strikeouts. His 99 pitches produced 20 swinging strikes (12 on his fastball, five on the slider) for a 20.2 swinging strike percentage and he also registered 20 called strikes. Clevinger lowered his ERA to 3.15 on the season. Now if they only had a fifth starter who shares the name with a pop performer to finish the season. Do you have the fever?
Both Francisco Lindor and José Ramírez started slowly to the dismay of their fantasy owners. Lindor went 2-for-5 with a home run and stolen base while scoring two runs. This marks his 15th home run and ninth steal which paces him towards 36 homers and 22 steals. Ramirez launched his 20th home run and he’s hitting .309 (34-for-110) over his last 29 games with 21 runs, 10 doubles, nine home runs and 22 RBI. Currently, Ramirez is on target for 48 home runs and 19 steals with 111 RBI. Still think he’s not a first round selection in 2019?
José Abreu hit his 11th home run among his two hits and drove in the only two runs for the White Sox. He’s hit 21 doubles his last 35 games and entered this game in the midst of a 5-for-30 slump but has hit .311 the last 38 games with five home runs and 27 RBI. Carlos Rodon turned in his second straight solid outing lasting five innings and giving up only two earned runs with four strikeouts as he continues to build stamina.
Although Shane Greene notched his 17th save, keep tabs on stash candidate Joe Jimenez . Jimenez recorded his 12th hold with a clean eighth inning and a strikeout. During his last 16.1 innings, Jimenez owns a 0.55 ERA with 16 of his last 17 outings being scoreless. Detroit should be sellers at the deadline which could pave the way for Jimenez to save games in the second half.
Speaking of trade candidates, Michael Fulmer helped his stock firing seven innings giving up five hits, one earned run and one walk with four strikeouts. More importantly, Fulmer maintained his velocity with his last fastball hitting 97 MPH on the radar.
The ever volatile Vince Velásquez brought the good version to Citizens Bank Park on Thursday. Velasquez carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning and won his fifth game allowing one hit, two earned runs and a walk with six strikeouts in 6.2 innings of work. He’s whiffed 51 of the the past 161 total batters faced (31.2 strikeout percentage) and has 89 strikeouts in 74 innings. However, his 4.74 ERA and 1.30 represent the inherent risk when Velasquez puts too much traffic on the bases.
Could Rhys Hoskins finally be breaking out? He recorded three hits in five at-bats with a double, his eighth home run and scored two runs with three RBI. Since returning from the disabled list, Hoskins is 6-for-17 (.353) with four runs, two home runs and eight RBI.
Houston’s on a heater winning their eighth straight game with 56 runs and 15 home runs within the streak. Justin Verlander won his ninth decision and turned in his 14th quality start this season. Even though he allowed three earned runs, Verlander’s ERA only rose to 1.61 and his WHIP sits at 0.76 with 120 strikeouts in 100.1 innings. As for the offense, here’s a brief view of some of the hot bats, sorry if anyone’s not included:
Yuli Gurriel : 12-for-24 last five games with four doubles, home run and seven RBI.
Marwin González : 12-for-27, two doubles, two triples, home run, three RBI.
Evan Gattis : 12-for-32, five home runs and 16 RBI.
José Altuve : 11-for-28, eight runs, two doubles, home run, five RBI, two stolen bases.
Another day, another dinger for Khris Davis . He hit one in three straight at-bats dating back to last night’s double dong affair and added his 20th during his first at-bat on Thursday. Of his last seven hits, five have been home runs including seven of his last 11 hits overall. Davis has crushed seven so far in June and pacing towards 47 this year. Teammate Matt Olson continues to be streaky entering today’s game one for his last 18, hit his 14th home run and sixth in the last 13 games.
With the latest setback for Noah Syndergaard , there’s no firm timeframe for his return. If the finger issues persist, he could be out until the All-Star break if he needs rehab outings prior to returning. In an unrelated move by the Mets, they moved Peter Alonso and Jeff McNeill to Triple-A Las Vegas.
Texas promoted starting pitcher prospect Yohander Mendez to assume a spot in the rotation as a part of their rebuild shifting Matt Moore to the bullpen. Mendez could incur some growing pains as he transitions to the majors, so do not rush to pick him up.
Did you know José Iglesias has 11 stolen bases this year and he’s hitting .304 his last 14 games?
Will the Mets offense break out of its funk in Arizona? Over the last 10 games, New York as a team’s hitting a cumulative .137 (44-for-321), the lowest mark since 1913 in this timeframe.
How will Blake Snell fare in the Bronx against the Yankees?
On this date in 1974, Nolan Ryan threw 235 pitches in a 13-inning outing with 13 walks and 19 strikeouts. Pitch counts be damned, and he made his next start on three days rest.
Be sure to check back in the morning for recaps of the evening action along with pertinent fantasy information prior to waivers this weekend in the Round Up and all the great articles on Fantasy Alarm.