Troy Tulowitzki has a torn labrum in his hip that will require season ending surgery. He finished the season having played in 91 games, batting .340 with 21 home runs and 52 RBIs. The initial diagnosis of a hip flexor strain was questioned after Tulowitzki failed to respond to treatment. Surgery is scheduled for Friday. The Rockies also got bad news on Carlos Gonzalez, as a MRI revealed more damage to his patella tendon than was seen in previous imaging studies. There is still no decision on a course of treatment, though. At this point, aside from rest and rehab, the rest of the options would all end CarGo’s season, so it’s not looking good for Fantasy owners who are waiting for him to come back. With Tulowitzki now gone for the season, Josh Rutledge is virtually guaranteed at bats going forward as the primary shortstop and the same can be said of Corey Dickerson if CarGo is done.
Yu Darvish was placed on the DL Wednesday with inflammation in his pitching elbow. Darvish is 10-7 with a 3.06 ERA and a spectacular 11.35 K/9 IP. He was roughed up by the Astros in his last outing, allowing five earned runs on nine hits and four walks over just four innings of work.
Manny Machado was placed on the 15-day DL with a sprained knee, suffered on a broken bat groundball to shortstop while running to first base. Chris Davis may slide over from first base, or the O’s could use either Ryan Flaherty or Jonathan Schoop, who currently split second base duties.
Kyle Lohse, who’s been nursing a sore ankle for a couple of weeks, re-injured his ankle during an at bat during the third inning of Wednesday’s game. Lohse isn’t expected to go on the DL but there is some doubt that he’ll make his next start.
Yangervis Solarte left Wednesday’s game with an oblique injury he sustained while making a throw from deep shortstop. Alexi Amarista replaced him in the game. The Padres are going to keep him on the active roster and see how he responds to a little rest.
Brandon Phillips is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment this coming weekend with an eye towards rejoining the team in about a week if all goes well. The news isn’t as bright for Joey Votto, who has yet to begin any baseball activities towards his return from a quad strain. Votto has been out since July 8 and there is still no timetable for his return.
Yonder Alonso is headed for the disabled list with a forearm strain, suffered during Tuesday’s game. Alonso had just returned from the DL on July 26 and he’s batted .421 since then (16 for 38). Yasmani Grandal, Tommy Medica and Jake Goebbert will all see playing time at first base while Alonso is out.
The Reds will place Homer Bailey on the disabled list before his next start according to a report in the Cincinnati Enquirer. Bailey has a “flexor mass injury in his arm” that will not require surgery, so he is expected to return at some point this season. Bailey is 9-5 with a 3.90 ERA this season, and 1-0 with a 1.61 ERA in his four starts since the All-Star break, including a win in his last start, Aug. 7 against the Indians.
The Yankees anticipate that Brian McCann will be activated Saturday when he is eligible to come off the 7-day DL. McCann sustained a concussion when he was hit by a foul ball last week.
Michael Bourn will play one more rehab game before he returns to the Cleveland Indians lineup on Friday. Bourn has been out since July 6 with a hamstring injury.
The Dodgers have opened up a five game lead on the second place Giants in the NL West, largely on the back of Matt Kemp, who’s been hitting very well since the All Star break. Before the break, he batted .269 with eight home runs in 336 PA, but since then he’s slashed .323/.390/.581 with six HRs in 105 PA. The most encouraging aspect of Kemp’s resurgence has been the return of his power. His ISO over the first have was a very average .161, but since the break it’s .258 and overall it is .193 and creeping closer to his .199 career mark.
On June 1, Gordon Beckham was batting a respectable .279/.318/.414 and generating some buzz that we were finally seeing him deliver on the promise everyone expected after his solid minor league career and rookie debut in 2009. Alas, it was all an illusion. Gordon actually peaked at .298 on June 9, but overall since June 1 he is slashing .186/.233/.297 and his current average sits at .220.
Quick…which Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher leads the team in ERA? If you said Chris Tillman (3.68), good for you! But how good has Tillman really been? To begin with, 16 of his 26 starts have been quality starts, including 9 of his last 11. Over his last six starts, he has a 2.35 ERA, a .197 BAA and a 31:5 K:BB ratio. One of the main drivers of his success has been a reduction in HRs allowed; he’s given up just 16 this season in 156.2 IP (0.92 HR/9). Last season, he gave up 33 round trippers in 206.1 innings (1.44 HR/9)
On the other end of the HR spectrum, Tyler Matzek suddenly can’t keep the ball in the park. We all know that Coors Field is a danger zone for fly ball pitchers, but Matzek has a decent 45.2 percent groundball rate and only two of the eight homers he’s coughed up occurred at home. Actually, through the end of July, Matzek had only given up three home runs in 55.1 innings pitched, but over his last three starts, a total of 15 innings, he’s given up five round trippers, all on the road. Oddly enough, the home run barrage started after Matzek made a relief appearance in the 16th inning of a game on July 29, the only relief appearance he’s ever made in professional baseball. It seems that the Rockies will never learn that they shouldn’t mess with their young pitchers.
Javier Baez mashed his fourth home run of the season yesterday in his ninth game played. He needs just one more to tie Bryce Harper’s HR output for the season in 59 games.
Braves Manager Fredi Gonzalez has reinstalled Jason Heyward at the top of the lineup to jump start their sputtering offense. Heyward was moved down to the fifth spot on June 18th, at which point he was slashing .257/.334/.384 as the leadoff man. Since then, Gonzalez has used B.J. Upton at the top most often, with occasional appearances by Tommy LaStella, Jordan Schafer and Emilio Bonifacio. Over his career, Heyward has slashed .274/.353/.433 out of the leadoff spot with 66 runs scored in 100 games. The Braves have scored the third fewest runs in the majors this season and have lost 11 of their last 13 games to fall five games behind the Nationals in the NL East.
Jackie Bradley Jr. broke a 0 for 35 slump yesterday with his first hit since July 26. Since the All Star break, Bradley is slashing .145/.185/.194 with 26 strikeouts and only two walks in 65 plate appearances. That, my friends, is futility personified.
Speaking of futility, Oscar Taveras is beginning to look like one of those prospects that go bust instead of busting out, as everyone expected once he started playing regularly. After a modest seven game hitting streak that started on the July 31 trade deadline, Taveras has just two hits in his last 22 plate appearances. For the month of August, Taveras is batting .195/.267/.244 with nary a home run to his name, just four RBIs and two runs scored. It sorta makes you want to ask – how long do the Cardinals wait before giving someone like Randall Grichuk or Stephen Piscotty a shot? They can’t possibly wait much longer, given their dreadful offensive output.
There’s a lot to see tonight. Brad Penny makes his second start since 2012 for the Marlins, going for his 50th win in their uniform. Mike Fiers tries to make it two solid starts in a row for the Brew Crew, and he has a good shot since it’s against the hapless Cubs. Although, they aren’t nearly as hapless since Javier Baez arrived. He’s just too much fun to watch. Stephen Strasburg, Max Scherzer and James Shields, aces all, have starts tonight. Allen Webster will try to make his case for inclusion in the Red Sox starting rotation for 2015. Jorge De La Rosa, who could still be dealt before August 31, starts against the rapidly fading Reds and their rapidly fading starter, Alfredo Simon. Simon has a 4.76 ERA and just eight strikeouts in his last three starts. Finally, John Lackey will try to bounce back from a shellacking at the hands of the Baltimore Orioles in which he coughed up nine earned runs on 13 hits in five ugly innings.