Daily Dose: Myers headed for hip surgery?

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Brett Myers underwent an MRI exam on his hip Thursday and received bad
news as it showed fraying and a possible tear in the labrum. He hasn’t
been placed on the disabled list as of this writing, but that seems
inevitable after Myers revealed that “it sounds like surgery is almost
100 percent from the first opinion” and “they told me that my hip is
f***ed up.”

General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. indicated that the Phillies would be
open to a trade to fill Myers’ spot in the rotation if he’s indeed done
for the season, but also made it clear that they’re more likely to
replace him internally with Kyle Kendrick, Carlos Carrasco, Andrew
Carpenter, or Antonio Bastardo. Carrasco is the team’s top pitching
prospect, but he’s 0-6 with a 5.81 ERA in nine starts at Triple-A.

While the Phillies hope that a second opinion can provide better
news for Myers, here are some other notes from around baseball …

* Orioles right-hander David Hernandez made his MLB debut Thursday
by giving up one run over 5.2 innings for a win against Detroit.
Hernandez has never been highly touted as a prospect because of bad
command, as he walked four batters per nine innings coming into this
season. However, his strikeout rates have been fantastic and he showed
signs of improved control prior to being called up.

Hernandez had a 2.93 ERA and 60/13 K/BB ratio in 43 innings spread
over eight starts at Triple-A, giving him 595 strikeouts in 516 career
innings. If the improved control is legit Hernandez becomes a very
intriguing prospect, but he walked four of 25 batters Thursday while
needing 108 pitches to record 17 outs. He’s clearly worth keeping an
eye on and the 24-year-old could have value in AL-only spots.

* Chris Ray missed all of last season following Tommy John surgery,
but seemed to be doing reasonably well through his first 13 appearances
this season, posting a 13/5 K/BB ratio in 11.1 innings. Things began to
unravel for him last week and Ray allowed nine runs on seven hits and
six walks over a four-inning stretch that earned him a trip back to the
minors Thursday.

While his post-surgery struggles are discouraging, Ray still missed
a fair amount of bats by whiffing 21 percent of his batters faced
compared to 22 percent prior to going under the knife. His average
fastball was clocked at 94.1 miles per hour after being 94.2, 94.8, and
94.7 from 2005-2007, so aside from command issues his stuff still seems
plenty good. In other words, don’t give up on him quite yet.

* Travis Hafner’s comeback from a right shoulder injury was delayed
for 3-4 days by rib soreness, but he resumed his minor-league rehab
assignment Thursday at Triple-A by going 1-for-3 with a double and a
walk. Assuming that he can avoid a setback while playing 2-3 more games
at Columbus over the weekend, Hafner is on track to come off the
disabled list Monday.

AL Quick Hits: After missing three weeks with a hamstring
strain, Jorge Posada is slated to come off the disabled list Friday …
Victor Martinez drove in two runs Thursday, but his OPS dipped below
1.000 for the first time since the third game of the season … Jason
Varitek hit two homers off Anthony Swarzak before being ejected from
Thursday’s game, giving him 10 long balls in 133 at-bats after going
deep 13 times in 423 at-bats last season … Clete Thomas led off
Thursday, with usual leadoff man Curtis Granderson batting fifth for
Detroit … Luke Scott had a pair of homers Thursday, making him 4-for-8
with three homers and seven RBIs in two games since coming off the
shelf … Josh Beckett whiffed eight over seven innings of one-run ball
Thursday … Jeremy Bonderman (shoulder) is scheduled to make another
minor-league rehab start Sunday at Triple-A … Jacoby Ellsbury went
0-for-3 to snap his 22-game hitting streak Thursday.

NL Quick Hits: Carlos Zambrano has been suspended six games for
his amazing implosion Wednesday, so he’ll miss one start … Houston
manager Cecil Cooper doesn’t seem long for the job after general
manager Ed Wade declined to give him a vote of confidence Thursday …
Dan Haren threw seven innings of two-run ball Thursday, slicing his ERA
to 2.54 with a sparkling 71/9 K/BB ratio … Anibal Sanchez (shoulder)
tossed three scoreless innings in a minor-league rehab start Thursday
at Single-A … Randy Wolf keeps thriving in his second go-around with
the Dodgers, holding the Cubs to one run in seven innings Thursday …
Jonathan Broxton was unavailable after throwing 38 pitches the previous
game, so Ramon Troncoso picked up his third save Thursday … Tom Glavine
(shoulder) topped out in the mid-80s Thursday, but still had five
shutout innings in a rehab start at Triple-A … Xavier Paul (staph
infection) has been released from the hospital, but is likely still
several weeks from seeing game action.

Tony La Russa went into the Pirates broadcast booth over Hit-by-pitch criticism

MESA, AZ - MARCH 10:  Chief baseball officer Tony La Russa of the Arizona Diamondbacks gestures as he talks with coaches in the dugout before the spring training game against the Oakland Athletics at HoHoKam Stadium on March 10, 2015 in Mesa, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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On Tuesday a couple of Arizona Diamondbacks batters were hit in head by Pirates pitcher Arquimedes Caminero. Caminero did not appear to be trying to bean these guys. He simply had no control whatsoever. That the Pirates just sent him down to the minors underscores that. Still: a bad situation given the inherent danger of plunkings in general and beanballs in particular. Thank goodness nether Dbacks batter appears to be injured.

It would make sense that Dbacks folks would be a bit upset at this, but Tony La Russa took things to the next level. The Pirates announcers apparently mentioned something about the Diamondbacks’ and La Russa’s history with hit-by-pitch controversies. And then this, from Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic . . .

La Russa acknowledged he went into a broadcast booth during Tuesday night’s game after he “heard some stuff on the air” that he considered inaccurate about his history with retaliatory pitches during his managerial days.

“I never have stood for inaccuracies,” La Russa said, “so I corrected the inaccuracies.

“It’s about taking responsibility. If you’re going to speak untruths then you’re going to get challenged and you should be responsible for what you say. I am. I reacted.”

That’s a totally chill and above-it-all way for a Hall of Famer and the head of baseball operations of a major league club to react. Glad to see La Russa, as always, is a portrait of zen.

Either way, the Pirates announcers should be excused if they were somewhat inaccurate. For you see, La Russa has always been somewhat hard to pin down on his plunking/beanball politics. In the past he’s said that another team accidentally hitting his team is bad while defending his own team’s clear and obvious retaliation. He once blamed an opposing hitter for escalating a situation by not avoiding what was clearly intentional attempt to hit him by his own player, claiming that a mere inside pitch with no intent was worse than his own guy TRYING to hit the opposition.

The common denominator to La Russa’s history with this stuff is (a) whatever the Tony La Russa-led team is doing is correct; (b) whatever the other team did was incorrect; and (c) almost everyone who isn’t Tony La Russa just doesn’t get it and that’s their problem, not his.

So of course he’s gonna go into a broadcast booth to La Russa-splain things to them. It’s a complicated business about which he and he alone has clarity. He’s doing us a favor, really.

Wade Boggs embroiled in non-controversy over his Yankees World Series ring!

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The Red Sox held a ceremony honoring the 1986 team last night and one of the key members of that team, Wade Boggs, was in attendance wearing  his Red Sox jersey. He also wore his Yankees World Series ring.

When I heard about this controversy a few minutes ago I did something that neither I nor most people who are a part of the Internet Industrial Complex usually do: wondered whether this was actually a controversy.

I quickly scanned around and found a good dozen or so articles talking about it and people talking about them talking about it. I noticed people making reference to how, theoretically, this could upset some Red Sox fans or be seen as a sign of disrespect. But I could not find anyone who actually cared. Anyone who was actually upset about it. I can’t say that I read every comment to every article, but you usually don’t have to dig deep to find people mad about something on the Internet and I could not immediately find anyone who was mad about this. Lots of jokes and comments about the idea of being mad, but no one who actually cared. It was like an obligatory ceremonial function the meaning of which everyone has forgotten.

There are a lot of “controversies” like that. They tend to be more common in the entertainment world than the sports world — people referencing a “scandalous” thing some singer or actor did which, in reality, scandalized no one — but it happens in sports too. In sports it’s when a convention or custom is not followed or when someone doesn’t otherwise conform to some set of expectations. A lot of the time no one cares at all. It’s all about the politics of recognizing situations in which someone might, in theory, care. Or once did long, long ago.

Maybe someone is genuinely mad at Wade Boggs over this If so, I’d love to hear from that person and wonder why on Earth they’d care. But I sort of feel like such a beast does not exist. And for that I’m pretty glad.

The Cardinals had a “statement loss” yesterday

ST. LOUIS, MO - MAY 25: Manager manager Mike Matheny #22 congratulates Matt Adams #32 of the St. Louis Cardinals as he enters the dugout after scoring a run during the fourth inning against the Chicago Cubs at Busch Stadium on May 25, 2016 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Scott Kane/Getty Images)
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I’ve always been critical of the concept of “statement games” in Major League Baseball. Maybe it matters more in football where there are far fewer games and thus each one means much more, but in baseball a win lasts, at best, 48 hours and usually less. Like Earl Weaver said, we do this every day, lady. When you’re constantly talking, as it were, any one statement is pretty unimportant.

I’ll grant that a “statement win” is a thing players use to motivate or validate themselves, of course. We on the outside can roll our eyes at the notion, but we can’t know the minds of a major league player. If they think that they made a statement and it’s important to them, hey, it’s important to them. I’ll admit, however, that a statement loss is a new one to me:

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Kolten Wong provided the basis of that headline. Here is what he said:

“I think we still made a statement. We were down 6-1 right off the bat. The game before, we were kind of in the same situation. We were tired of it,” second baseman Kolten Wong said. “Our pitchers have been our go-to these past few years. It was time for us to step up and I think we all kind of felt that, too. We just wanted to make this a game and show that we have our pitchers’ backs.”

In context it makes sense. A moral victory, as it were. They got to one of the best pitchers in the game after finding themselves down by several runs thanks to their starting pitching betraying them. The hitters didn’t go into a shell when most folks would excuse them for doing so against a guy like Jake Arrieta.

Makes sense and no judgments here. Moral victories matter. Still, it’s hard not to chuckle at the headline. I can’t remember a big leaguer talking quite that way after a loss.

Julio Urias to be called up, make his MLB debut tomorrow

GLENDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 20:  Starting pitcher Julio Urias #78 of the Los Angeles Dodgers participates in a spring training workout at Camelback Ranch on February 20, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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The Dodgers have been mulling this for a long time, but they just announced that they plan on calling up top prospect Julio Urias. He’ll be making his major league debut against the Mets tomorrow evening in New York.

Urias is just 19 years-old, but he’s shown that he’s ready for the bigs. In eight Triple-A games this year — seven starts — he’s 4-1 with a 1.10 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 44/8 in 41 innings. He has tossed 27-straight scoreless innings to boot. While the Dodgers and Urias’ agent are understandably wary of giving the young man too much work too soon, he has nothing left to prove at Oklahoma City.

Urias turns 20 in August. Tomorrow night he will become the first teenager to debut in the majors since 2012 when Dylan Bundy, Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, and Jurickson Profar each made their debuts.