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.

Indians could benefit from long rest before the World Series

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 09: Danny Salazar #31 of the Cleveland Indians delivers a pitch against the Minnesota Twins during the first inning of the game on September 9, 2016 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
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If any team can turn a six-day rest period into an advantage, it’s the Indians. The club polished off their pennant race with another injured starter and an overtaxed bullpen, as Trevor Bauer exited in Game 3 of the ALCS with a laceration on his right pinky finger, leaving the bullpen to shoulder 16 innings through the last three games of the series. On Friday, MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian reported that injured starter Danny Salazar could rejoin the rotation in the World Series, though he’ll need at least one more simulated game before Terry Francona determines whether or not he’s fit to return for the team’s last postseason push.

Bauer, who has been under the close watch of hand specialist Dr. Thomas Graham, told the press that he feels confident that he’ll be ready for a World Series start when the final showdown commences on Tuesday. Keeping the wound bandaged is not an option during games, and Bauer said that Dr. Graham decided against additional stitches to keep the laceration from re-opening. Instead, they’re banking on extra days of rest to heal the cut naturally. Should Francona pencil the right-hander into the lineup for Game 3 or 4, he’ll have had 10-11 days to rest his finger between starts — just a hair under the seven games Bauer said he was prepared to pitch.

Salazar, too, has been preparing for a World Series showdown. He’s scheduled to pitch three innings of a simulated game this weekend, and if it goes well, it could land him a spot in the starting rotation alongside Bauer, Corey Kluber, Josh Tomlin, and newcomer Ryan Merritt. Salazar has been sidelined since September 9 with a right forearm strain, and even after undergoing a rigorous throwing program over the last several weeks, any kind of comeback is expected to be curbed by a strict innings limit. Francona has been understandably tight-lipped about his World Series roster, but he hasn’t yet nixed the idea of utilizing Salazar out of the rotation, provided the right-hander remains healthy for another week or so.

The Indians have had to remain flexible throughout their seven-game playoff run after weathering injuries to Corey Kluber and Trevor Bauer, pushing their rotation through several games on short rest and relying heavily on Andrew Miller and Cody Allen‘s one-two punch in the ‘pen to clinch more than a few postseason victories. While history doesn’t always favor the first team to secure their league’s pennant race, an extra week of rest should only benefit Cleveland’s beleaguered pitching staff.

Lloyd McClendon will return as Tigers’ hitting coach in 2017

OAKLAND, CA - JULY 05:  Manager Lloyd McClendon #21 of the Seattle Mariners looks on from the dugout against the Oakland Athletics in the top of the six inning at O.co Coliseum on July 5, 2015 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
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The Tigers will promoted Triple-A manager Lloyd McClendon to hitting coach for the 2017 season, according to a statement released by the team on Friday afternoon.

McClendon’s history with the Tigers is long and storied. After serving five seasons as the Pittsburgh Pirates’ hitting coach and manager, he got his start with Detroit in 2006 as a bullpen coach, then transitioned to hitting coach from 2007 through 2013. When the Tigers hired Brad Ausmus to replace former manager Jim Leyland, McClendon took the opportunity to break from the team and pursue another managerial position of his own with the Seattle Mariners, whom he guided to a 163-161 record between the 2014 and 2015 seasons.

Following his departure from Seattle during the 2015 offseason, McClendon took a spot as skipper of the Tigers’ Triple-A club, managing the Toledo Mud Hens to a 68-76 finish in 2016. His return to the big league stage is accompanied by the hiring of assistant hitting coach Leon Durham, who previously served as the long-tenured hitting coach for Triple-A Toledo.