First-third awards – AL Rookie of the Year

Leave a comment

Toronto’s Scott Richmond was the AL’s top rookie during April, but he’s
since fallen behind four players, all of whom have a case for Rookie of
the Year honors to date:

Elvis Andrus (SS Rangers) – While Matt Wieters, Nolan Reimold, Aaron
Cunningham and others still have plenty of time to make up ground,
Andrus is the only AL rookie position player to already have two solid
months under his belt. The 20-year-old is batting .285/.333/.424 with
nine steals in 10 tries. It’s hardly a spectacular line, especially
considering that it’s being inflated by playing in Arlington. However,
it’s the smaller part of what he’s doing. His glovework at short has
been a difference maker for a team that’s going from a 5.37 ERA in 2008
to a 4.56 mark so fat this year.

Andrew Bailey (RHP Athletics) – With a 2.12 ERA in 34 innings,
Bailey has been one of the AL’s top relievers, and the peripherals back
up the numbers, as he’s struck out 40 and allowed just 20 hits on the
season. Of course, he’ll need to seize the closer’s role on a full-time
basis in order to stay in the Rookie of the Year race. Holds won’t get
it done.

Josh Outman (LHP Athletics) – An uptick in velocity has made Outman
one of the game’s hardest-throwing left-handed starters, and it’s
translated into plenty of success over the last five weeks. He’s 3-0
with a 2.49 ERA in his last seven starts. Command is an issue, so he’s
no lock to stay in the hunt. However, there’s been nothing fluky about
his success so far.

Rick Porcello (RHP Tigers) – Even though he hasn’t been allowed to
throw more than 95 pitches in an outing this season, Porcello has
managed to work deep enough into games to win six times in 12 starts.
He has a 3.70 ERA thanks to his power sinker, and if the Tigers decide
to be a little less restrictive with his pitch count later this season,
he could go after more strikeouts with his curve. The Tigers, though,
will likely be very careful with him all year long, and they’ll likely
shut him down in early or mid-September if they fall out of contention.

First-third AL ROY

1. Porcello
2. Andrus
3. Bailey

Rockies place Carlos Gonzalez on 10-day disabled list with right hamstring strain

Carlos Gonzalez
AP Images
1 Comment

The Rockies placed Carlos Gonzalez on the 10-day disabled list with a right hamstring strain, per an announcement on Sunday. The move is retroactive to April 19, the day after Gonzalez sustained the injury on a phenomenal diving catch during the Rockies’ 10-2 loss to the Pirates. In corresponding moves, outfielder Mike Tauchman was optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque, while corner outfielders David Dahl and Noel Cuevas were recalled from the minors.

Gonzalez, 32, got off to an underwhelming start this spring. The veteran outfielder exited Wednesday’s game batting a modest .235/.264/.426 with three home runs and two stolen bases in his first 72 plate appearances of the 2018 season. Despite sustaining a plethora of minor injuries over the last few years, this looks to be his first serious setback since undergoing knee surgery back in 2014.

It’s still unclear how long he’ll be sidelined, though club manager Bud Black said Gonzalez appeared to be recovering well prior to the decision on Sunday. “I think probably the thing that put us over the top was with [Gerardo] Parra’s suspension starting today and CarGo not 100 percent,” he told reporters, adding that while Gonzalez seemed capable of pinch-hitting, he would not have been able to run the bases.

In the meantime, Cuevas figures to make his major-league debut sometime over the next week. The 26-year-old outfielder is in his ninth minor league season, and left Albuquerque with a .333/.419/.571 batting line and eight extra-base hits though his first 74 PA. Dahl, 24, could also see his first major-league assignment since 2016, when he slashed .315/.359/.500 with seven home runs and five stolen bases in 63 games with the Rockies.