Daily Dose: Peavy out for up to three months

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So much for all the trade talk. Jake Peavy will be sidelined for at
least one month and as long as three months after an MRI exam revealed
a slightly torn tendon in his ankle. He suffered the injury while
running the bases on May 22 and had one good start, one decent start,
and one terrible start since, but Peavy will now wear a protective cast
for the next several weeks.

Peavy is a long shot to be ready to pitch by the July 31 trade
deadline and even if he somehow makes it back by then the Padres would
have an extremely tough time getting anything resembling full value for
him. In other words, expect him to finish this season in San Diego
whether that means on the disabled list or in the rotation. Remember,
he’s still signed through 2012 with a team option for 2013.

While the Padres’ chances of avoiding last place take a major hit, here are some other notes from around baseball …

* Howie Kendrick came into the season as a 25-year-old career .306
hitter in 997 plate appearances, but after batting just .231 through 51
games the Angels sent him to the minors Saturday. Kendrick’s
strikeouts, walks, and power are basically all the same as usual, but
he just doesn’t have the secondary skills to be useful without hitting
.280-.300.

Even with this year’s struggles he’s a .294 hitter in the majors
after hitting .360 in the minors, so Kendrick will smack around
Triple-A pitching for a while and rejoin the Angels. In the meantime
Sean Rodriguez was picked over Brandon Wood to replace Kendrick on the
roster, although it remains to be seen if he’ll actually get any action
after hitting .290/.377/.637 with 42 homers in 124 games at Triple-A.

* Johan Santana cruised through 11 starts, going 7-3 with a 2.00
ERA, but tied a career-high by serving up four homers to the Phillies
last week and turned in one of the worst outings of his career Sunday
versus the Yankees, allowing nine runs while recording nine outs. The
good news is that he allowed just one homer, but Mets fans will have
reason to be nervous when he faces the Rays this weekend.

* Cliff Lee took a no-hitter into the eighth inning Sunday versus
St. Louis, settling for a complete-game, three-hit shutout. He now has
a 2.88 ERA and 69/20 K/BB ratio in 97 innings spread over 14 starts.
Through his first 14 starts last year, Lee had a 2.45 ERA and 79/15
K/BB ratio in 96 innings. Of course, the big difference is that poor
run support has Lee with a 4-6 record as opposed to 10-1 last year.

* As if passing on him to select
mega-bust Matt Bush with the No. 1 pick in 2004 wasn’t enough, Jered
Weaver reminded the Padres of their mistake by shutting them out
Sunday. Weaver followed his great college career and impressive 2006
debut by disappointingly posting a 4.13 ERA over the past two seasons,
but he’s now 7-2 with a 2.08 ERA and 74/25 K/BB ratio in 90.2 innings
this year.

AL Quick Hits: Brad Penny is eligible to be traded Monday and
the Red Sox have reportedly received multiple offers … For now at least
Toronto is hoping that Roy Halladay (groin) can make his next scheduled
start Saturday … Despite tossing seven shutout innings Saturday,
Anthony Swarzak is back at Triple-A
after filling in for Glen Perkins … A.J. Burnett struck out eight while
shutting out the Mets for seven innings Sunday … Scott Kazmir
(quadriceps) is scheduled to start a rehab assignment Wednesday at
Single-A … Gordon Beckham hit his second two-run double in as many
games Sunday, but is still just 4-for-35 … Oakland activated Travis
Buck (oblique) from the disabled list Sunday, but only to option him
back to Triple-A … Coco Crisp was put on the shelf Sunday after
initially trying to play through a shoulder injury … Scot Shields is
expected to undergo season-ending knee surgery Tuesday … J.P. Howell
struck out the side Sunday for save No. 3.

NL Quick Hits: Out for nearly two months, Jose Valverde (calf)
set down all four batters he faced over the weekend … Milwaukee finally
saw enough from Manny Parra after he was rocked for six runs in 1.2
innings Saturday, sending him back to Triple-A … Josh Johnson gave up
three runs Sunday in a complete-game win over Toronto … In the midst of
a 0-for-32 slump, Willy Taveras sat out Sunday’s game … Ryan Doumit
(wrist) has been cleared to resume baseball activities, but remains
weeks from returning … J.A. Happ struggled Sunday by walking six and
giving up seven hits, including a homer to Josh Beckett … Taylor
Buchholz tried to rehab his elbow injury, but will miss the next year
after opting for Tommy John surgery … Derek Lowe was knocked around for
seven runs while failing to make it out of the third inning Sunday and
faces Boston at Fenway Park next … Hitting coach Gerald Perry was fired
Sunday after the Cubs led the NL in runs last year.

Yordano Ventura represented the best and worst of baseball’s culture

BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 28:  Yordano Ventura #30 of the Kansas City Royals delivers in the first inning during a game against the Boston Red Sox on August 28, 2016 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
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It was reported this morning that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura was killed in a car accident in the Dominican Republic. Former prospect Andy Marte was also killed in a separate car accident. Along with Jose Fernandez and Oscar Taveras, the baseball world has lost a lot of young, exciting talent in a very short amount of time.

Ventura was, like all of us, a complex human being. At his best, he was an exciting, talented, emotive pitcher who featured an electric fastball which sat in the mid-90’s and occasionally touched 100 MPH. At his worst, he was an immature, impressionable kid trying to fit in by exacting revenge against batters he felt had wronged him by slinging those electric fastballs at vulnerable areas of their bodies.

Baseball needed Ventura when he was at his best. It is players like him and Fernandez, not Mike Trout, that bring in new fans to the sport. To baseball die-hards, Angels outfielder Mike Trout is the pinnacle of entertainment because we know he’s an otherworldly talent. But to the average fan, Trout is just another player who hits a couple of homers and doesn’t do anything particularly interesting otherwise. Trout is milquetoast. Ventura was never an All-Star, but fans knew who he was because he made his presence felt every time he made a start. He was fun, if sometimes vengeful.

Ventura’s baseball rap sheet is rather lengthy for someone who only pitched parts of four seasons in the big leagues. Early in the 2015 season, Ventura found himself in a handful of benches-clearing incidents in quick succession. On April 12, he jawed with Trout, apparently misunderstanding the motivation behind Trout yelling, “Let’s go!” Though catcher Salvador Perez intervened, Trout’s teammate Albert Pujols ran in from second base and the benches cleared shortly thereafter. On the 18th, some drama between the Athletics and Royals continued. Ventura fired a 99 MPH fastball at Brett Lawrie, resulting in his immediate ejection from the game. More beanball wars ensued in the series finale the following day. Finally, on the 23rd, Ventura hit White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu with a 99 MPH fastball in the fourth inning. Ventura was not ejected… until after the completion of the seventh inning. Walking back to the dugout, Ventura barked at White Sox outfielder Adam Eaton and — you guessed it — the benches cleared. All told, Ventura was fined for his behavior with the Athletics and suspended seven games for the White Sox incident.

In August 2015, Ventura called Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista a “nobody” and accused him of stealing signs. He apologized shortly thereafter. Two months later, during his start in Game 6 of the ALCS against the Blue Jays, Ventura got into it with Jays first base coach Tim Leiper. Nothing happened beyond that, but apparently it was part of the Jays’ plan to try to put Ventura “on tilt.”

Most recently, in June this past season, Ventura hit Orioles third baseman Manny Machado with a pitch. Machado charged the mound and got in at least one punch before the players spilled out onto the field in a blob of royal blue and orange. Ventura was suspended for eight games.

Ventura was by no means a model of civility, but he was a product of baseball’s intransigent culture forcing players to assimilate or be ostracized. The old culture taught players to never show emotion. Hit a home run? Put your head down and circle the bases in a timely fashion or risk taking a fastball to the ribs. Players like Fernandez and Bautista — typically players from Latin countries — challenged those old cultural norms and are, as a result, the vanguard of the new culture. Ventura displayed aspects of each, the worst of the old culture and the best of the new. He was not a one-dimensional person; he was strikingly complex. At one moment willing to use a fastball as a weapon, the next stopping by some kids’ lemonade stand and giving out fist bumps. Baseball is made more entertaining and more interesting by its personalities and Ventura’s was a behemoth, for better or worse. His absence from the sport will be felt.

MLB remembers Yordano Ventura and Andy Marte

BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 28:  Yordano Ventura #30 of the Kansas City Royals delivers in the first inning during a game against the Boston Red Sox on August 28, 2016 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
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Following the tragic passing of 25-year-old Yordano Ventura and 33-year-old Andy Marte, both of whom were killed in separate car crashes on Sunday morning, players and executives from around Major League Baseball expressed an outpouring of grief and support for the players’ families and former teams.

Fans have gathered at Kauffman Stadium in memory of the former pitcher.