Daily Dose: Ibanez blogged down by injury

Leave a comment

Call it the Jerod Morris hex
or merely a coincidence, but Raul Ibanez was put on the disabled list
Thursday for the first time since 2004. Ibanez has been in a funk since
taking Morris to task last week over a blog entry,
going 5-for-27 (.185) with 11 strikeouts while receiving more media
attention than ever before. After seeing him struggle to run out
grounders, the Phillies shut him down for a couple weeks.

John Mayberry Jr. is back for his second stint in the majors after
being called up from Triple-A to replace Ibanez and went 2-for-5 with a
homer while throwing out a runner at the plate from right field
Thursday. He stands 6-foot-6 and has lots of power with 24 homers and
75 total extra-base hits in 166 games at Triple-A, but Mayberry also
hit just .261 with a lowly .323 OBP and 141/51 K/BB ratio there.

While the Phillies give the 25-year-old Mayberry a shot at regular
playing time for the rest of the month, here are some other notes from
around baseball …

* Jim Leyland avoided calling it a benching, but did say Thursday
that he’s going to get Magglio Ordonez “away from it … indefinitely”
amid a 38-game homerless streak. Ordonez is batting just .273/.347/.343
with two homers and 22 RBIs in 57 games overall after hitting
.323/.383/.510 in four previous seasons in Detroit, but the problem is
that fill-in Ryan Raburn’s career .251/.310/.411 line is just as bad.

* Frank Francisco tossed a perfect inning in a rehab appearance
Thursday night at Double-A, setting him up to return from the disabled
list Friday. Francisco has been out for over two weeks with shoulder
tendinitis, so the Rangers have talked about slowly easing him back
into the closer role. That means C.J. Wilson could get another save
chance or two before dropping back down into a setup role.

* Brandon Webb was scheduled to take the next step on his road back
from right shoulder soreness with a mound session Friday, but instead
has been shut down indefinitely after suffering a setback. He felt pain
after throwing from flat ground earlier this week and seems highly
unlikely to make it back by the All-Star break as previously hoped.

* Chien-Ming Wang was shaky while lasting five innings in his
Wednesday outing and is now 0-5 with a 12.65 ERA, but manager Joe
Girardi announced Thursday that he’ll remain in the Yankees’ rotation.
Girardi suggested that Wang “threw the ball pretty well” while allowing
three runs Wednesday, so Phil Hughes will remain in the bullpen where
he’s given up two runs while striking out 10 in 7.2 innings.

AL Quick Hits: Gavin Floyd turned in another strong start
Thursday, allowing one run in seven innings before the bullpen coughed
up his win … After watching him go 1-4 with a 7.49 ERA in seven starts
the Tigers returned Dontrelle Willis to the disabled list Thursday with
the same “anxiety disorder” … Franklin Gutierrez had a pair of homers
Thursday after coming into the game with four long balls in 189 at-bats
… Brandon Morrow made his second start Thursday, giving up two runs
with six strikeouts and just one walk in four innings … Jeremy Accardo
picked up a save Thursday in his first appearance since last May, but
don’t expect him to be the Blue Jays’ primary closer … Vince Mazzaro
hurled his fourth Quality Start in as many tries Thursday … Brett
Gardner left Thursday’s game with a bloody face after running into the
outfield wall chasing a fly ball … Derek Jeter’s ankle is healthy
enough for him to ground out as a pinch-hitter Thursday.

NL Quick Hits: Brad Lidge (knee) threw a bullpen session
Thursday and is set to begin a rehab assignment at Double-A … Craig
Stammen and four relievers shut out the Yankees on Thursday as the
Nationals won a series in New York … Joel Pineiro fell to 1-8 in his
last nine starts despite allowing one earned run in seven innings
Thursday and was helped off the field after cramping up … Khalil Greene
returned from the disabled list Thursday and whiffed off the bench …
Jonathan Broxton (toe) was unavailable again Thursday after getting a
cortisone shot, so Ramon Troncoso picked up a save … Tommy Hanson
tossed six shutout innings Thursday for his second victory … Livan
Hernandez gave up two runs in seven innings Thursday, but missed a win
when Francisco Rodriguez blew his second save … Kevin Youkilis’ solo
homer Thursday was the only hit allowed by Ricky Nolasco in a
rain-shortened complete-game win.

Miami Police Department considers Yasiel Puig case closed

Los Angeles Dodgers' Yasiel Puig waits to bat during batting practice prior to a baseball game against the Oakland Athletics, Wednesday, July 29, 2015, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
Leave a comment

We have more details about Yasiel Puig‘s reported “brawl” at a bar in Miami. And while it’s a regrettable situation, it appears to be less serious than previously believed.

According to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times, Major Delrish Moss of the Miami Police Department confirmed that Puig was involved in a fight with a bouncer. However, Moss described it more as a “scuffle” than a “brawl.” The Dodgers outfielder suffered injuries to his face, including a swollen left eye, while the bouncer was left with a “busted lip” among other minor facial injuries.

While the bouncer alleged that he was sucker-punched by Puig, Moss said that neither were interested in pressing charges. As a result, the Miami Police Department considers the case closed.

TMZ reported that the fight with the bouncer took place after Puig got into a physical altercation with his sister. However, Moss said that “no shoving was alleged” and that “to the best of our knowledge, the only physical altercation was between the bouncer and Puig.”

Major League Baseball is still expected to investigate the incident under their new domestic violence policy.

Erik Johnson likely to open 2016 in the White Sox rotation

DENVER, CO - APRIL 09:  Starting pitcher Erik Johnson #45 of the Chicago White Sox delivers against the Colorado Rockies during Interleague play at Coors Field on April 9, 2014 in Denver, Colorado. The Rockies defeated the White Sox 10-4.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
Leave a comment

With the White Sox losing Jeff Samardzija to free agency, Erik Johnson will likely get a shot to contribute out of the rotation to open up the 2016 season, GM Rick Hahn said in a conference call on Wednesday, per a report from MLB.com’s Scott Merkin.

“As we sit here today, I think it will be an opportunity for Erik Johnson to convert on sort of the return to form he showed back in 2015 when he was International League pitcher of the year for [Triple-A] Charlotte,” Hahn said. “Obviously, he got some starts in September and continued to show the progress in Chicago he had shown in the Minor Leagues over the course of the last season.

“So if Opening Day were today, then I think Johnson is penciled in to that spot in the rotation right now. In all probability, once we get closer to spring, there will be some competition for him to earn that spot. But if we were strictly looking at today, then I would think Johnson has the inside track on filling Samardzija’s innings.”

Johnson was called up from Triple-A Charlotte in September and made six starts, allowing 14 runs (13 earned) on 32 hits and 17 walks with 30 strikeouts in 35 innings. That followed up an impressive five months in the minors where he compiled a 2.37 ERA and a 136/41 K/BB ratio across 132 2/3 innings.

Baseball America, Baseball Prospectus, and MLB.com each included Johnson on their top-100 prospect lists, ranking him 63rd, 67th, and 70th, respectively. The right-hander was selected by the White Sox in the second round of the 2011 draft.

Major League Baseball will investigate Yasiel Puig for his role in Miami nightclub brawl

Yasiel Puig
AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi

It was reported on Friday afternoon that Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig was involved in a brawl at a Miami nightclub. Details were scant at the time, but he reportedly left with a bruise on his face.

Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times reports that Major League Baseball plans to investigate Puig under the league’s new domestic violence policy for his role in the brawl. Citing a report from TMZ, Hernandez notes that Puig shoved his sister, “brutally sucker-punched” the manager of the bar, and instigated the brawl.

The Dodgers and Puig’s agent have thus far refused to comment on the situation.

Rockies shortstop Jose Reyes was the first player to be investigated under the league’s new domestic violence policy earlier this month, as he allegedly assaulted his wife. Reyes has pleaded not guilty after he was charged with domestic abuse in Hawaii.

As our own Craig Calcaterra pointed out, commissioner Rob Manfred does not need to wait for Puig to plead guilty or to be found guilty to levy a punishment.

Dayan Viciedo close to signing with Japan’s Chunichi Dragons

Dayan Viciedo
AP Photo/Carlos Osorio
Leave a comment

Patrick Newman is reporting that the Chunichi Dragons of Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball and outfielder Dayan Viciedo are close to an agreement on a contract. Newman notes that the Dragons are close to signing pitcher Jordan Norberto as well.

Viciedo, 26, has struggled since making his major league debut in 2010 with the White Sox, batting an aggregate .254/.298/.424 with 66 home runs and 211 RBI in 1,798 plate appearances. He spent the 2015 season with Triple-A Charlotte (White Sox) and Nashville (Athletics), hitting a composite .287/.348/.450. While Viciedo can hit the occasional home run, he hasn’t shown the ability to do much else at the big league level. Given his age, he could prove himself in Japan and parlay that into a renewed shot in the majors in the future.

The White Sox signed Viciedo out of Cuba in December 2008, agreeing to a four-year, $10 million deal. The club re-signed him to one-year deals in 2013 and ’14 for $2.8 million each and $4.4 million ahead of the 2015 season.