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.

Giants acquire Eduardo Nunez from the Twins

ARLINGTON, TX - JULY 07: Eduardo Nunez #9 of the Minnesota Twins throws for an out at first in the fourth inning during a game against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington on July 7, 2016 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Sarah Crabill/Getty Images)
Sarah Crabill/Getty Images
4 Comments

The Giants have acquired All-Star infielder Eduardo Nunez from the Twins in exchange for minor league pitcher Adalberto Mejia, the club announced on Thursday night.

Nunez, 29, went 0-for-4 in Thursday night’s game against the Orioles. He’s hitting .296/.325/.439 with 12 home runs, 47 RBI, 49 runs scored, and a league-best 26 stolen bases in 391 plate appearances this season. Nunez has played mostly at shortstop this season, but has also logged significant time at third base and a handful of games at second base, so he’ll give the Giants some versatility.

Nunez will likely play a lot of third base for the Giants as Matt Duffy is still sidelined with a strained left Achilles. He’s earning $1.475 million this season and will enter his third and final year of arbitration eligibility heading into 2017.

Mejia, 23, was considered the Giants’ seventh-best prospect by MLB Pipeline. He earned a promotion to Triple-A Sacramento last month after posting a 1.94 ERA with Double-A Richmond. In seven starts with Sacramento, he has a 4.20 ERA with a 43/11 K/BB ratio in 40 2/3 innings.

With a roster spot open, the Twins called up infield prospect Jorge Polanco from Triple-A Rochester, per MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger.

Report: Mariners’ Taijuan Walker drawing “strong” trade interest

SEATTLE, WA - JUNE 08:  Starting pitcher Taijuan Walker #44 of the Seattle Mariners looks on from the dugout after completing eight innings against the Cleveland Indians at Safeco Field on June 8, 2016 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images
3 Comments

Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY reports that the Mariners have received “strong” trade interest for starter Taijuan Walker. The right-hander is currently on the mend from tendinitis in his right foot.  He’ll throw a bullpen on Friday at Wrigley Field with scouts in attendance.

Walker, 23, has a 3.66 ERA with an 80/18 K/BB ratio in 86 innings this season. It’s his first bit of sustained success at the major league level. What’s arguably just as intriguing is the fact that Walker will be under team control through 2020.

The Mariners have been hovering around .500 for the last month and entered Thursday six games behind the first-place Rangers in the AL West and 4.5 games out of the second AL Wild Card slot, behind three other teams as well as the two Wild Card leaders. It’s enough uncertainty which could push the Mariners to sell.