Link-O-Rama: More problems for Matt Bush

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* When last we checked in with Matt Bush the former No. 1 overall pick was pleading guilty to assault charges on draft day, which seemed fitting for one of the biggest busts in draft history. In the month since then Bush has been arrested again, this time being charged with a DUI, resisting arrest, driving on a suspended license, and vandalism.

The beauty of the situation is that last month Bush’s lawyer said:
“He fully intends to get his act together and do whatever is required
of him by the court. They could tell him to attend alcohol rehab on the
moon, and he’d agree to it.” Apparently that rehab center on the moon
was all booked up or something.

* Minnesota was blown out
by New York last night, leaving manager Ron Gardenhire with a 14-38
(.269) career record against the Yankees compared to 651-515 (.558)
versus everyone else. Oh, and he’s also 2-6 against New York in the
playoffs.

* Last week I wrote about
how baffling it was that “Matt Kemp has been one of the league’s best
players, yet has batted higher than sixth in the Dodgers’ lineup just
10 times.” This week R.J. Anderson of Fans Graphs has taken up the same cause, but with even more stats.

* Vladimir Guerrero played the outfield last night for just the second time this season and lasted all of eight innings before leaving with a knee injury.

* Alan Embree picked up a victory last night without actually throwing a pitch.

Blue Jays shut down Steve Pearce for the rest of 2017

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The Blue Jays have shut down left fielder Steve Pearce for the remainder of the season following a lingering case of lower back stiffness. Pearce has not appeared in a game since September 8, when he was forced to exit in the first inning after experiencing back pain during his at-bat. Per Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca, he’s scheduled to return to Florida next week, where he’ll receive epidural injections to address the pain.

Pearce, 34, impressed in his first season with Toronto. He battled through a calf injury during the first half of the season and finished the year with a modest .252/.319/.438 batting line, 13 home runs and a .757 OPS through 348 PA. By September, the Blue Jays started testing the waters with outfield prospect Teoscar Hernandez, who shouldered the bulk of the starts in left field after Pearce was sidelined with back issues.

With the Blue Jays all but eliminated from playoff contention, however, there’s no rush to get Pearce back to the outfield. He should be in fine shape to compete for another starting role in spring, and could face stiff competition from Hernandez if the rookie continues building on his .278 average and three home runs this month. The veteran outfielder is slated to receive the remaining $6.25 million on his contract in 2018 and will be eligible for free agency in 2019.

Brewers’ Julio Mendez remains hospitalized after hit by pitch

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Brewers’ minor league infielder Julio Mendez remains in “critical but stable condition,” club GM David Stearns announced Friday. Back in August, Mendez suffered a cardiac event after he was inadvertently struck by a ball from the Angels’ Austin Krzeminksi during a game between the rookie-level affiliates. The 20-year-old was removed to a Phoenix-area hospital for treatment following the incident and has recently been transferred to a hospital in his native Venezuela.

Mendez was in his fourth season with the Brewers’ organization. He spent the majority of his 2017 run with the rookie-level AZL Brewers, slashing .255/.294/.355 with 10 extra-base hits, 16 RBI and four stolen bases over 119 plate appearances. He currently holds a career .241/.324/.309 batting line, 33 extra bases and a .633 OPS through 668 PA.

Baseball is still on the back burner, however, as Mendez appears to have made little progress nearly a month following the hit by pitch. Thoughts go out to his family during this difficult time.