Daily Dose: Cup check!

Leave a comment

This is no laughing matter, despite the jokes that will inevitably fly after news of this breaks. It turns out that Mariners third baseman Adrian Beltre injured his testicle last night after a ground ball took a bad hop and hit him in the groin area. No, he does not wear a protective cup.
Geoff Baker, Seattle Times
That quote just about says it all. Adrian Beltre, who had already come back from June shoulder surgery to rejoin the Mariners’ lineup last week, is now back on the disabled list with an injury that will probably have everyone reading this right now cringing. He had tearing and internal bleeding, and may be headed for surgery that would end his season, yet amazingly stayed in the game for 14 innings Wednesday.
Baker reports that Beltre could return in a couple weeks if surgery isn’t needed, but no one would blame the impending free agent for taking September off either way. Beltre’s unfortunate injury combined with Jack Wilson’s hamstring problems have the Mariners extremely short-handed on the left side of the infield, so much so that Jack Hannahan and Josh Wilson were the starters Thursday night against the Yankees.
While protective cup sales skyrocket in the Seattle area, here are some other notes from around baseball …


* Bronson Arroyo was busy Thursday. In the afternoon reports surfaced about his admitted use of over-the-counter supplements that aren’t on MLB’s approved list and a few hours later he tossed a two-hit shutout against the Nationals, giving up just one walk and two singles while plunking a batter. Arroyo has a Quality Start in six of his last seven outings, slicing his ERA from 5.85 to 4.74 during that time.
* Jake Peavy took a big first step towards joining the White Sox by the end of the month when he threw three shutout innings in a rehab start Thursday at Triple-A. Out since early June with a torn ankle tendon, Peavy struck out five, walked one, and allowed just one hit while throwing 43 pitches against the Red Sox’s affiliate. He’s aiming for August 28 against the Yankees as his White Sox debut.
* Tim Hudson also had an encouraging rehab outing Thursday, allowing two runs in four innings at Triple-A. He threw 42 of 63 pitches for strikes and was clocked in the low-90s consistently, which matches the 91 miles per hour he averaged on his fastball prior to Tommy John elbow surgery. He’s expected to make 2-3 more rehab starts before coming off the disabled list at some point next month.
AL Quick Hits: Justin Verlander blanked the Red Sox for eight innings Thursday as Clay Buchholz picked up a tough-luck loss … Neftali Feliz whiffed five in two perfect innings Thursday, giving him 13 strikeouts with zero walks in 6.2 innings overall … Torii Hunter (groin) homered in a rehab game Wednesday and is set to come off the disabled list this weekend … CC Sabathia had his first 10-strikeout game Thursday after notching eight of them last year … David Ortiz went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts against Verlander and is 5-for-44 (.113) this month … A pair of MRI exams revealed no major damage to Glen Perkins’ shoulder, so he could return in September … Justin Morneau went hitless in four at-bats Thursday with his batting average dropping below .300 for the first time since April … Baltimore will go with a six-man rotation in September to accommodate young arms Chris Tillman, Brian Matusz, and David Hernandez … Josh Hamilton went 4-for-4 with two doubles Thursday and has 18 hits in his last 10 games.
NL Quick Hits: Jonny Gomes homered three times Thursday and is now slugging .566 in 166 at-bats … Garrett Jones struck out in all four of his at-bats Thursday, perhaps signaling the end of his deal with the devil … Ted Lilly (knee, shoulder) said Thursday that he’ll be ready to rejoin the rotation next week … Cliff Lee won his sixth straight start with eight innings of one-run ball Thursday … Manny Parra allowed six runs on 13 hits to the NL’s worst offense Thursday, but got his fifth straight win thanks to Cesar Carrillo being rocked in his debut … Dexter Fowler returned from a bruised knee by going 4-for-5 with three doubles and three runs Thursday … Jason Marquis tossed seven innings of one-run ball Thursday, tying Johan Santana and Adam Wainwright for the league lead with 13 wins … Kevin Kouzmanoff had hits in all five at-bats Thursday and went 11-for-13 in the series against Milwaukee … Already pitching through a knee injury, Mike Hampton left Thursday’s start after straining his shoulder.

Johnny Monell signs with KBO’s KT Wiz

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JULY 06:  Johnny Monell #19 of the New York Mets runs back to the dugout after he scored in the ninth inning against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park on July 6, 2015 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Former Mets catcher Johnny Monell signed a contract with the KT Wiz of the Korea Baseball Organization, per a report by Chris Cotillo of SB Nation. The 30-year-old originally struck a deal with the NC Dinos on Thursday, but the deal appeared to fall through at the last minute, according to Cotillo’s unnamed source.

Monell last surfaced for the Mets during their 2015 run, batting a dismal .167/.231/.208 with two extra bases in 52 PA before the club DFA’d him to clear space for Bartolo Colon. While he’s had difficulty sticking at the major league level, he’s found a higher degree of success in the minor league circuit and holds a career .271 average over a decade of minor league play. He played exclusively in Triple-A Las Vegas during the 2016 season, slashing .276/.336/.470 with 19 home runs and a career-high 75 RBI in 461 PA.

The veteran backstop appears to be the second MLB player to join the KT Wiz roster this offseason, as right-hander Donn Roach also signed with the club last month on a one-year, $850,000 deal.

Phil Bickford suspended 50 games for drug of abuse

SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 10:  Phil Bickford of the U.S. Team pitches during the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game at PETCO Park on July 10, 2016 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Getty Images
5 Comments

Brewers’ right-hander Phil Bickford received a 50-game suspension after testing positive for a drug of abuse, per the Los Angeles Times’ Bill Shaikin. This is the second time Bickford has been suspended for recreational drug use, as he was previously penalized in 2015 after testing positive for marijuana prior to the amateur draft.

Bickford was selected by the Giants in the first round of the 2015 draft and was later dealt to the Brewers for lefty reliever Will Smith at the 2016 trade deadline. He finished his 2016 campaign in High-A Brevard County, pitching to a 3.67 ERA, 10.0 K/9 rate and 5.0 BB/9 over 27 innings.

Two other suspensions were handed down on Friday, one to Toronto minor league right-hander Pedro Loficial for a positive test for metabolites of Stanozolol and one to Miami minor league outfielder Casey Soltis for a second positive test for drugs of abuse. Loficial will serve a 72-game suspension, while Soltis will serve 50 games. All three suspensions are due to start at the beginning of the 2017 season for each respective minor league team.

Brewers’ GM David Stearns issued a statement after the Commissioner’s Office announced Bickford’s suspension (via Vince Lara-Cinisomo of Baseball America):

We are very disappointed to learn of Phil’s suspension, but we fully support the Minor League Baseball Drug Prevention and Testing Program and its enforcement by the Commissioner’s Office. Phil understands he made a mistake, and we fully anticipate that he will learn from this experience.