Daily Dose: Beaning sends Wright to DL

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David Wright spent Saturday night in the hospital after getting beaned in the head by a 94-mph Matt Cain fastball, but was released Sunday after being diagnosed with post-concussion symptoms. Corey Koskie’s career was ruined by the aftereffects of a concussion and the Mets saw how much it hurt Ryan Church last year, so certainly Wright isn’t out of the woods yet.
However, simply avoiding a major facial injury is great news given the pitch’s speed and location. With the Mets out of contention there was no real need to see if Wright could get back on the field in a hurry, so the team smartly placed him on the disabled list Sunday afternoon. “David wanted to give it a chance to try to go out there and play, but we decided to take it away,” general manager Omar Minaya said.
Wright’s batting average (.324), on-base percentage (.414), and steal total (24) are all the second-best marks of his career, but his power has been absent all season with just eight homers in 497 plate appearances. He’ll no doubt try to come back in two weeks, but certainly could be shut down for the season. Fernando Tatis will man third base in the meantime and should have solid value in NL-only leagues.
While the Mets’ disabled list could probably beat their active roster at this point, here are some other notes from around baseball …


* Saturday was apparently a bad time to be a baseball player’s noggin, because in addition to Wright’s beaning Hiroki Kuroda took a line drive off his forehead and also spent the night in a hospital. Kuroda didn’t lose consciousness and CAT scans were negative, so he was released Sunday and has been cleared to fly with the Dodgers. He’ll be tested further before the team decides if he needs a disabled list stint.
* The deadline to sign draft picks is midnight Monday and 11 of the first 20 picks are unsigned, including No. 1 overall selection Stephen Strasburg. Nationals president Stan Kasten said Saturday that Strasburg has been offered a record-setting contract, but various reports suggest that the current proposal won’t get him signed and some speculation has agent Scott Boras seeking upwards of $40 million.
AL Quick Hits: After sitting out over a month, Torii Hunter (groin) rejoined the lineup with two hits Sunday … Impending free agent Erik Bedard said Saturday that he’d like to re-sign with the Mariners following shoulder surgery … Nick Blackburn had another terrible outing Sunday, serving up three homers before being chased in the third inning … Junichi Tazawa failed to record a strikeout Sunday and coughed up four runs on 10 hits in five innings … Jim Thome will miss at least one game after aggravating his left foot injury Sunday … Juan Rivera went 3-for-8 with four RBIs and three runs Sunday as his three-run homer capped the Angels’ amazing nine-run 13th inning … Mark Ellis delivered a walk-off homer Sunday against Chicago closer Bobby Jenks … Delmon Young is finally showing signs of life, homering Sunday for the third time in six games.
NL Quick Hits: Johnny Cueto is likely to have his next start skipped after going 0-6 with a 10.63 ERA in his last eight outings … Carlos Zambrano (back) is expected to make a rehab start Thursday at Single-A … Jonny Gomes went deep again Sunday and now ranks second to Albert Pujols in at-bats per homer … Roy Oswalt struggled Sunday for the second straight start, giving up five runs over six innings as his ERA climbed above 4.00 … Rich Harden will be skipped in the rotation for now because he warmed up before Sunday’s rainout … Nick Johnson left Sunday’s game with a hamstring injury, which is amazingly his first real health issue of the year … Randy Wolf had 10 strikeouts in 7.2 innings of three-run ball Sunday and also went 3-for-4 with a homer, a double, and three RBIs at the plate … After missing his last start with a toe injury, Aaron Cook returned by allowing seven runs Sunday … Colby Rasmus delivered a walk-off homer Sunday against Padres closer Heath Bell.

Royals pay tribute to late Yordano Ventura during spring training opener

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - AUGUST 12: Yordano Ventura #30 of the Kansas City Royals delivers a pitch against the Minnesota Twins during the first inning of the game on August 12, 2016 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
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The Royals honored former pitcher Yordano Ventura prior to their first Cactus League game against the Rangers on Saturday. Ventura was killed in a car accident in his native Dominican Republic in late January.

Rangers’ third baseman Adrian Beltre and center fielder Carlos Gomez paid their respects to the pitcher with a floral arrangement that was laid on the mound. Both teams stood along the foul lines during a pregame video tribute that highlighted Ventura’s tenure with Kansas City. Following the game, Gomez spoke to the media about his relationship with Ventura, describing their frequent conversations during the season and commending the pitcher for having “the same passion that I had early in my career” (via WFAA.com’s Levi Weaver).

A plaque dedicated to the 25-year-old was also presented to club manager Ned Yost as a more permanent commemoration of Ventura’s contributions to the sport. Blair Kerkhoff of the Kansas City Star reports that the plaque will be mounted in the club’s spring training facilities alongside tributes to members of the Royals’ 2014 and 2015 playoff teams.

The full text of the plaque is below, via MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan:

A brother and a teammate, Yordano Ventura, passed away on the morning of January 22 in his native Dominican Republic, at the age of 25. He signed with the Royals as a 17-year-old, eventually making the big league team in 2013 as a 22-year-old. On most days, he could be found laughing and joking with his baseball family in the clubhouse. However, on days when he pitched, that smile was replaced by a quiet confidence and an intense fire, which he brought to the mound for every start. He had many highlights in his abbreviated career, not the least of which was throwing eight shutout innings in Game #6 of the 2014 World Series to force a Game #7 vs. San Francisco.

Gerrit Cole named Pirates’ Opening Day starter

BRADENTON, FL - FEBRUARY 19: Gerrit Cole #45 of the Pittsburgh Pirates poses for a photograph during MLB spring training photo day on February 19, 2017 at Pirate City in Bradenton, Florida. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
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Right-hander Gerrit Cole is set to take the mound for the Pirates on Opening Day, according to a team announcement on Saturday. It’s a spot that was most recently occupied by former Pirate Francisco Liriano, who made three consecutive Opening Day starts for the club before getting dealt to the Blue Jays last August.

The 26-year-old produced career-worst numbers during his fourth run with the Pirates in 2016, due in large part to bouts of inflammation in his right elbow. He finished the year with a 3.88 ERA, 2.8 BB/9 and 7.6 SO/9 over 116 innings before getting shut down in September to avoid further injury to his elbow. When healthy, however, Cole has been lights-out for the Pirates. Prior to his injury-laden campaign last year, he touted a career 3.07 ERA, 2.2 BB/9, 8.5 SO/9 and cumulative 10.2 fWAR from 2013 through 2015.

Cole will go toe-to-toe with the Red Sox during Boston’s home opener on Monday, April 3. Right-hander Jameson Taillon is scheduled to make the second start of the year, while fellow righty Ivan Nova will cover the Pirates’ home opener against the Braves on April 7. The Pirates’ third and fifth starters have yet to be announced.