Knee injury, 6.81 ERA get Washburn skipped

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Asked yesterday about reports that he’s been pitching through a knee injury, Jarrod Washburn said: “It’s not new news. It’s been bothering me for three or four months.” Of course, three or four months ago Washburn was pitching well in Seattle and now he’s sporting a 6.81 ERA in six starts with Detroit.
This afternoon manager Jim Leyland announced that the Tigers will skip Washburn’s next scheduled turn in the rotation, with Armando Galarraga returning from Triple-A to take his place Saturday against the Rays. For now the plan is for Washburn to take a week off and then rejoin the rotation on September 10 against the Royals.
“I got skipped once earlier this year in Seattle and it helped quiet it down a little bit so the pain level was tolerable,” Washburn said. “So we figured it was worth another try. Any doctor that’s seen it told me there’s probably some cartilage damage in there, so it’s probably not going to go away.”
Galarraga was a mess prior to his demotion, going 6-10 with a 5.05 ERA in 24 starts thanks largely to the least-effective fastball in the league. Fortunately for the Tigers they have a 4.5-game lead in baseball’s worst division and, unless the Twins turn things around in a hurry, they can focus on getting Washburn as healthy as possible for the playoffs.

The Giants are calling up Jae-gyun Hwang

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The Giants will call up infielder Jae-gyun Hwang from Triple-A Sacramento on Wednesday, NBC Sports Bay Area’s Alex Pavlovic reports.

Hwang, 29, signed with the Giants as a free agent from South Korea. He’ll earn a prorated salary of $1.5 million in the majors and has a chance to earn up to an additional $1.6 million in performance bonuses.

At Triple-A, Hwang hit .287/.333/.476 with seven home runs and 44 RBI in 279 plate appearances. He has mostly played first and third base, but also spent 17 defensive innings in left field. First base is spoken for with Brandon Belt, but Hwang could get the occasional start at the hot corner or in left field in San Francisco.

Hwang spent the previous 10 seasons in the Korean Baseball Organization. In his final season with the Lotte Giants last year, he hit .335/.397/.570 with 27 homers and 113 RBI.

Report: Pete Mackanin fined Odubel Herrera for attempting to steal despite red light

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CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury reports that Phillies outfielder Odubel Herrera was fined an undisclosed amount by manager Pete Mackanin for attempting to steal a base on Saturday against the Diamondbacks despite being given a red light. Herrera, arguably the Phillies’ best base runner, usually has a green light, but Mackanin felt that Herrera stealing and opening up first base would have prompted the D-Backs to intentionally walk Cameron Rupp to get to the pitcher’s spot in the lineup.

The incident occurred in the top of the sixth inning with the Phillies trailing 3-2. Starter Robbie Ray got the first two Phillies out, but Herrera kept the inning alive with a line drive single to right field. Before the second pitch to Rupp, Ray picked off Herrera in a play that was scored 1-3-4.

According to Salisbury, although Mackanin wouldn’t confirm or deny that he fined Herrera, he did say, “Base running matters.”

This is not the first base running blunder Herrera has had this season. Last week, Herrera ran through third base coach Juan Samuel’s stop sign in an attempt to score the game-winning run. And it’s also not the first bit of contention between Mackanin and his players. There was apparently some miscommunication between him and reliever Pat Neshek last week as well.

The Phillies enter play Tuesday night with baseball’s worst record at 24-51. That puts them on pace for a 52-110 season.