Daily Dose: He's alive!

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Chris Young earned his demotion to Triple-A last month by hitting .194 in 103 games and went just 4-for-25 (.160) with 10 strikeouts during his first week back in Arizona, but that all changed Sunday. Young blasted three homers and drew a pair of walks in five plate appearances against the Rockies. Sure, his monster day came at Coors Field, but the rest of the Diamondbacks were just 3-for-30 with seven strikeouts.
Young had an opportunity to tie the major-league record with a fourth long ball in the ninth inning and with the Diamondbacks down eight runs there was every reason just to swing away, but instead he coaxed a two-out walk. Perhaps not surprising from a guy who’s averaged 55 walks per 150 games through the age of 25 and a reminder that despite his struggles and high strikeout rates he still has some plate discipline.
There’s no getting around the fact that he was brutally bad prior to the demotion and Young had been disappointing in general by batting just .232/.303/.428 through 448 career games, but for fantasy purposes it’s way too early to give up on the former top prospect. He just turned 26 years old Saturday and has averaged 22 homers and 18 steals per 150 games even while hitting .232 with a strikeout one-fourth of the time.
While the Diamondbacks stick with Young after handing him a five-year, $28 million contract just 17 months ago, here are some other notes from around baseball …


* Wade Davis looked very good in his MLB debut Sunday, racking up nine strikeouts while holding the Tigers to one run in seven innings. He was denied a win when the bullpen blew a two-run lead, but Davis definitely pitched well enough to remain in the rotation. Last week in this space I recommended Davis as an AL-only pickup and I’m still not sure he’s a good mixed-league investment, but there are worse fliers to take.
* Drew Stubbs continued his uncharacteristic power display Sunday afternoon, going deep for the fifth time in 84 at-bats after homering a grand total of three times in 107 games at Triple-A prior to last month’s call-up to Cincinnati. Stubbs has the speed, plate discipline, and defense to be an asset long term, but hitting homers and making consistent contact ultimately are not going to be strengths.
AL Quick Hits: Luke Hochevar was battered for seven runs Sunday, making him 0-6 with an 8.12 ERA since back-to-back great starts in July … Derek Holland struggled again Sunday and has now allowed 22 runs in his last dozen innings … Ichiro Suzuki got his 2,000th hit in his 1,402nd career game Sunday, which is just a dozen games short of Al Simmons’ all-time record … Jake Peavy (elbow) threw a 60-pitch bullpen session Sunday and will throw again later this week … Brandon Inge’s grand slam in the ninth inning Sunday pushed the Tigers’ divisional lead to seven games … Sergio Mitre was rocked for 11 runs Sunday, with terrible defense playing a part … Jeremy Guthrie pulled his ERA under 5.00 for the first time since May with seven scoreless innings Sunday … Gio Gonzalez turned in seven innings of two-run ball Sunday after coming into the game with a 6.07 ERA … Carl Crawford went hitless Sunday for the fourth straight game … Jon Lester had seven shutout innings Sunday for his seventh straight Quality Start.
NL Quick Hits: Justin Upton was pulled from Sunday’s game after failing to hustle on a hit off the wall that he assumed was a homer … Prince Fielder leads baseball with 123 RBIs after delivering a walk-off homer in the 12th inning Sunday … Jerry Manuel said Sunday that Carlos Delgado’s (hip) chances of playing again this year are “very slim” … Tim Hudson allowed just one run and had six strikeouts versus one walk in seven innings Sunday … Miguel Tejada had hits in all four at-bats Sunday and drove in a run for the first time since August 19 … Mike Pelfrey evened his record at 10-10 with eight innings of one-run ball Sunday … Seth Smith went deep twice and drove in five runs Sunday … Johnny Cueto had nine strikeouts in six innings of one-run ball Sunday … Ryan Zimmerman’s walk-off homer Sunday snapped a nine-game losing streak and handed Leo Nunez his second blown save this month … Daniel Cabrera gave up five runs without recording an out in his Diamondbacks debut Sunday.

Pablo Sandoval had successful shoulder surgery

Boston Red Sox third baseman Pablo Sandoval (48) prepares to hit during baseball spring training in Fort Myers, Fla. Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016.  (Corey Perrine/Naples Daily News via AP)  FORT MYERS OUT; MANDATORY CREDIT
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Pablo Sandoval underwent successful surgery today to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder. The Red Sox said afterward that he will be out the remainder of 2016 and that they anticipate him being ready for 2017. That’s the official word, of course, on what many reported last night. But it’s nice that it’s official.

It’s also nice that the surgery was “successful.” Of course it’s always “successful” the day of the surgery. No one has ever released a statement saying “Shlabotnik had knee surgery today. It was an unmitigated disaster. Like, oh my god, you don’t want to know and I can’t even with this.” If there are problems, they’re always revealed later.

Here’s hoping there are no problems for Sandoval.

What’s on Tap: Previewing Tuesday’s action

New York Mets starting pitcher Matt Harvey (33) delivers during the first inning of a baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds, Wednesday, April 27, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
AP Photo/Kathy Willens
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We’re back to a full slate of games on Tuesday night. The game to watch tonight, especially if you’re a fan of mismatches, is Braves-Mets. The Mets easily handled the Braves on Monday night, winning 4-1. The club blasted three home runs in the first inning off of Mike Foltynewicz, which is nearly as many homers as the Braves have hit all season (five). The Mets went on cruise control from there. Bartolo Colon finished with seven strikeouts over eight shutout innings. Jeurys Familia gave up a run but was able to reach the finish line.

The Braves are now 6-19, a game ahead of the Astros and Twins for the worst record in baseball. It’s not particularly shocking since the Braves have embraced tanking in their final year at Turner Field. How low can they go? The Atlanta record for losses in a season is 106 by the 1988 club. The 1935 Boston Braves went 38-115. The Braves’ current .240 winning percentage would rank as the worst in franchise history — including Atlanta, Boston, and Milwaukee — if the season were to end today.

Tuesday’s pitching match-up features Matt Wisler for the Braves and Matt Harvey for the Mets. The two will square off at 7:10 PM EDT at Citi Field tonight.

The rest of Tuesday’s action…

Detroit Tigers (Justin Verlander) @ Cleveland Indians (Josh Tomlin), 6:10 PM EDT

Chicago Cubs (Jake Arrieta) @ Pittsburgh Pirates (Jon Niese), 7:05 PM EDT

New York Yankees (Luis Severino) @ Baltimore Orioles (Chris Tillman), 7:05 PM EDT

Texas Rangers (Martin Perez) @ Toronto Blue Jays (Marco Estrada), 7:07 PM EDT

Arizona Diamondbacks (Patrick Corbin) @ Miami Marlins (Justin Nicolino), 7:10 PM EDT

Los Angeles Dodgers (Scott Kazmir) @ Tampa Bay Rays (Matt Moore), 7:10 PM EDT

San Francisco Giants (Jeff Samardzija) @ Cincinnati Reds (Jon Moscot), 7:10 PM EDT

Boston Red Sox (Steven Wright) @ Chicago White Sox (Jose Quintana), 8:10 PM EDT

Los Angeles Angels (Nick Tropeano) @ Milwaukee Brewers (Junior Guerra), 8:10 PM EDT

Minnesota Twins (Alex Meyer) @ Houston Astros (Collin McHugh), 8:10 PM EDT

Philadelphia Phillies (Aaron Nola) @ St. Louis Cardinals (Michael Wacha), 8:15 PM EDT

Washington Nationals (Tanner Roark) @ Kansas City Royals (Chris Young), 8:15 PM EDT

Seattle Mariners (Hisashi Iwakuma) @ Oakland Athletics (Sonny Gray), 10:05 PM EDT

Colorado Rockies (Eddie Butler) @ San Diego Padres (Andrew Cashner), 10:10 PM EDT

Bryce Harper signs the largest endorsement deal in MLB history

Washington Nationals' Bryce Harper pumps his fist as he takes a curtain call after he hit a grand slam during the third  inning of an baseball game against the Atlanta Braves, Thursday, April 14, 2016, in Washington. This was Harper's 100th home run of his career. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
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I figure it’s not that hard to sign the largest endorsement deal in baseball history. In the NBA? Sure. Those deals are insane. But in baseball? Man, we still have major leaguers doing quickie, video taped ads for local car dealerships and sandwich shops and stuff. It would mildly surprise me if I saw a third starter for a .500 team spinning and flipping one of those signs on a street corner near a new apartment complex some day, but I wouldn’t be utterly shocked. It’s just a different set of economics. You can’t really wear baseball shoes out around town. Cleats tend to scuff up the woodwork.

But Bryce Harper is different. He was barely in the league a year before I saw his giant underwear-clad butt in a big glossy ad while walking through the unmentionables department at Macy’s and his Under Armour ads are all over the place. Probably the closest thing we’ve seen to NBA-style shoe exposure in MLB, though it doesn’t quite compare.

It may one day, though: he has reportedly signed a 10-year extension with Under Armour that is believed to be the largest endorsement deal in history for a baseball player. Terms aren’t being disclosed, but they’re claiming that so it’s probably at least plausible.

Baseball players will still never be the kind of product-pushers other athletes are, but Harper is probably the closest thing it’ll get for a while. At the very least he can be the second or third banana in one of those commercials in which stars from various sports do things like shave, drink sports drinks and, I dunno, flex their quads while wearing compression gear. He can be Garfunkel to Steph Curry’s Simon. Or something.

Major League Baseball may cancel the upcoming Puerto Rico series due to Zika concerns

FILE - In this Jan. 27, 2016, file photo, Aedes aegypti mosquito larvae sit in a petri dish at the Fiocruz institute in Recife, Pernambuco state, Brazil. Even before the Zika virus reached crisis levels early this year, Brazil had trouble maintaining routine eradication efforts. An Associated Press investigation found that cities and states in Brazil’s northeast ran out of larvicide for several months last year. The Aedes aegypti mosquito are a vector for the spread of Zika virus. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)
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Last month we wrote about how the Pirates and the Marlins are scheduled to play a series in Puerto Rico at the end of May. And how, due to an outbreak of Zika on the island, Pirates and Marlins players have voiced serious concerns. For, among other reasons, Zika precautions are such that those exposed should not engage in procreative sex for several months due to birth defects concerns and baseball players are at an age when doing stuff like having kids is a pretty important thing.

This afternoon Yahoo’s Jeff Passan reports that, while the official line is that the series will still be played, multiple sources with knowledge of the situation are telling him that it’s on “the brink of cancellation.”

It’s understandable though, as Passan notes, it makes politics — both baseball politics and regular politics — with Puerto Rico kind of uncomfortable. And then there’s the concern that Zika could spread to Florida and is already in other countries, which means that the Pirates-Marlins thing is something of a case of first impression which could set precedents beyond just baseball.

That’s understandable, but it’s also a set of concerns that are above the pay grade of baseball players. Personally, it’s hard to blame them for being wary. And this seems like some reasonable wariness, not hysteria.