Daily Dose: Short but sweet for Greinke

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Zack Greinke got some rare run support from the Royals’ lineup Thursday afternoon, picking up his 14th win to hopefully help Cy Young voters realize that he’s clearly the best pitcher in the league in spite of awful teammates. The bad news is that Greinke left after five shutout innings because his right elbow was swollen thanks to a Miguel Cabrera line drive.
Greinke actually pitched another 1.2 innings after Cabrera’s liner caused the Royals’ training staff and manager Trey Hillman to convene on the mound to test him with a whole bunch of warm-ups pitches. He retired five of six batters with two strikeouts to seemingly indicate that the injury isn’t significant, but that’s often tough to tell with all the adrenaline still flowing.
While the abbreviated outing gives Greinke an MLB-best 2.14 ERA in 210.1 innings, here are some other notes from around baseball …


* Gavin Floyd left Wednesday’s start after just two innings and will miss his next turn in the rotation because of a lingering hip injury, and manager Ozzie Guillen indicated that the White Sox may decide to shut him down for the year. “The main thing for us is to make sure we keep this guy healthy for the future,” Guillen said. “The way this guy has pitched for us the last two years he deserved and earned our consideration.”
Floyd got off to a poor start after going 17-8 last season, but his overall numbers are nearly identical to what he did in 2008. Last year he tossed 206 innings with a 3.84 ERA, 145/70 K/BB ratio, and 1.26 WHIP. This year he’s logged 193 innings with a 4.06 ERA, 163/59 K/BB ratio, and 1.23 WHIP. Slightly more strikeouts and slightly better control, but a much worse record at 11-11.
* Wade Davis followed up his excellent big-league debut with a rough outing against the Red Sox last week, giving up eight runs while recording eight outs. He bounced back in a huge way Thursday with a complete-game shutout of the Orioles, allowing just four hits and two walks while striking out 10. He also threw 124 pitches, which is a high for any Rays starter this season, so keep an eye on his next outing.
AL Quick Hits: Victor Martinez (personal) rejoined the lineup Thursday by extending his hitting streak to 16 games, but Kevin Youkilis (back) remained sidelined … After all the hype has died down, Matt Wieters is having a big week and a very solid rookie season … Ichiro Suzuki ended Thursday’s game in the 14th inning with his MLB-high 205th hit … Justin Morneau’s season-ending back injury came in the midst of what is now his annual stretch-run slump … John Danks got a no-decision Thursday despite allowing only a solo homer over eight innings … Fresh off a complete-game shutout, Brett Tomko (arm) has been shut down for the season … Despite struggling recently, Jim Johnson will remain the Orioles’ closer … Brandon Morrow continued to struggle with his control Thursday, handing out six walks … First-round pick Aaron Crow and the Royals finally agreed to a $4.5 million deal Thursday … If you’re not already, you really ought to start following me on Twitter.
NL Quick Hits: Jose Valverde is available to close again after missing three games with a fever … J.A. Happ (oblique) will rejoin the rotation Friday, but the Phillies won’t have Chan Ho Park (hamstring) in the bullpen for 2-3 weeks … Milton Bradley exited Thursday’s game with knee soreness, so as usual he’s day-to-day … Cole Hamels took a perfect game into the sixth inning Thursday before settling for eight innings of one-run ball … Chris Coghlan had hits in all four of his at-bats Thursday and is now batting .381 since August 1 … Derek Lowe is expected to make his next start despite leaving Wednesday’s outing with a blister … Dan Uggla indicated Wednesday that he expects to be traded this offseason … Shane Victorino was 0-for-3 before leaving Thursday’s game with “gastrointestinal illness” … Johnny Cueto was scratched with the flu Thursday, so Matt Maloney stepped in and notched his first MLB win … Ryan Garko hasn’t started since September 6, as the Giants’ midseason moves have not helped … Bobby Parnell is finished as a starter after going 1-5 with a 7.93 ERA.

White Sox reportedly considering Ian Desmond

Ian Desmond
AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin
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Many have speculated on a potential match between the White Sox and Ian Desmond this winter, but we haven’t heard much in the way of legitimate interest. That could be changing with spring training right around the corner, as MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reports that Chicago is among the teams considering the free agent shortstop.

After turning the page on Alexei Ramirez this offseason, the White Sox currently have Tyler Saladino in line to serve as their starting shortstop in 2016. The 26-year-old is considered a strong defender, but he batted .225/.267/.335 with four homers over 254 plate appearances as a rookie in 2015. Desmond is coming off a nightmare of a walk year and has seen his strikeout rate climb by 8.5 percent since 2012, but he possesses more offensive upside and it’s not hard to imagine a bounceback campaign while calling U.S. Cellular Field home.

Similar to fellow free agents Yovani Gallardo and Dexter Fowler, Desmond is attached to draft pick compensation after turning down a one-year, $15.8 million qualifying offer from the Nationals. It’s a big reason why a potential deal with the Rays is reported to be a “long shot.” Chicago’s No. 10 overall pick in this year’s draft is protected, so they would give up their No. 28 overall pick if they sign a qualifying offer free agent like Desmond.

Pirates sign reliever Eric O’Flaherty

Eric O'Flaherty
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Left-hander Eric O'Flaherty has agreed to a minor-league deal with the Pirates that includes an invitation to spring training.

O’Flaherty was one of the best relievers in the league for the Braves from 2009-2013, posting a combined 1.99 ERA in 249 innings, but Tommy John elbow surgery derailed his career and he struggled for the A’s and Mets in 2015 while dealing with shoulder problems.

It’s tough to know if O’Flaherty is healthy at this point, but the 31-year-old southpaw certainly has a chance to be a nice reclamation project for the Pirates on a no-risk contract.

Mariano Rivera to get his plaque in Monument Park on August 14

Mariano Rivera
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The greatest closer in history is going to get the ultimate honor the New York Yankees bestow on August 14. That’s when Mariano Rivera will get his plaque in Monument Park at Yankee Stadium before a game against the Rays.

There was some chatter in the last year or two about whether the Yankees were somehow lowering their standards out there, what with guys like Tino Martinez getting honored. But if that’s something you care about it won’t matter in this instance. Rivera would’ve been worthy even if the old snobby ways had held and only inner-circle types got a plaque, what with him being a key member of five World Series-winning teams and his status as the all-time saves leader in the regular season and the postseason.

The Yankees retired Rivera’s No. 42 in 2013. He’ll get his plaque in August. Then, on the first ballot for which he is eligible, he’ll be voted into the Hall of Fame, likely with a percentage in the mid-to-high 90s.

Dodgers “trying to trade” Alex Guerrero

Alex Guerrero
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Alex Guerrero is a potentially good right-handed bat without a position to play in Los Angeles, so Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reporting that the Dodgers are “trying to trade” him makes sense.

Guerrero, who signed with the Dodgers out of Cuba for $28 million in October of 2013, spent last season in the majors hitting .233 with 11 homers and a .695 OPS in a part-time role that generated 230 plate appearances. He logged a total of just 355 innings defensively, mostly as a left fielder and third baseman.

Guerrero could be intriguing–particularly to an American League team for whom his defense isn’t much of an issue–because he hit .329 with 15 homers and a 1.113 OPS in 65 games at Triple-A in 2014 and was consistently a .300 hitter with an OPS around 1.000 in Cuba. He’s also 29 years old, so Guerrero is no doubt looking to play regularly.