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.

Mets leaning on Jay Bruce, Neil Walker as Lucas Duda insurance

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MAY 12:  Pinch hitter Lucas Duda #21 of the New York Mets walks back to the dugout after striking out for the first out of the ninth inning against Clayton Kershaw #22 of the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on May 12, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.  The Dodgers won 5-0.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
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The Mets have begun working outfielder Jay Bruce and second baseman Neil Walker at first base as potential insurance in the event Lucas Duda continues to experience back discomfort, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports. Duda has been sidelined recently due to back spasms and missed all but 47 games last season as a result of a stress fracture in his lower back.

Manager Terry Collins spoke about Bruce’s work at first base on Sunday, saying, “I liked everything I saw today. “It looks like he’s got the athleticism, he’s got the hands, he’s got the arm angle. He made some throws in our drills that you wouldn’t expect an outfielder to be able to make, but yet he does. If that’s where we have to go, I think we’ll be fine.”

Bruce has only three games’ worth of experience at first base at the major league level, but still has high expectations for himself. He said, “I am going to work at it. I want to give myself a chance and the team a chance. I am not going to go over there and be a butcher. It’s just not the way I go about my business on the baseball field and it wouldn’t be fair to the team if I wasn’t capable to do it, so I am going to work at it and we’ll see what happens.”

The Mets made Bruce available via trade over the offseason but didn’t get an offer that whet their appetite. As a result, Michael Conforto appears to be the odd man out in the Mets’ crowded outfield.

Jason Kipnis diagnosed with a strained rotator cuff

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 02:  Jason Kipnis #22 of the Cleveland Indians celebrates after scoring a run on a wild pitch thrown by Jon Lester #34 of the Chicago Cubs (not pictured) during the fifth inning in Game Seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis has been diagnosed with a strained rotator cuff in his right shoulder, MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian reports. Kipnis has received a cortisone shot and will be shut down from throwing for the next four to five days.

There’s a lot of spring left, so it’s perfectly sensible for the Indians to play it safe with their star player. The club already had Kipnis on a shoulder strengthening program.

Kipnis, 29, helped the Indians to the playoffs after batting .275/.343/.469 with 23 home runs, 92 RBI, 91 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases in 688 plate appearances during the regular season last year. He then helped the Indians reach Game 7 of the World Series against the Cubs, where they were eventually stopped, as he provided a .741 OPS including four homers and eight RBI in 15 playoff games.