Link-O-Rama: Marlins stick with Gonzalez, Rays fire Henderson

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* All the hub-bub was apparently for nothing, because FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal reports that the Marlins will stick with Fredi Gonzalez as their manager in 2010. Gonzalez won 87 games this season and 84 games last season with an extremely limited payroll and relatively modest talent, so it’s tough to see an on-field reason for why the Marlins were even thinking about canning him.
* This season the Rays set franchise records for runs scored, homers, on-base percentage, and walks, yet they fired hitting coach Steve Henderson. According to team president Andrew Friedman “there were some inadequacies offensively this year,” which is a tough sell given that Tampa Bay ranked fifth among AL teams in offense after ranking ninth in scoring during their World Series run last season.
* Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the Houston Chronicle reports that former Indians, Mariners, and Orioles skipper Mike Hargrove “has reached out to the Astros” about their managerial opening. Hargrove had a ton of success in Cleveland throughout the 1990s, but had losing records in Seattle and Baltimore, hasn’t managed since 2007, and turns 60 years old later this month.
* Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that Omar Minaya reached out to recently fired general managers Kevin Towers and J.P. Ricciardi about possibly joining the Mets. Given his shaky job security following the Mets’ disastrous season, bringing in either former GM and putting an obvious successor in place would be an awfully risky move for Minaya.

Anthony Alford to miss 4-6 weeks following wrist surgery

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Blue Jays’ outfielder Anthony Alford will miss at least 4-6 weeks after undergoing surgery on his left wrist, the team announced on Saturday. Alford was placed on the 10-day disabled list earlier in the week after sustaining a left hamate fracture on a foul pitch, and could miss significant time in what looks to be a lengthy rehab process. MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm reports that the procedure has been scheduled for next week and will be performed by Dr. Donald Sheridan in Arizona.

Alford, 22, was called up to the majors from Double-A New Hampshire last Friday. He went hitless in his first three outings, finally catching a break against the Brewers on Tuesday when he pinch-hit a leadoff double in the seventh. The injury occurred two innings later when Alford fouled off a pitch in the ninth inning, fracturing his wrist in the process.

Alford will join eight other players on the Blue Jays’ disabled list, including outfielders Steve Pearce (calf strain), Dalton Pompey (concussion) and Darrell Cecillani (partial shoulder dislocation). He’s expected to be replaced by 24-year-old outfield prospect Dwight Smith Jr.

Stephen Strasburg hit a new career high today

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Good luck getting a hit against the Nationals this weekend. Stephen Strasburg followed Max Scherzer‘s 13-strikeout performance on Friday with a dazzling outing of his own on Saturday afternoon. The right-hander whiffed a career-best 15 batters in seven innings, allowing just three hits and a walk in the Nats’ 3-0 win.

It took Strasburg several innings to get into a groove after pitching into (and out of) a jam in the first inning. The Padres loaded the bases with Allen Cordoba‘s leadoff single, a throwing error by Ryan Zimmerman and a four-pitch walk to Cory Spangenberg. By the third, Strasburg was cruising, striking out the side on 18 pitches and keeping the Padres off the basepaths until the sixth. He recorded his 15th and final strikeout in the seventh inning, catching Padres’ prospect Franchy Cordero swinging on a 1-2 pitch to effectively end his outing.

While 15 strikeouts set a new career record for the Nationals’ ace, he came close to reaching the mark twice before. The first time, he struck out 14 of 24 batters during his major league debut against the 2010 Pirates, though the 5-2 win did little more than keep the Nationals neck-and-neck with the Marlins at the bottom of the NL East. Five years later, he tied his 14-strikeout record against the 2015 Phillies, tossing a one-hitter in eight innings to cement his ninth victory of the season.

The only one who doesn’t seem overly enthused by the new record? Strasburg himself, who told MLB.com’s Jamal Collier and AJ Cassavell: “It’s pretty cool, but there’s another game five, six days from now. I’ll enjoy it tonight, but back to work tomorrow.”