Stephen Strasburg is human, at least in Arizona

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Stephen Strasburg made his second Arizona Fall League appearance yesterday and got rocked for eight runs in 2.2 innings, serving up three homers.
Chico Harlan of the Washington Post notes that Strasburg served up a grand total of just four homers in 109 innings at San Diego State this year, but in addition to the obvious upgrade in competition the AFL also boasts an incredibly hitter-friendly environment where the league as a whole is batting .302.
A few ugly AFL outings may take some of the air out of Strasburg’s incredible hype, but as Matt Wieters showed this season that’s not such a bad thing and history is littered with great pitching prospects who’ve gone to Arizona to get shelled. He still throws in the high-90s regularly, still has big-time breaking stuff, and still has a very good chance of being a very good pitcher. He’s just not a fully formed Cy Young winner at the age of 21.

Adrian Gonzalez might retire after his contract is up if his back isn’t any better

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Despite dealing with back trouble for five years, Adrian Gonzalez of the Dodgers recently made his first ever trip to the disabled list. Then he made another trip there. All of it has him contemplating his future. As he tells Bill Plunkett of the OC Register, his baseball future may be a short one if his health doesn’t improve:

“I want to get back this year to help the team and for me to be healthy,” Gonzalez said. “But I’m thinking more long-term about being able to play more years.

“Because if I have to deal with this next year again? That’ll probably be it. My contract will be over, that’ll probably be it. I won’t play any more. If I can heal it and my body feels good? Now I can go out there and do the things I can do. Then I’ll keep playing.”

Backs are one of those things that don’t get better as you get older. At least not without a lot of work and effort and good luck. Gonzalez is 35 now, so he’ll need all of that to keep playing beyond his current deal.

The Cubs send Kyle Schwarber to the minors

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Kyle Schwarber broke into the bigs in 2015 with a big bat. After missing almost all of the last season with an injury, he reemerged as a postseason hero, posting a .971 OPS in the World Series. As 2017 began he was supposed to be one of the key parts of a potent Cubs offense.

Then the baseball games actually started and he has hit a mere .171/.295/.378. Indeed, he has the lowest batting average among qualified MLB hitters in 2017. Given that he has very little if any defensive value, he has been a significant drag on the Cubs, who are just a single game over .500.

Now this:

The Cubs are also putting Jason Heyward on the disabled list, so the outfield is a bit of a mess these days. Lucky for them, they’re only trailing the Brewers by a game and a half.