Bum wheel hurting Giles in fight for bench job

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After just one week of spring training Brian Giles told MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick that his oft-injured right knee hasn’t responded as well he’d like:

Not as much as I’d like at this point. It’s just okay. Obviously, I’ll give it a few more days. It’s not where I want it to be. I’ll see if it gets better with more conditioning and how that changes it.

As a general rule of thumb 39-year-old players with chronic injuries that are still hurting after an offseason to rest tend not to get a whole lot healthier with “a few more days.”
Giles was already competing with 36-year-old Doug Mientkiewicz to be a left-handed bench bat for the Dodgers and now 38-year-old Garret Anderson has joined the elderly mix after signing a minor-league deal yesterday. Giles and Anderson are obviously bigger names than Mientkiewicz (although not literally, because few are literally bigger names than “Mienkiewicz”), but at this point they’re also no sure thing to be any better offensively and offer significantly less defensive ability or versatility.

Masahiro Tanaka throws a Maddux

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You do know what a Maddux is, right? In case you forgot, it’s a complete game shutout in which the starter throws fewer than 100 pitches. Friend of HBT Jason Lukehart invented that little metric and, because Greg Maddux is my favorite player ever, it’s pretty much my favorite stat ever.

In the Yankees-Red Sox game tonight it was Masahiro Tanaka doing the honors, tossing 97-pitch three-hitter in which he only allowed one runner to reach second base to beat Boston 3-0. He only struck out three but he didn’t walk anyone. He retired the last 14 batters he faced.

Chris Sale was no slouch himself, striking out ten in eight innings. He’s pitched great this year but he’s not getting any help. The Sox have only scored four runs in his five starts. Boston has scored only 13 runs in their last seven games. They’ve been shut out three times in the past seven. They scored more runs than anyone last year, by the way.

The game only took two hours and twenty-one minutes. Or, like, half the time of a Yankees-Red Sox game in the early 2000s. Progress, people. We’re making progress.

Shelby Miller has a tear in his UCL, considering Tommy John surgery

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Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports that Diamondbacks pitcher Shelby Miller has a tear in his ulnar collateral ligament and is considering undergoing Tommy John surgery. Surgery would end Miller’s 2017 season and would cut into a significant portion — if not all — of his 2018 season as well.

Miller sent his MRI results to Dr. Neal ElAttrache and Dr. James Andrews for second and third opinions, respectively. He could choose to rehab his elbow rather than undergo surgery, but that comes with its own set of positives and negatives.

Miller lasted only four-plus innings in his most recent start on Sunday and carries a 4.09 ERA on the season, his second with the Diamondbacks. His time in Arizona has not gone well.