Cubs looking for relief help, interested in Frasor

Leave a comment

ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick reports that the Cubs are “urgently seeking relief help” following Angel Guzman’s latest injury setback and have shown interest in Jason Frasor of the Blue Jays.
Frasor is technically in a three-way battle for closing duties with Kevin Gregg and Scott Downs, but will almost surely begin the season in his usual setup role. He’s affordable at just $2.65 million and went 7-3 with a 2.50 ERA and 56/16 K/BB ratio in 57.2 innings last season, but prior to that Frasor had three straight years with an ERA in the 4.00s.
While not a dominant late-inning option he’d certainly be a solid pickup for the Cubs in a seventh- or perhaps even eighth-inning role. For the rebuilding Blue Jays it would make sense to deal Frasor if they can get at least one solid prospect in return, because he’s 32 years old and in his final season before free agency.

Steven Souza Jr. exits game after injuring his hand on a hit by pitch

Getty Images
3 Comments

Rays’ right fielder Steven Souza Jr. left Saturday’s game after getting hit on the left hand by a pitch from Blue Jays’ right-hander Joe Biagini in the seventh inning. The pitch appeared to hit the top of Souza Jr.’s hand, causing the outfielder to crumple at the plate and requiring assistance from assistant athletic trainer Paul Harker as he exited the field. Postgame reports from the Tampa Bay Times’ Marc Topkin revealed that Souza Jr. sustained a left hand contusion and is scheduled to undergo further evaluation on Sunday.

While the diagnosis isn’t as bad as it could be, it’s still a tough break for the right fielder, who missed 40 days of the 2015 season after sustaining a fracture in his left hand on another hit by pitch. The team has yet to announce any concrete timetable for Souza Jr.’s return, though manager Kevin Cash indicated that they’ll be taking things day to day for the time being.

Souza Jr. is batting .326/.398/.543 with four home runs and 17 RBI through 104 PA in 2017. He went 1-for-2 with a base hit and a walk prior to his departure during Saturday’s 4-1 loss.

Video: Brett Gardner goes deep for his first and second home runs of 2017

Getty Images
3 Comments

It’s been a slow start to the season for Yankees’ outfielder Brett Gardner, who entered Saturday’s matinee against the Orioles with a .188/.316/.234 batting line, three doubles and five stolen bases in his first 76 PA of the year. That all changed in the first inning of Saturday’s game, when Gardner skied a leadoff home run to right field:

Orioles’ right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez couldn’t find his footing against the Yankees in the second inning, either. Gardner returned for his second home run of the season, a three-run shot to lift New York 5-0 over Baltimore:

Measured at 411 feet in the right field bullpen, the left fielder’s blast marked the seventh home run hit by a Yankee this series. According to the club’s PR department, it’s also the first multi-home run game Gardner has recorded since September 2015. The Yankees currently lead the Orioles 7-0 through four innings.