Flores 'back at square one' after Andrews visit

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After spending 12 days in Alabama undergoing physical therapy with Dr. James Andrews the news on Jesus Flores’ surgically repaired shoulder is … well, inconclusive.
Flores returned to Nationals camp sure that he’ll be healthy enough to play at some point this season, but he’s been ruled out for Opening Day and there’s no official timetable for his return. Or as the injured catcher put it: “As soon as I get 100 percent, I’ll be back.”
Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reports that Andrews and his team gave Flores treatment, helped with his rehab, and ran tests to determine if he “had experienced further structural damage since” the September surgery.
They “discovered nothing more alarming than some inflammation.” In fact, according to Flores he was told that the injury “is not a big deal” and “everything is fine now.” All of which sounds good, except Kilgore notes that Flores is now “back at square one” in terms of restarting baseball activities and will need to be cleared medically all over again just to begin throwing. In other words, it’s gonna be a while.
Ivan Rodriguez is the Nationals’ starting catcher, with Wil Nieves backing him up.

Astros’ bullpen throws combined one-hitter for MLB-best 30th win

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The Astros’ bullpen did yeoman’s work in place of the injured Dallas Keuchel on Monday against the Tigers. Keuchel is temporarily sidelined with a pinched nerve in his neck.

Brad Peacock made the spot start, limiting the Tigers to one hit and two walks with eight strikeouts over 4 1/3 innings. Chris Devenski took over with one out in the fifth, finishing out that inning as well as the sixth and seventh, facing the minimum. Will Harris pitched a perfect eighth and Ken Giles closed out the 1-0 victory in the ninth. Devenski, Harris, and Giles each had two strikeouts.

The Astros scored their only run in the bottom of the first inning as George Springer drew a leadoff walk, then scored on Jose Altuve‘s one-out double. Tigers starter Brad Fulmer pitched well enough to win on most days, giving up the lone run in seven frames.

After Monday’s win, the Astros became the first team to reach 30 wins, sitting on a 30-15 record. With a +55 run differential, even their expected record matches up with their actual record.

Brandon Phillips hit his 200th career home run

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Braves second baseman Brandon Phillips became the 337th player in baseball history to hit 200 career home runs, driving a solo home run to left-center field during Monday night’s home game against the Pirates. Phillips is the 14th second baseman (who played a min. of 75 percent of his career games at the position) to rack up at least 200 career home runs.

Phillips, 35, entered Monday’s action batting .290/.345/.405 with two home runs and 12 RBI in 142 plate appearances. If he’s anything, he’s consistent, as he finished with an adjusted OPS between 90-99 (100 is average) every year between 2012-16 and it was sitting at 97 coming into Monday.