Mets designate Opening Day cleanup hitter Mike Jacobs for assignment

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Only the Mets could bat someone in the cleanup spot Opening Day and then designate him for assignment less than two weeks later, but that’s what they did today with first baseman Mike Jacobs.
After starting Jacobs in six of the first eight games with Daniel Murphy on the disabled list the Mets dropped him from the 40-man roster this afternoon, calling up Tobi Stoner to have an extra arm in the bullpen following last night’s marathon win over the Cardinals.
Jacobs is an overrated, mediocre hitter with a terrible glove, so letting him go is perfectly reasonable. The funny part is that for the first two games of the season Jerry Manuel looked at his available options and decided putting Jacobs in between David Wright and Jason Bay gave the Mets their best chance to win.
And then, once he got over that insanity, Manuel batted Jacobs fifth behind Wright and Bay in four of the next six games.
Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com speculates that cutting Jacobs loose could signal the impending arrival of first base prospect Ike Davis, who began the season at Triple-A despite a very impressive spring training. Davis is 12-for-33 (.364) with two homers and three doubles in 10 games at Buffalo, but the 2008 first-round pick just turned 23 years old last month and has played a grand total of 65 games above Single-A.
Of course, no one has ever accused the Mets of having a plan, let alone sticking to one.

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.”