John Maine leaves game after injuring his left (non-throwing) arm

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John Maine injured.jpgJohn Maine was forced to leave Friday’s game against the Braves in the fourth inning due to muscle spasms and pain in his left (non-throwing) elbow.

It’s odd, but certainly nothing new for Maine, who left a a start against the Phillies on July 5, 2008 with a cramp in his left forearm. According to Ed Price of AOL Fanhouse, Maine said this pain “feels exactly the same” as that occasion.

For what it’s worth, Maine didn’t miss any time after that start, but that doesn’t make Friday any less frustrating for the right-hander. Among whispers about his lost velocity, Maine is 0-1 with an 8.64 ERA and 2.10 WHIP over his first four starts.

Via Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com:

“I started to feel good — all the work I put in between the last two
starts. I was right there. A couple of walks here, a bad pitch here, but
overall I felt fine. The ball was coming out. I was around the zone. I
didn’t miss many up. I was starting to figure it out and I felt good.
That makes it more frustrating, something like this. It’s frustrating.
It’s not that I get knocked out of the game. I get forced out by this.”

He’s currently listed as day-to-day, but if Maine is forced to miss a start, the Mets could go with Hisanori Takahashi, who allowed one run over three innings on Friday night, striking out seven of the 12 batters he faced. They also have Tobi Stoner, R.A. Dickey or Dillon Gee in the minor leagues. Or they could do something crazy and use Jenrry Mejia. Wait, what am I saying? He’s just a mop-up man.

Video: Angels use eight pitchers in spring training no-hitter

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Who says no-hitters can’t be just as fun when they happen during spring training?

Angels’ right-hander Bud Norris delivered two perfect innings on Friday night, paving the way for an eight-pitcher no-hitter against the Mariners at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Jose Alvarez, Cam Bedrosian, Andrew Bailey, Austin Adams, Drew Gagnon and Justin Anderson each filed a hitless inning of their own, leaving right-hander Abel De Los Santos to close out the ninth inning with just three pitches — and three game-saving plays by the defense.

Of course, it didn’t hurt that the Angels were facing a bevy of Mariners’ backups, rather than their starting lineup. In fact, Seattle’s lineup featured just two starting players — outfielder Leonys Martin and shortstop Jean Segura — while the majority of their everyday position players took on the Royals in a 4-3 win elsewhere in the Cactus League. The Mariners managed to reach base twice, first on catcher interference in the fourth inning, then on a four-pitch walk in the sixth, spoiling the Angels’ chances of turning their combined no-hitter into a combined perfect game.

Still, whether it’s executed in spring training or the regular season, against an All-Star lineup or one comprised of minor leaguers, a no-hitter is a no-hitter. The team’s eight-pitcher effort marked the first spring training no-no the Angels had completed since 1996, when they took on the Giants in a 15-0 showdown. Unfortunately for the 1996 squad, their regular season ended with a 70-91 record, good for last place in the AL West. Perhaps this no-hitter will prove a better omen for the coming season.

Tanner Scheppers leaves Cactus League game with lower core injury

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Rangers’ bullpen candidate Tanner Scheppers left Friday’s Cactus League game with pain in his “lower half,” according to reports by Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. The specifics of the right-hander’s injury have yet to be determined, but he was accompanied by the athletic trainer when he exited the game and is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Saturday.

Scheppers, 30, has a long history of elbow and knee injuries. He missed all but 8 2/3 innings of the 2016 season after undergoing a procedure to repair torn articular cartilage in his left knee. While he appeared healthy enough through his first seven appearances this spring, he failed to impress with three runs, five walks and six strikeouts over 7 2/3 innings with the club.

Should Scheppers find himself on the disabled list for another lengthy stay, MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan speculates that his absence could clear some room in the bullpen for Rule 5 draft pick and fellow righty Mike Hauschild. Hauschild, 27, has dealt seven runs, five walks and 15 strikeouts through 17 1/3 innings in camp.