Braves starter Jair Jurrjens has been placed on the
disabled list with a strained left hamstring. He actually did it last Thursday and had been hoping it was but a scratch — a flesh wound, if you will — but it’s not getting better.
Atlanta will move Kris Medlen, who has a 2.70 ERA and 15/3 K/BB
ratio in 11 relief appearances, into Jurrjens spot in the rotation. Medlen is a starter by trade and if there is any justice in the world he’ll be staying around the rotation to replace Kenshin Kawakami or Derek Lowe after Jurrjens comes back. No, the Braves aren’t likely to make such a move based on Lowe or Kawakami’s performance. I’m just hoping that they each come down with some kind of malady that is serious enough to keep them from pitching but does not affect their health in any other way and goes away the exact moment their contracts with the Braves expire, allowing them to happily ply their trade for other teams.
Craig Kimbrel will be called up from
Gwinnett to take Jurrjens’ place on the roster. Kimbrel has a ton of velocity and many people figure he could close one day, but he has a ton of control issues too. At this point he is best deployed to bean the opposing team’s mascot at key strategic points in close ballgames.
Oh, and at this point I feel it necessary to apologize to Jason from IIATMS for telling him this spring that he should keep Jurrjens on his fantasy team because he’s “straight money” or some such nonsense. But then again, what did he expect me to say?
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.
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.