LaTroy Hawkins missed three months with shoulder soreness earlier this season, appeared in five games for the Brewers after returning from the disabled list late last month, and is now back on the shelf with what is being called “shoulder weakness.”
Adam McCalvy of MLB.com reports that Hawkins will get a second opinion from Dr. Lewis Yocum early next week, but the veteran right-hander doesn’t sound optimistic about his status:
I want to be able to carry my own weight. Shoot, I can’t carry my own weight right now. It’s miserable being out there in the bullpen and you can’t carry your own weight.
Hawkins has been one of the best and most durable relievers in baseball for the past decade, averaging 65 appearances and 68 innings per season since 2000 while posting a 3.24 ERA. He’s thrown at least 50 innings every season since 1997, but is currently 0-3 with an 8.44 ERA in 16 innings after signing a two-year, $7.5 million deal with the Brewers this winter.
The lesson, of course, is that good, durable 37-year-old pitchers are still 37-year-old pitchers and signing them to multi-year contracts often turns out badly. Milwaukee owes him $4 million for 2011.
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.
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.