Edinson Volquez scratched from Sunday start; bullpen bound?

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After Reds manager Dusty Baker hinted earlier this week that Edinson Volquez could be removed from the starting rotation earlier this week, Carrie Muskat of MLB.com reported this afternoon that he was scratched from his scheduled start on Sunday.

According to the team’s Twitter feed, Travis Wood will start against the Cubs on Sunday while Homer Bailey faces the Brewers on Monday. In other words, the struggling Volquez is at minimum being skipped. With Aaron Harang expected to return from the disabled list Tuesday, he could be losing his spot in the starting rotation altogether.

Yesterday, I mentioned how several pitchers have enjoyed success after Tommy John surgery. It was a selective list, to be sure, as we also see pitchers who can be somewhat erratic post-op. Command has never been Volquez’s strong suit to begin with, but he has a disturbing 6.17 ERA and 36/27 K/BB over 35 innings since returning from the disabled list last month. With the Reds trying to hang on in the National League Central, this is no time to mess around.

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.