Phillies looked into Michael Young, talks didn’t get far

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From ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick comes word that the Phillies reached out to the Rangers recently about a possible trade for disgruntled infielder Michael Young, but that talks did not get far.

A source told Crasnick that the Phils were only “tire kicking” and that the conversation was “brief.”

As it should have been.  The Phillies are already committed to Placido Polanco at third base, Jimmy Rollins at shortstop and Chase Utley at second.  And they should be happy with that crew.

But it makes sense that the Phils would at least ask.  The Rockies have done the same, as have the Dodgers, Astros and Cardinals.  It’s safe to assume, really, that almost every major league club has at least made contact with the Rangers’ front office to see what kind of swap they might be open to.

The Rangers are really going to struggle to find a landing spot for Young.  He is owed $48 million over the next three seasons, his defense at the hot corner is not great, and he has not produced quality offensive numbers away from the power-friendly confines of the Ballpark in Arlington.  On top of all that, he is 34 years old.

Rangers GM Jon Daniels is not going to be forced into making a bad deal and he’s not simply going to eat the money remaining on Young’s contract.  The veteran may simply have to suck it up and begin traveling to Rangers camp.  There are plenty of at-bats available to him in Texas at DH and first base.

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.”