Rockies starter Aaron Cook is fully recovered from the broken fibula that he suffered last September when National League MVP Joey Votto struck him in the leg with a one-hopper. But it’s already pretty apparent that he is behind the other Colorado pitchers in camp this spring.
According to Troy Renck of the Denver Post, Cook is battling a bit of soreness in his right shoulder and will be held out of workouts for the next couple of days. It’s not anything to worry about yet, he’s simply battling through routine inflammation after a winter spent rehabbing his snapped right leg.
“(Trainer Keith Dugger) said it would be best if we just back off for a few days,” Rockies manager Jim Tracy said Sunday morning. “There was a little something there, so we don’t want to push it.”
The Rockies are hoping for a healthy and effective Cook this season. Last year his sinking fastball failed him and he turned in a rough 5.08 ERA and 1.56 WHIP over 23 starts. It was his worst finish since 2003.
Angels DH Albert Pujols passed Mark McGwire for sole possession of 10th place on baseball’s all-time home run leaderboard, slugging his 584th career home run in the first inning of Wednesday night’s game against the Blue Jays.
Mike Trout had already slugged a solo home run off of Jays starter Marco Estrada to bring Pujols to the dish. Pujols jumped on an 0-1 cut fastball, sending it out to left-center field, clearing the fence by a few feet.
Pujols, who finished 4-for-4 with the homer and an RBI double, is batting .257/.321/.441 with 24 home runs and 99 RBI on the year. His next target on the home run leaderboard is Frank Robinson at 586.
Orioles closer Zach Britton had appeared in a major league record 43 consecutive games without allowing an earned run, spanning May 5 to August 22. That streak came to an end on Wednesday evening against the Nationals.
The Orioles entered the bottom of the ninth inning holding a 10-3 lead, but reliever Parker Bridwell immediately found himself in hot water. He yielded back-to-back singles to Danny Espinosa and Clint Robinson. He was able to strike out Trea Turner, but walked Jayson Werth to load the bases. Daniel Murphy then crushed his first career grand slam to make it a 10-7 game. That prompted manager Buck Showalter to bring in Britton.
Britton, too, was knocked around. He served up a single to Bryce Harper, followed by a double to Anthony Rendon that scored Harper, pushing the score to 10-8 and ending Britton’s streak. Wilson Ramos reached on a fielder’s choice back to Britton, but the lefty finally finished the game by getting Ryan Zimmerman to ground into a game-ending 4-6-3 double play.
Britton now holds a nice 0.69 ERA with 38 saves and a 61/16 K/BB ratio in 52 innings of work this season.