Jurrjens_Jair

Jair Jurrjens leaves game early with discomfort in his side

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You know what I can’t wait for? I can’t wait for teams that ridiculously put promising young starting pitchers in the bullpen to start complaining about how they don’t have enough starting pitching.  That’s what I can’t wait for.

In the meantime, the non-deluded teams out there realize that there isn’t anything as valuable as a solid starter. And this is brought home when they lose one, like the Braves might:

Right-hander Jair Jurrjens left his start against the Blue Jays after just one inning on Thursday afternoon because of discomfort in his right side. Jurrjens said the soreness originated near his rib cage, but was not related to his oblique muscle. He believed it was a cramp and that he could have continued pitching, but he left the game for precautionary reasons.

It doesn’t sound serious. And if it does — hey! — the Braves just sent down a guy who could do a pretty decent job of filling in if Jurrjens has to miss some time.  He’s available as a starter, you see, because no one overthought things and convinced someone that he should be in the bullpen. Because the Braves understand that you can string together a bullpen if you have to, but that a young starting pitcher is a valuable asset.

And if you think I’m a bit animated about this, well, you’re right.  Because I just wrote my damn Texas Rangers preview in which I pegged everything to Neftali Feliz starting the year in the rotation, and now the Rangers have gone and made that inoperative.  Craigy isn’t big on timing. Craigy isn’t big on editing. Craigy is big on holding petty grudges, though, so yeah, I’m gonna stew for a while.

Curtis Granderson is close to making history

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 22:  Curtis Granderson #3 of the New York Mets connects on a three-run home run in the second inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field on September 22, 2016 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
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With a fourth-inning solo home run off of Phillies starter Jake Thompson, Mets outfielder Curtis Granderson reached the 30-homer plateau for the fourth time in his 13-year career. It’s a moment worth celebrating, only there’s one problem: he has just 56 RBI on the season.

There are many reasons for the low RBI total. 24 of Granderson’s 30 homers have come with the bases empty. He came into Sunday’s action hitting just .140 in 124 plate appearances with runners in scoring position and .197 with runners on base. He has hit leadoff for most of the season, meaning he’s had the Mets’ pitchers hitting “ahead” of him in the No. 9 slot as well as the Mets’ catchers typically hitting eighth. Mets catchers, collectively, have a .296 on-base percentage, the second-worst mark in the National League.

Since the end of August, Granderson has hit cleanup with Jose Reyes, Asdrubal Cabrera, and Yoenis Cespedes hitting in front of him. That change hasn’t been for naught, as he has 17 RBI in 21 games since.

Still, Granderson is on pace for the fewest RBI in a 30-homer season. Rob Deer and Felix Mantilla are tied for the record with 64 RBI. Deer (32 HR) accomplished the feat in 1992 with the Tigers and Mantilla (30 HR) in 1964 with the Red Sox. Only eight players have had 70 or fewer homers in a 30-homer season. Evan Gattis is currently sitting on 30 homers with 68 RBI.

MLB teams pay tribute to José Fernández’s memory

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Following the announcement of the 24-year-old’s death, Major League Baseball observed a moment of silence for José Fernández before each of today’s games. While this afternoon’s Marlins-Braves game was cancelled out of respect for the organization, Miami painted Fernández’s jersey number on the mound in honor of their former pitcher.

Other teams, like the Mets, Mariners, and Dodgers, chose to honor Fernández by hanging his No. 16 jersey in their dugout:

Bob Nightengale of USA Today Sports reports that David Ortiz‘s pregame retirement ceremony at Tropicana Field was canceled at the player’s request:

The Astros and Diamondbacks each displayed a personal tribute to Fernández, writing the number 16 on their caps and etching his number and initials in the bullpen:

Rest in peace, Fernández.