Trevor Crowe, who spent much of last year as the Indians’ center fielder, underwent shoulder surgery on Wednesday and is expected to miss at least four months.
The switch-hitting Crowe batted .251/.302/.333 with 20 steals in 442 at-bats for the Indians last season. He’s hit .246/.295/.333 with three homers and 53 RBI in 625 at-bats over the last two years.
Crowe entered spring training this year competing for a spot as a reserve and as a potential fill-in for Grady Sizemore. However, having fallen behind Michael Brantley on the depth chart, he wasn’t viewed as a big part of the Indians’ plans. The team is likely better off with Austin Kearns taking Sizemore’s place in the lineup and the stronger bats of Travis Buck and Shelley Duncan on the bench.
If he loses the entire 2010 season, Crowe figures to have a difficult time reestablishing himself going forward. Despite his lofty pedigree — he was selected 14th overall in the 2005 draft — he hasn’t displayed anything more than a fourth-outfielder’s skill set since reaching the high minors in 2007. The Indians may decide he’s not worth carrying on the 40-man roster next winter.
Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg lasted only two innings in Sunday’s start against the Diamondbacks. The right-hander reportedly had trouble getting loose and it showed: he yielded a hit and three walks to the 10 batters he faced. According to Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post, Strasburg had “some nerve impingement that has been alleviated.”
Manager Dusty Baker expects Strasburg to make his next scheduled start on Saturday at home against the Rockies, Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post reports. Strasburg was examined by doctors, who deemed him to be in good shape — enough to not warrant undergoing an MRI.
Through 20 starts, Strasburg owns a 3.25 ERA with a 141/37 K/BB ratio across 121 2/3 innings. Though the injury scare isn’t what the Nationals hoped for, he’s done well in the first year of his seven-year, $175 million contract extension.
Cubs starter John Lackey didn’t have his best stuff on Tuesday afternoon at Wrigley Field against the White Sox. The right-hander hit four White Sox batters over the course of five innings. He yielded just two runs, though, on five hits and two walks with five strikeouts. He left with a 4-2 lead.
Lackey hit Jose Abreu with one out in the first inning, then hit Abreu again in the fifth. He then hit Matt Davidson and Yoan Moncada shortly thereafter. Chris Beck relieved Carlos Rodon for the White Sox in the bottom of the fifth and promptly hit Ian Happ with a fastball to lead off the frame. Home plate umpire Lance Barksdale issued warnings to both benches and the beanings stopped.
So, how often do pitchers hit four batters in a game? Not that often! The last to do it was the Reds’ Josh Smith on July 4, 2015 against the Brewers. Before that, it was the Nationals’ Livan Hernandez on July 20, 2005 against the Rockies. Lackey is only the ninth pitcher to hit four batters in a game since 2000 and the 26th since 1913. The only other Cubs pitcher to do it besides Lackey was Moe Drabowsky in 1957.