Center fielder Marlon Byrd was released from the hospital Sunday after an overnight stay, but the Cubs confirmed that he had suffered multiple fractures as a result of Saturday’s beaning and placed him on the disabled list.
Needing some relief help after scratching Matt Garza from his scheduled start tonight, the Cubs called up right-hander Justin Berg to replace Byrd.
Byrd was struck near his left eye by an Alfredo Aceves fastball in the second inning of Saurday’s game against the Red Sox. The Cubs have no timetable for his return.
Aceves said he tried to get in touch with Byrd to apologize over the incident, but he’s so far been unsuccessful.
Reed Johnson will start in Byrd’s place tonight and figures to have a large role while Byrd is out. Tyler Colvin, who started 14 games in center field for the Cubs last year, was demoted to Triple-A last week after hitting .113 in 62 at-bats. Triple-A Iowa’s primary center fielder, Fernando Perez, is batting just .207/.319/.310 in 116 at-bats.
Top prospect Brett Jackson, who would have been a candidate to step in, has missed the last 11 days with a finger injury. He was hitting .295/.420/.518 with four homers and 13 steals for Double-A Tennessee before going down.
Jon Morosi of MLB Network said yesterday that the Detroit Tigers and Chicago Cubs have been engaged in trade talks involving starting pitcher Justin Verlander and catcher Alex Avila. Morosi also noted that the Los Angeles Dodgers have shown interest in Verlander as well. Whether this is idyl chitchatting of serious dispute is unclear, of course. Everything is unclear in the leadup to the deadline.
The veteran right-hander is carrying a 4.50 with a 120/57 K/BB ratio over 124 innings. Verlander impressed last year, finishing second in AL Cy Young Award balloting, but he has fallen back to Earth in 2017. His velocity remains high, however, and it’s not hard to imagine him going on a solid run in a way that could help a contender. He is owed $56 million over the next two seasons, however, and has a $22 million option that could vest for 2020, so negotiations for him could be tough. If the Tigers want talent back, they’ll have to eat salary.
Verlander got an ovation from a Detroit crowd last night which seemed to sense that, yes, it’s possible he pitched his last game for the Tigers. Given that he has 10/5 rights, allowing him to veto any trade, that decision is ultimately up to him. It’s not hard to imagine him accepting a trade to a contender, however.
We wait see.
The Dodgers beat the Twins last night thanks to a Cody Bellinger three-run homer. But Bellinger was not the only Dodgers rookie who had a notable game. A far more unconventional one is worth mentioning as well.
That rookie is reliever Edward Paredes, who made his big league debut last night. What makes him unconventional: he’s 30. Turns 31 in September, actually. Paredes pitched professionally for 12 years before making it to The Show. Most of that time was in the affiliated minors in the Mariners, Indians, Angels and Dodgers organizations. He spent time in the independent Atlantic League in 2013-15 as well.
Paredes did not do anything heroic last night. It was more of a right place/right time kind of appearance, retiring the side in order with a fly out, line out and a ground out and remaining the pitcher of record while Bellinger hit that three-run homer. That’s enough for a W, though. A W that Paredes waited a lot longer for than most pitchers who notch one in the bigs.