Scratched from his Thursday start and placed on the disabled list with the same elbow problems that shelved him earlier this season, Joe Blanton will now get a second opinion from Dr. James Andrews.
Meeting with Dr. Andrews is never a good thing for a pitcher and beyond that Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that “the Phillies are still unsure of the problems inside Blanton’s right elbow” and “Blanton expressed some doubt as to what is going on in his elbow.”
In other words no one knows what’s going on, although at this point the decision to let Blanton pitch through elbow pain previously looks like a very questionable call for the pitcher and the team. In between the DL stints Blanton had a 5.50 ERA in six starts.
At the very least he figures to miss a few weeks and even if Dr. Andrews doesn’t discover anything that requires surgery you can be sure the Phillies will be a lot more patient bringing Blanton back this time.
The Rangers got a bit of a breather on Saturday after clinching the division lead during Friday night’s win. Naturally, it was also a prime opportunity for another of Adrian Beltre‘s well-documented antics, as he spent his off day directing the Rangers’ infield defense with a series of signs. Even with Carlos Beltran‘s help, no one, least of all those playing the infield, appeared to have any idea what Beltre’s gestures were intended to convey.
You can add this to the list of in-game oddities Beltre has become so well-known for over the years, running the gamut from the way he kicked a ball over the foul line to his histrionics every time someone comes close to touching his head. If nothing else, it’s a convincing audition reel for the third baseman’s future in major league coaching — a career path that, I’d imagine, would end up looking something like this:
Royals’ right-hander Yordano Ventura was pulled in the fifth inning of Saturday’s matinee against the Tigers with an apparent injury. After throwing four pitches to start the fifth and serving up a Justin Upton double, Ventura was visited on the mound by head trainer Nick Kenney. Per Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star, he’s day-to-day with back spasms and lower back tightness.
It’s just another bump in the road for the defending champions, who currently sit 6.5 games back of a postseason spot with seven left to play. Through 176 innings in 2016, Ventura posted a 4.35 ERA and 1.2 fWAR, a considerable downgrade from the 4.08 ERA and 2.7 fWAR he contributed during last season’s championship year despite a moderate bounce-back in the second half.
Prior to his early exit from Saturday’s game, Ventura went four innings for the Royals, giving up three runs on 10 hits and two walks and striking out six of 24 batters faced.