With no lineup to speak of, the Padres appear to be in really deep trouble now. On Sunday they indicated that both their winningest starter, Aaron Harang, and the member of their rotation with the lowest ERA, Dustin Moseley, were going on the disabled list.
Harang, who is 7-2 with a 3.71 ERA, is being sidelined by a badly bruised left foot. He pitched through the problem on Thursday, but it’s gotten worse and he’s been in a walking boot the past few days.
Moseley, who has gone 2-6 despite a 3.16 ERA, partially dislocated his left (non-throwing) shoulder during his start Wednesday against the Rockies.
The good news is that neither injury is expected to turn into a long-term issue. Both could be back after missing two starts.
Anthony Bass will be called up to make his major league debut in Harang’s place Monday. Bass, 23, was 6-3 with a 3.53 ERA and a 60/17 K/BB ratio in 11 starts for Double-A San Antonio. He doesn’t have the stuff of the Padres’ top pitching prospects, but the team wasn’t about to reach down for Casey Kelly with the idea of having him make two starts.
Wade LeBlanc, who went 8-12 with a 4.25 ERA for San Diego last year, is expected to fill in for Moseley. He’s currently 5-1 with a 5.24 ERA for Triple-A Tucson. He’s allowed just two runs over 13 innings in his last two starts.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays and free agent reliever Shawn Tolleson are close to finalizing a contract.
Tolleson, who turns 29 years old on Thursday, had an ugly 2016 season, finishing with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He was one of the Rangers’ best relievers in the two seasons prior to that, however, which included saving 35 games in 2015.
It’s not known yet what kind of contract the two sides are negotiating. It could be a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training, a non-guaranteed major league contract, or a guaranteed major league contract.
The big presidential pardon news today concerns the commutation of Chelsea Manning’s sentence. We’ll leave that aside. For our purposes, know that someone in the world of baseball was pardoned: Willie McCovey.
Yes, Hall of Famer Willie McCovey, who in 1995 pleaded guilty to income tax fraud related to the non-reporting of income received from memorabilia and autograph shows. Duke Snider pleaded guilty alongside McCovey. They were given two years probation and fines of $5,000. Snider died in 2011. McCovey still works with the San Francisco Giants as a senior advisor and goodwill ambassador.
President Obama’s release of McCovey’s pardon was pretty succinct. But it’s enough to scrub the record of one of the greatest sluggers of all time.