Russell Martin returned Sunday after missing four days with back stiffness, but he wasn’t able to give it another go tonight, as the Yankees scratched him and started Francisco Cervelli behind the plate in the series finale against the Indians.
It makes one wonder if Martin might go on the disabled list within the next 24 hours. Even if he might be capable of playing through his back problems, it doesn’t look like he’ll be an asset in the process. He’s currently in a 2-for-32 slump that’s seen him drive in just one run since May 25.
The Yankees, though, have been very patient so far. One reason for that, perhaps, is that Jesus Montero is in no position to come up and battle for time behind the plate. The team’s top prospect is hitting .289 for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, but that comes with just four homers and a 50/12 K/BB ratio in 201 at-bats. He’s going the wrong way, too, having hit .365 in April, .269 in May and just .130 in 23 at-bats so far this month.
So if the Yankees do decide to place Martin on the DL, odds are that Gustavo Molina would be called up to back up Cervelli.
Newsday’s Marc Carig reports that Mets starter Steven Matz has been pitching through pain for most of the season. He may need surgery to fix a nerve issue in his elbow. Matz was sidelined in spring training with an elbow injury and made his regular season debut on June 10.
Matz, 26, has struggled over 13 starts, posting a 6.08 ERA with a 48/19 K/BB ratio in 66 2/3 innings. Many were scrambling for explanations for his pitching woes and now they have it.
According to Carig, the Mets let Matz skip his bullpen sessions to help him pitch through the pain. Given the Mets’ shoddy history of dealing with injuries, that’s not a good look for the club.
Carig noted on Twitter that Jacob deGrom offers some optimism for Matz’s case. deGrom underwent right elbow surgery to repair ulnar nerve damage last September and bounced back to have a great season this year.
Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw was scheduled to throw three innings in a simulated game on Monday. That simulated game went so well, he threw an extra inning, MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports. Kershaw will make a minor league rehab start next and could be activated towards the end of next week.
Kershaw, 29, has been on the disabled list since July 24 with a lower back strain. That put the pause button on another outstanding season. He’s carrying a 15-2 record with a 2.04 ERA and a 168/24 K/BB ratio in 141 1/3 innings.
The 87-35 Dodgers have run away with the NL West, needing some combination of 20 wins and 20 Rockies losses (19 for the third-place Diamondbacks) to officially clinch the division. While the Dodgers are all but mathematically assured of reaching postseason baseball, the club would still like to get Kershaw as ready as possible over the next month-plus.