According to Alyson Footer, social media director for the Astros, right fielder Hunter Pence has been scratched from Saturday night’s lineup against the Dodgers due to a hyperextended elbow.
Pence reported feeling soreness in his arm after taking batting practice and was removed from the batting order an hour or so before first pitch. Jason Bourgeois took his place and will bat second against Dodgers right-hander Rubby De La Rosa.
The Astros are calling Pence “day-to-day” and will evaluate him again before Sunday’s series finale.
The 28-year-old is batting a healthy .321/.361/.497 with nine home runs and 51 RBI in 70 games this year. He’s been one of the few bright spots in what has been a hideous first half for Houston.
UPDATE: Pence will fly back to Houston on Sunday afternoon for an MRI, according to Steve Campbell of the Houston Chronicle. It’s a precautionary exam, but also an indication that the ‘Stros are worried.
Jerry Crasnick of ESPN reports that the Indians have expressed interest in Asdrubal Cabrera.
Cabrera, who began his career in Cleveland, would be a utility guy. Which is not exactly the Indians’ greatest need — they need a starting pitcher above all else — but improvement is improvement. Not much improvement in Cabrera’s case as he’s hitting .250/.333/.398 with nine homers in 70 games this season, but that’s useful if he’s cool with a strictly utility role. Which he’d have to be given that the Indians are solid at second, third and short.
Cabrera would come pretty cheaply of course. Partially because he’s not major piece, partially because he sort of hilariously demanded a trade last month. In large part because he wants to play shortstop which, now that I think about it, may complicate this whole “Cabrera for a utility role” idea the Indians seem to have.
Jeff Passan of Yahoo reports that the Rangers “have started reaching out to teams potentially interested in acquiring” Yu Darvish.
Texas is only 4.5 games out of the second Wild Card slot, but there are five teams ahead of them and they’ve really never had any traction this year. Such is not the stuff on which a team bases an all-in playoff run. Darvish, meanwhile, is in his walk year, so the Rangers have some incentive to get value for him. Passan says the Astros, Brewers, Yankees, Indians, Rockies and Dodgers could have interest in him, but really, he’d improve any contender.
Darvish is 6-8 with a 3.45 ERA and 131 strikeouts and 42 walks in 125.1 innings.