Nate McLouth was placed on the disabled list last week with a lower abdominal strain, but Mark Bowman of MLB.com reports that the Braves outfielder underwent sports hernia surgery yesterday and is expected to miss six more weeks.
McLouth hasn’t ruled out playing again this season, but he’ll definitely be up against the clock and a rehab assignment won’t be possible as part of his recovery because the minor-league season will be over by then.
Of course, with Michael Bourn taking his place as the Braves’ starting center fielder there isn’t as much incentive to rush McLouth back. He was hitting just .228 with a .677 OPS in 81 games prior to the injury and that production looks even worse in an outfield corner.
Interestingly, when the Braves placed McLouth on the DL last week manager Fredi Gonzalez indicated that he’d been playing through the abdominal injury since the first week of the season. Given the need for surgery now that could explain his struggles, although McLouth hit even worse last season.
The Astros’ bullpen did yeoman’s work in place of the injured Dallas Keuchel on Monday against the Tigers. Keuchel is temporarily sidelined with a pinched nerve in his neck.
Brad Peacock made the spot start, limiting the Tigers to one hit and two walks with eight strikeouts over 4 1/3 innings. Chris Devenski took over with one out in the fifth, finishing out that inning as well as the sixth and seventh, facing the minimum. Will Harris pitched a perfect eighth and Ken Giles closed out the 1-0 victory in the ninth. Devenski, Harris, and Giles each had two strikeouts.
The Astros scored their only run in the bottom of the first inning as George Springer drew a leadoff walk, then scored on Jose Altuve‘s one-out double. Tigers starter Brad Fulmer pitched well enough to win on most days, giving up the lone run in seven frames.
After Monday’s win, the Astros became the first team to reach 30 wins, sitting on a 30-15 record. With a +55 run differential, even their expected record matches up with their actual record.
Braves second baseman Brandon Phillips became the 337th player in baseball history to hit 200 career home runs, driving a solo home run to left-center field during Monday night’s home game against the Pirates. Phillips is the 14th second baseman (who played a min. of 75 percent of his career games at the position) to rack up at least 200 career home runs.
Phillips, 35, entered Monday’s action batting .290/.345/.405 with two home runs and 12 RBI in 142 plate appearances. If he’s anything, he’s consistent, as he finished with an adjusted OPS between 90-99 (100 is average) every year between 2012-16 and it was sitting at 97 coming into Monday.