Giants may make decision on possible DL stint for Carlos Beltran tomorrow

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Carlos Beltran is out of the starting lineup for the fourth straight game tonight with a strained right hand/wrist and it sounds like the Giants are close to making a decision about placing him on the disabled list.

Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle writes that Beltran has only made “marginal improvement” since receiving a cortisone shot Wednesday. While he was able to pick up a bat today for the first time since the injury, he is still feeling some pain in the back of his hand when he swings.

Giants manager Bruce Bochy said they plan to wait until tomorrow to see if he makes further progress, but it sounds like a roster move isn’t far away.

“It’s so vital to swinging the bat to have your hand healthy enough to take a normal swing,” Bochy said. “Once he feels strong enough to handle the bat and take a normal swing, we’ll do it. We can’t risk losing him for a long period of time. We’ve got to be smart about it. This is a sensitive area.”

Beltran is batting .244/.261/.356 with one double, two triples and an 11/1 K/BB ratio over 46 plate appearances since being acquired from the Mets last month.

Nate Schierholtz is out of the lineup for the second straight game tonight with a sore right hip, so Aaron Rowand, Andres Torres and Cody Ross are starting from left to right in the outfield tonight against the Marlins.

Anthony Alford to miss 4-6 weeks following wrist surgery

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Blue Jays’ outfielder Anthony Alford will miss at least 4-6 weeks after undergoing surgery on his left wrist, the team announced on Saturday. Alford was placed on the 10-day disabled list earlier in the week after sustaining a left hamate fracture on a foul pitch, and could miss significant time in what looks to be a lengthy rehab process. MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm reports that the procedure has been scheduled for next week and will be performed by Dr. Donald Sheridan in Arizona.

Alford, 22, was called up to the majors from Double-A New Hampshire last Friday. He went hitless in his first three outings, finally catching a break against the Brewers on Tuesday when he pinch-hit a leadoff double in the seventh. The injury occurred two innings later when Alford fouled off a pitch in the ninth inning, fracturing his wrist in the process.

Alford will join eight other players on the Blue Jays’ disabled list, including outfielders Steve Pearce (calf strain), Dalton Pompey (concussion) and Darrell Cecillani (partial shoulder dislocation). He’s expected to be replaced by 24-year-old outfield prospect Dwight Smith Jr.

Stephen Strasburg hit a new career high today

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Good luck getting a hit against the Nationals this weekend. Stephen Strasburg followed Max Scherzer‘s 13-strikeout performance on Friday with a dazzling outing of his own on Saturday afternoon. The right-hander whiffed a career-best 15 batters in seven innings, allowing just three hits and a walk in the Nats’ 3-0 win.

It took Strasburg several innings to get into a groove after pitching into (and out of) a jam in the first inning. The Padres loaded the bases with Allen Cordoba‘s leadoff single, a throwing error by Ryan Zimmerman and a four-pitch walk to Cory Spangenberg. By the third, Strasburg was cruising, striking out the side on 18 pitches and keeping the Padres off the basepaths until the sixth. He recorded his 15th and final strikeout in the seventh inning, catching Padres’ prospect Franchy Cordero swinging on a 1-2 pitch to effectively end his outing.

While 15 strikeouts set a new career record for the Nationals’ ace, he came close to reaching the mark twice before. The first time, he struck out 14 of 24 batters during his major league debut against the 2010 Pirates, though the 5-2 win did little more than keep the Nationals neck-and-neck with the Marlins at the bottom of the NL East. Five years later, he tied his 14-strikeout record against the 2015 Phillies, tossing a one-hitter in eight innings to cement his ninth victory of the season.

The only one who doesn’t seem overly enthused by the new record? Strasburg himself, who told MLB.com’s Jamal Collier and AJ Cassavell: “It’s pretty cool, but there’s another game five, six days from now. I’ll enjoy it tonight, but back to work tomorrow.”