Cubs “have interest” in Rockies third baseman Ian Stewart

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Last week Rockies general manager Dan O’Dowd ruled out non-tendering Ian Stewart before the deadline to offer arbitration, but he didn’t rule out trading him and now Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports that the Cubs have expressed interest in the 26-year-old third baseman.

Renck writes that the Rockies turned down an offer for Stewart from the Diamondbacks in July and remain reluctant to move him because they feel he still has lots of upside, but he’s also set to earn around $2.5 million after spending much of the season at Triple-A and they have other third base options coming up through the minors.

Stewart has 20-homer power, but he’s a career .236 hitter with a mediocre .751 OPS despite playing half his games at Coors Field and has never been a standout defensive third baseman. It seems highly unlikely that Theo Epstein and company would part with significant value to acquire Stewart, so the only question is whether the Rockies are ready to part with him when his stock is at an all-time low.

Noah Syndergaard scratched with a “tired arm”

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Mets manager Terry Collins says that he has scratched Noah Syndergaard, who was supposed to start this afternoon’s game against the Braves. In his place will go Matt Harvey.

Syndergaard, Collins says, has “tired arm.” But also says he has some discomfort in his right biceps. He will have an MRI, but Syndergaard says it’s not serious and that he could pitch as soon as Sunday. Collins says this is an abundance-of-caution type thing, saying “we can’t take a chance on this guy.” Which is true.

The Mets ace is 1-1 with a 1.73 ERA and 30 strikeouts in 26 innings. He has walked no one this year. Not a soul.

James Paxton has a fantastic new nickname

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James Paxton of the Mariners is 3-0 with a 1.39 ERA, 39 strikeouts and only six walks in 32.1 innings of work over five starts. Last night he shut the Tigers down, tossing seven shutout innings, striking out nine and allowing only four hits. With Felix Hernandez looking less than king-like lately, Paxton is asserting himself as the new ace of the Seattle staff.

And now the tall Canadian native has a nickname to match his ace-like status:

“Pax was really outstanding and we certainly needed it,” manager Scott Servais said of the Canadian southpaw. “Big Maple is what he was nicknamed tonight and I kind of like that. He was awesome.”

“Big Maple” is a fantastic nickname. That’s the sort of nickname guys used to get back when nicknames were great. Before managers just put “y” at the end of dudes’ names and before the “First Initial-First Three Letters of The Last Name” convention took hold in the wake of A-Rod.

“Big Maple.” That makes me smile. I’m gonna be smiling all dang day because of that.