Shin-Soo Choo is out of the starting lineup for the fourth straight game this afternoon as he continues to nurse left hamstring tightness. According to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, he won’t return until at least Tuesday when the Indians open a series against the White Sox.
Choo was originally scheduled to test his hamstring by running on the field this morning, but the Indians have decided to hold off until tomorrow due to the wet field conditions. Today’s game is currently in a rain delay. Choo has reported some improvement in the area, he told Hoynes that he “can still feel it.” While he’s expected to avoid the disabled list, the Indians won’t put him back in the lineup until the tightness has subsided.
After a nightmare year in which he was arrested for a DUI last May and injuries limited him to a .259/.344/.390 batting line in 85 games, Choo is hitting .237/.375/.322 with zero homers, nine RBI, three stolen bases and a .697 OPS over 72 plate appearances so far this season.
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 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.