UPDATE: The Jays have released Vlad at his request. He’s now a free agent.
UPDATE: This has gotten even more complicated. Apparently he has not technically quit, but he has left the team and is telling the Jays he wants to be in the big leagues or no place at all. He is eligible, as of yesterday, to opt out of his deal with Toronto. Now it remains to be seen if the Jays will call his bluff.
11:15: Um, scratch that. Ken Rosenthal is reporting that Guerrero is NOT giving up his comeback. Indeed, his agent just told Rosenthal that “nothing is further from the truth.”
So, um, as you were everyone.
11:00AM: Vladimir Guerrero, trying to latch on with the Toronto Blue Jays, has logged 11 games and 50 plate appearances in the minors this year. But that’s apparently all he’s gonna do, as it’s being reported that he has decided to call it quits:
No official word yet on why he’s calling it a day, but Dustin Parkes says that Vlad has looked terrible in his short time in Triple-A, so maybe he just knows it’s over.
If it is over, 449 homers, 2590 hits, a .318 career average, a career .939 OPS, the reputation of one of the strongest arms of his time and an MVP award make for a pretty good Hall of Fame case.
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.
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.”