UPDATE: According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, Street is going on the disabled list with a left calf strain. The Padres are calling up right-hander Cory Burns to take his spot on the active roster.
10:39 PM: Huston Street’s dominant season took an unfortunate turn last night against the Pirates, as he suffered a left calf injury while notching his 21st save.
Street pulled up lame while trying to cover first base on the final play of the ballgame. He immediately came up limping and had to helped off the field by a team trainer and a teammate.
The Padres’ closer will be re-evaluated Saturday, but manager Bud Black told George Von Benko of MLB.com that the injury will likely require a stint on the disabled list.
“We got some ice on it,” manager Bud Black said. “We don’t know the significance of it. As always, we’ll see how it sets up overnight. But my early premonition is that it’s going to put him out for a while. Hopefully I’m wrong.”
Street has an excellent 0.75 ERA and 45/8 K/BB ratio over 36 innings this season and is a perfect 21-for-21 in save chances. The Padres chose to sign him to a two-year, $14 million extension last month rather than deal him before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.
Black told Chris Jenkins of the San Diego Union-Tribune that right-hander Dale Thayer could fill in at closer if Street requires an extended absence. Thayer thrived in the role earlier this season while Street was on the disabled list with a right lat strain. Luke Gregerson could also be elevated from his current set-up role or the Padres could employ a closer-by-committee approach.
Back during the 2015 playoffs the sorts of New York media types who love to find reasons to criticize players for petty reasons decided to criticize Yoenis Cespedes for playing golf the day of a playoff game. The Mets won the series with the Cubs during which the controversy, such as it was, occurred and it was soon dropped.
It was picked back up again in 2016 when Cespedes, while on the disabled list with a strained quad, was seen playing golf. Despite the fact that everyone involved said that golf did not contribute to his injury and that golf would have no impact on his injured quad, it was deemed “a bad look” by a columnist looking to get some mileage out of bashing Cespedes for having a hobby that probably half of all ballplayers share. They did it when he showed off his fancy cars too, by the way, even though just about every ballplayer has a fancy car or three. When you’re a superstar in New York — especially when you’re one with whom the media is not particularly close for various reasons — you’re going to catch hell for seemingly nothing.
Now there’s a new twist to the Cespedes golf saga. Yoenis himself says that his poor start — he’s hitting .195/.258/.354 and leads the league in strikeouts — is due to . . . not enough golf! From the New York Times:
He gave a possible reason for the poor start this weekend: not playing enough golf, a hobby beloved by many baseball players. And, yes, he is serious.
“In previous seasons, one of the things I did when I wasn’t going well was to play golf,” he said after a game on Friday in which he struck out four times but still drove in the go-ahead run in the 12th inning. “This year, I’m not playing golf.”
The story says Cespedes quit golf last summer because he worried that it was contributing to hamstring problems. He’s thinking about going back to it soon, as he thinks it’ll help his swing. Given that he’ll catch hell either way, he may as well do what he wants.