Day: May 30, 2013

Shane Victorino AP

Shane Victorino nearing rehab assignment


Shane Victorino required a stint on the disabled list earlier this month due to a left hamstring strain, but he’s expected to rejoin the Red Sox as soon as he’s eligible next week.

According to Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal, Victorino is slated to begin a minor league rehab assignment on either Sunday or Monday. Barring any setbacks, he should be activated for Wednesday’s game against the Rangers.

Daniel Nava has seen most of the playing time in right field during Victorino’s absence while Jonny Gomes and Mike Carp have shared left field duties. Jackie Bradley Jr. was called up from Triple-A Pawtucket earlier this week as a reserve outfielder, but he should head right back down to the minors once Victorino is ready.

Victorino, 32, is batting .283/.343/.362 with two home runs, 10 RBI, and four stolen bases in 34 games this season. He signed a three-year, $39 million deal with Boston over the winter.

Mets win four in a row over Yankees, sweep season series for first time ever

Dillon Gee AP

The struggling Mets likely would have signed up for an even split this week against the crosstown Yankees, but they ended up taking all four games.

Dillon Gee struck out a career-high 12 over 7 1/3 innings of one-run ball tonight in a 3-1 victory over the Yankees. After taking both games at Citi Field on Monday and Tuesday, they also swept the two-game set at Yankee Stadium. While the format changed this year, this is the first time in the 17-year history of interleague play that the Mets have recorded a season sweep of the Yankees.

Gee was the big story of the night. Amid rumors that he could be bullpen-bound when top prospect Zack Wheeler is called up from the minors, he delivered his best start of the season, giving up just four hits and no walks. His only mistake was a solo homer by Robinson Cano in the third inning. He retired the final 15 batters he faced before manager Terry Collins brought the hook in the bottom of the eighth inning. Gee had struck out five batters in a row at that point and was only at 88 pitches, so many questioned the decision, but Scott Rice entered to retire the only two batters he faced and Bobby Parnell had a perfect ninth to lock down his ninth save of the season.

As for the offense, Marlon Byrd put the Mets ahead early with a two-run homer off Vidal Nuno in the top of the second inning. He has now homered in back-to-back games. John Buck later added an insurance run with a well-placed infield single along the third base line in the eighth inning. The Mets outscored the Yankees 16-7 over the course of the four games this week.

The Mets will take a season-high five-game winning streak into Miami this weekend while the Yankees will bring a season-high five game losing streak into a series against the first-place Red Sox. What the Yankees have done over the first two months of the season has been pretty impressive given the number of injuries they have had to put up with, but they are getting Mark Teixeira and Kevin Youkilis back at exactly the right time.

Carl Pavano still recovering from spleen removal, won’t pitch this season

Carl Pavano Getty

You may remember that Carl Pavano ruptured his spleen in January when he fell while shoveling snow in his driveway at his home in Vermont. It was a very serious situation, as he ended up having his spleen removed and considered himself “lucky to be alive.” Months later, he isn’t any closer to resuming his baseball career.

Pavano’s agent, Dave Pepe, told Jon Heyman of today that his client hasn’t been able to begin working out and will not pitch this season. However, he hasn’t ruled out making a comeback next year.

“Carl will not be physically able to play this year as he recovers from his spleen removal and the complications that followed,” Pepe said via text. “His hope is that he can give it a try next year.”

Pavano was limited to 11 starts with the Twins last season due to a shoulder injury and posted a 6.00 ERA and 33/8 K/BB ratio over 63 innings. He turns 38 next January. The most important thing is having a normal life moving forward, but he might get a spring training invite if he can prove his health.

Dodgers place Matt Kemp on disabled list with right hamstring strain

Matt Kemp AP

Matt Kemp’s nightmare season continues. After he left last night’s game with what was described as a mild right hamstring strain, Kemp has been placed on the 15-day disabled list. In a corresponding roster move, the Dodgers have recalled catcher Tim Federowicz from Triple-A Albuquerque.

It’s not clear how long Kemp will be sidelined, but the Dodgers didn’t want to risk making things worse. You may remember that he missed the minimum 15 days with a left hamstring strain last year, but aggravated the injury two days later and missed an additional six weeks. The Dodgers figure to be extra cautious this time around so that history doesn’t repeat itself.

Andre Ethier will make his second career start in center field tonight, but that arrangement might not last long. Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times notes that Yasiel Puig is starting in center field tonight for Double-A Chattanooga while Joc Pederson is on the bench. This could be an indication that Pederson will soon be on his way to the majors. He has considerably more experience in center field than Puig, so that would be the logical way to go.

UPDATE: It looks like Pederson won’t get the call after all. Mark Saxon of ESPN Los Angeles indicates that the Dodgers will likely call up Tony Gwynn, Jr. in the coming days.

Hideki Matsui will retire as a Yankee

Hideki Matsui Getty

Hideki Matsui already opted for retirement over the winter, but he’s going to go out as a Yankee.

The Yankees announced earlier this afternoon that Matsui will sign a one-day minor league contract with the club on July 28 in order to announce his official retirement. He’ll be honored at Yankee Stadium on the same day.

Here’s part of the official press release:

The New York Yankees will honor the illustrious career of Hideki Matsui before their scheduled 1:05 p.m. game on Sunday, July 28 vs. Tampa Bay.

Matsui will sign a one-day minor league contract with the Yankees on July 28 in order to announce his official retirement that day as a New York Yankee. His parents are also expected to be in attendance at the game.

Additionally, on July 28, the Yankees will hold a special pregame homeplate ceremony for Matsui, and the first 18,000 Guests at the game will receive a Hideki Matsui bobblehead presented by AT&T – which portrays the slugger with his 2009 World Series MVP trophy.

In honor of Matsui, who wore uniform No. 55 with the Yankees, the day’s events are to take place on the Yankees’ originally scheduled 55th home game of the 2013 season.

After posting huge numbers in Japan, Matsui signed with the Yankees in the winter of 2002 and spent seven seasons with the club before making stops with the Angels, Athletics, and Rays in recent years. He compiled a .282/.360/.462 career batting line in the majors to go along with 175 home runs and 760 RBI. A two-time All-Star, Matsui was named the World Series MVP in 2009 after he went 8-for-13 with three home runs and eight RBI in six games against the Phillies.