The Braves had been internally debating for a while what to do when Brandon Beachy is activated from the disabled list. Would they use the 26-man rule to use him for Tuesday’s double-header against the Mets, and then figure it out in a week? Would they move Kris Medlen to the bullpen? Or attempt to trade either Tim Hudson or Paul Maholm? It is no longer an issue as Beachy has been scratched from that Tuesday start after a disappointing performance in his latest rehab start.
David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution described Beachy’s concerning performance:
Beachy struggled with his command in three innings for Triple-A Gwinnett Thursday night in Rochester, walking four and allowing three runs (two earned) while throwing only 38 strikes in 69 pitches.
The Braves had planned to back Beachy down Thursday night for the final scheduled outing of his minor league rehabilitation assignment, with a limit of 80-85 pitches. So the fact that he only threw 69 pitches over three innings wasn’t a big issue. But he pitched behind for much of the outing and needed 53 pitches to get through the first two innings.
Braves GM Frank Wren wouldn’t reveal the team’s plan for Tuesday’s double-header with the Mets now that Beachy is a no-go. O’Brien speculates reliever Alex Wood could fill in for a spot start, but Wren had previously said they wouldn’t let him get to 100 pitches, meaning it would be a taxing day for the bullpen.
As expected, Major League Baseball’s league-wide home run record, set in 2000, was tied and surpassed on Tuesday night, both by players named Alex who play for AL Central teams.
Tigers outfielder Alex Presley tied the record at 5,693, per MLB.com’s David Adler, with a solo home run in the bottom of the fifth inning against Athletics starter Daniel Gossett. Royals outfielder Alex Gordon broke the record roughly 12 minutes later with a solo home run to lead off the top of the eighth inning against Blue Jays reliever Ryan Tepera.
Major League Baseball saw the record nearly broken last year, when 5,610 home runs were hit. The only other season above 5,500 was 1999 at 5,528.
Earlier this month, Yankees starter CC Sabathia jawed at the Red Sox after Eduardo Nunez laid down a bunt. Sabathia fielded it fine, but threw the ball away for an error. After the game, he called Nunez’s bunt “weak” and said the Red Sox should “swing the bat.” Sabathia, of course, is not that limber these days. Along with being 37 years old, the lefty has also battled knee and hamstring issues this season.
The Twins apparently didn’t hear what Sabathia had to say about bunting. After Brian Dozier singled off of Sabathia to lead off the top of the first inning on Tuesday, Joe Mauer laid down a bunt on the third base side and reached safely. Jorge Polanco then laid down a bunt of his own, also on the third base side, and was initially ruled out, but after replay review was ruled safe to load the bases with no outs.
Fortunately for Sabathia, he was able to limit the damage, getting Eduardo Escobar to ground into a run-scoring 6-4-3 double play and inducing an inning-ending ground out from Byron Buxton. It’ll be interesting, though, to see if the Twins continue to bunt against Sabathia throughout the night.