The Mets announced this morning that third baseman David Wright was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a right hamstring strain. Outfielder Mike Baxter has been recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas to take his place on the active roster.
Wright suffered the injury in last night’s game against the Royals while he was running down the first base line on an infield single in the 10th inning. He had been dealing with some cramping in the area in recent days, but he finally reached a breaking point when he had to bust it down the line.
Wright was sent for an MRI earlier today, so there should be some clarity on a timetable soon. The Mets are going with Justin Turner at third base and Josh Satin at first today with the left-hander Bruce Chen on the hill for Kansas City. According to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York, Mets manager Terry Collins said this morning that Daniel Murphy could move to third base and Eric Young, Jr. could play second if Wright requires a lengthy absence. This could open the door for Lucas Duda to get his spot back in left field when he’s activated from the disabled list.
The injury is a tough blow for Wright, who is quietly having one of his best seasons. The 30-year-old owns a .309/.391/.512 batting line to go along with 16 home runs, 17 stolen bases, and 54 RBI in 105 games.
The Nationals lost a heartbreaker on Tuesday night, as the Indians overcame a two-run deficit in the bottom of the ninth inning to beat the Nationals 7-6. Closer Jonathan Papelbon faced five batters but was unable to record an out, yielding a leadoff walk, a double, a bunt that ended up very successful due to a Ryan Zimmerman throwing error, an intentional walk, and a single. Oliver Perez came in and eventually allowed one of his inherited runners to score, saddling Papelbon with the loss.
Papelbon also served up four runs in the outing before Tuesday’s, on Saturday against the Padres. The two clubs entered the top of the ninth tied 6-6, but a walk followed by three two-out singles and a bases-clearing double off of Papelbon allowed the Padres to take a 10-6 lead.
On the season, Papelbon is 19-for-22 in save chances with a 4.18 ERA and a 30/12 K/BB ratio in 32 1/3 innings. If the season were to end today, the right-hander’s 21.4 percent strikeout rate would be the lowest mark of his career and his 8.6 percent walk rate would be his highest mark since 2010.
Manager Dusty Baker didn’t indicate that he’s going to make a change at closer, but he sounded dissatisfied with Papelbon’s performance thus far. Via Mark Zuckerberg of MASN, Baker said, “He doesn’t have his command, which is evident when you walk the leadoff hitter. But it’s like, what do you say? How does he look? Right now he doesn’t look like Pap. He doesn’t look very good. Usually he doesn’t walk people like that.”
The non-waiver trade deadline is on Monday, August 1. The Nationals, at 58-42, still have a four-game lead over the Marlins and a 4.5-game lead over the Mets. Tuesday’s loss has motivated the club to attempt to upgrade the bullpen, Jon Morosi reports. The Nationals were in the mix for Aroldis Chapman before the Yankees sent him to the Cubs. Perhaps Andrew Miller could be next on the Nats’ wish list.
The Blue Jays announced on Tuesday night that the club traded reliever Drew Storen and some cash to the Mariners in exchange for reliever Joaquin Benoit.
Storen, 28, was designated for assignment by the Jays on Sunday after posting a 6.21 ERA with a 32/10 K/BB ratio in 33 1/3 innings. The Jays acquired him during the offseason from the Nationals in exchange for Ben Revere and a player to be named later.
Benoit, 38, struggled as well, putting up a 5.18 ERA with a 28/15 K/BB ratio in 24 1/3 innings with the Mariners.