This “just in” — Justin Morneau can still hit dingers. The Twins first baseman hit two of them this afternoon against the White Sox: a grand slam in the seventh off of Ramon Troncoso to give the Twins a 5-3 lead, and a solo shot in the eighth to remove the save opportunity for closer Glen Perkins by bumping the score to 7-3. Perkins gave up two runs in the ninth on an Alexei Ramirez single, but held on for the 7-5 victory in game one of the day-night doubleheader.
August has been kind to Morneau thus far. In 36 trips to the plate, he has hit five home runs and has only struck out five times. He entered the afternoon 8-for-11 with the bases loaded, but with no grand slams. The slam is his first since July 20, 2009 when he took Gio Gonzalez of the Athletics deep in a wacky 14-13 loss.
The Twins and White Sox match up again shortly as Liam Hendriks is scheduled to face off against Charles Leesman, making his Major League debut for the White Sox.
This is unfortunate: Diamondbacks reliever Rubby De La Rosa will undergo Tommy John surgery. This will be the second Tommy John procedure of his career, the first coming back in 2011.
De La Rosa has had elbow issues for his entire career. Last year his UCL was barking again and he underwent stem cell therapy to try to avoid a second surgery, but it obviously hasn’t worked out. He’s pitched in only nine games this year, allowing four earned runs in seven and two-thirds innings, striking out 12.
I first saw De La Rosa in spring training in 2011. I thought his stuff was pretty phenomenal and figured he’d be a good one. Great stuff is often a function of heavy strain on an elbow, however, and pitchers breaking is, unfortunately, the rule in baseball far more than the exception.
He’ll miss a year at least. We likely won’t see him until spring of 2019, most likely on a minor league deal.
Cardinal closer Trevor Rosenthal was taken out of last night’s game against the Red Sox after he gave up a big homer and a walk. He velocity was down as well, and Mike Mathney said after the game that he didn’t look right. Now the Cardinals are going to take a closer look at him, and he’ll be examined today for what is being described as “tightness” in his right arm.
Rosenthal is 3-4 with a 3.40 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 76/20 in 47.2 innings. He has 11 saves after regaining the closer’s job from Seung Hwan Oh. Now some combination of Oh, Tyler Lyons, and John Brebbia will fill in for Rosenthal to the extent he needs to miss time.