Cardinals right-hander Joe Kelly left today’s start against the Brewers after tweaking his hamstring trying to beat out an infield single in the sixth inning.
With his next turn in the rotation in question the Cardinals may have to dip into their impressive pitching depth for a fill-in starter. Carlos Martinez could be shifted from the bullpen, although his arm strength isn’t built up yet and the Cardinals presumably wouldn’t want to disrupt his relief role so quickly after deciding not to use him as a starter.
Left-hander Tyler Lyons is waiting in the wings at Triple-A and actually started today as well, so he’d be on the same schedule as Kelly if needed. Lyons had a 4.75 ERA with nice secondary numbers in 53 innings for the Cardinals last season as a 25-year-old rookie and pitched well at Triple-A too.
Delving even deeper into the minors is another possibility, because the Cardinals have plenty of intriguing young starters at Double-A and Triple-A, but if they feel like Kelly’s injury won’t require more than 1-2 missed starts Lyons would seemingly be the easy pick.
Cardinals shortstop Aledmys Diaz was childhood friends with Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, so it was expected when Diaz took time away from the team on Monday to visit Fernandez’s family in Miami. They grew up on the same street in Cuba and played for the same youth baseball team and both would ultimately wind up playing Major League Baseball in the United States.
In the bottom of the fourth inning of Tuesday night’s game against the Reds, Diaz hit a 2-1 Robert Stephenson fastball out to left-center field for a no-doubt grand slam. Teammate Yadier Molina gave Diaz a tight hug as he crossed home plate.
Before Tuesday’s game, Diaz said that the best way to honor Fernandez was to play with his passion, as MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch reports. Diaz said, “I only play for [Fernandez’s] family right now.”
Here’s the video.
The Red Sox would have clinched the AL East if one of two things happened on Tuesday night: the Red Sox themselves beat the Yankees, or the Orioles defeated the Blue Jays. Neither happened.
The Jays soundly took down the Orioles 5-1 behind six strong innings from Aaron Sanchez. Josh Donaldson went 2-for-2 with a two-run home run and a pair of walks and leadoff batter Ezequiel Carrera went 2-for-3 with a solo homer, an RBI single, a walk, and three runs scored.
Meanwhile, at Yankee Stadium, the Yankees outlasted the Red Sox for a 6-4 win, responding to both two-run innings the Sox had in the sixth and seventh with a run in the sixth and two in the seventh. Gary Sanchez hit his 20th homer of the season. Didi Gregorius and Tyler Austin also contributed dingers. Starter Luis Cessa pitched well, limiting the Sox to two runs over six innings on five hits and a walk with two strikeouts. Red Sox starter David Price struggled, yielding six runs in 6 1/3 innings. Yankees reliever Tyler Clippard got into trouble in the ninth inning but was able to wiggle out of trouble to finish out the game.
Once again, the Red Sox will be able to clinch the AL East on Wednesday with a win over the Yankees or a Blue Jays loss to the Orioles.