Bruce Chen has been scratched from today’s scheduled start and may not be able to pitch this weekend either because of a swollen disk in his back that has the Royals left-hander in what he described as “constant pain.”
Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star reports that the swollen disk is pressing against nerves and causing “pain shooting down his leg.” He received an epidural injection to ease the swelling.
McCullough writes that “Chen has been managing this condition for weeks,” which helps explain his 7.45 ERA in four starts after the Royals re-signed the 37-year-old to a two-year contract this offseason.
Announcement: Hardball Talk‘s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $45,000 Fantasy Baseball league for Wednesday night’s MLB games. It’s $25 to join and first prize is $7,000. Starts at 7:05pm ET on Wednesday. Here’s the FanDuel link.
Via WEEI.com comes a report that Red Sox minor league pitcher Kevin Steen was critically injured in a car crash on Wednesday night near Fort Myers.
The driver of the other car involved in the accident was killed. Steen is in the hospital in critical condition. It appears as though the other driver veered off the road, overcorrected and then crossed the center line, crashing into Steen’s SUV.
Steen, 20, is a starting pitcher. He was a ninth round pick of the Red Sox in 2014 out of Oak Ridge High School in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. He’s played three seasons in the Sox season and was about to begin his fourth.
Mets manager Terry Collins says that he has scratched Noah Syndergaard, who was supposed to start this afternoon’s game against the Braves. In his place will go Matt Harvey.
Syndergaard, Collins says, has “tired arm.” But also says he has some discomfort in his right biceps. He will have an MRI, but Syndergaard says it’s not serious and that he could pitch as soon as Sunday. Collins says this is an abundance-of-caution type thing, saying “we can’t take a chance on this guy.” Which is true.
The Mets ace is 1-1 with a 1.73 ERA and 30 strikeouts in 26 innings. He has walked no one this year. Not a soul.