Jose Fernandez, Sonny Gray named Pitchers of the Month for April

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Pitchers are players too, but nor for monthly awards. They get their own jam, and Sonny Gray of the Athletics and Jose Fernandez of the Marlins won this jam, being named Pitchers of the Month for April.

Fernandez led baseball with 55 strikeouts while posting a 4-1 record in six starts. Fernandez was tied for third among N.L. pitchers in wins while and was fourth in ERA with a 1.59 mark. He was also fourth among qualifying pitchers in opponents’ average, allowing 25 hits over his 39 and two-thirds innings of work. Yesterday’s start against the Dodgers doesn’t count for this, obviously, but he had ten strikeouts on a day he was described by many as having poor command. Which is quite a testament to how great his stuff is.

Gray went 4-1 record with a 1.76 ERA, one shutout and 37 strikeouts in 41.0 innings pitched over six appearances. Gray was tied for first in wins, was second in ERA, fifth in innings pitched and 12th in strikeouts. Opponents batted .220 off of him.

Brewers claim Stephen Vogt off waivers from the Athletics

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ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reported on Sunday that the Brewers claimed catcher Stephen Vogt off waivers from the Athletics. Vogt was designated for assignment by the Athletics on Thursday.

Vogt, 32, was an All-Star in each of the last two seasons, but struggled this year. He hit .217/.287/.357 with four home runs and 20 RBI in 174 plate appearances.

With the Brewers, Vogt will likely split time behind the plate with Manny Pina. Meanwhlie, the Athletics’ catching situation will be handled by Josh Phegley and Bruce Maxwell.

Dallas Keuchel is unlikely to return before the All-Star break

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Astros’ left-hander Dallas Keuchel might not return to the rotation before the All-Star break, Houston manager A.J. Hinch told reporters prior to Sunday’s game. The club placed their star southpaw on the 10-day disabled list on June 8, retroactive to June 5, after a nerve issue was revealed in his neck.

Keuchel has taken a conservative approach to his recovery over the last several weeks, and while he appears to have made some progress, still has yet to throw off the mound. The injury interrupted the start of an outstanding run with the Astros, during which the 29-year-old lefty furnished a 9-0 record with a 1.67 ERA, 2.1 BB/9 and 8.2 SO/9 through his first 75 2/3 innings of 2017.

According to Hinch, it’s certainly possible that Keuchel could return to the team sometime within the next two weeks, but it’s clear that the team would prefer to play it extra safe with their ace. Even assuming that he feels ready to reclaim his spot on the Astros’ pitching staff, he still needs to complete a few key activities before competing in another game — like throwing off a mound, for example. In the meantime, Lance McCullers Jr. will continue to head Houston’s rotation as they try to build on their 12.5-game lead in the AL West.

 

Hinch’s full comments are below: