Looking for a jolt for their non-existent offense, the Padres have called up first baseman/outfielder Kyle Blanks from Triple-A El Paso.
Blanks was off to a hot start in the minors this season, batting .265/.364/.651 with nine home runs and five doubles over 27 games. The 27-year-old made the start at first base tonight over Yonder Alonso, who is slashing a miserable .163/.193/.221 through 31 games this season. His .404 OPS is the lowest among hitters with at least 100 plate appearances.
Blanks hit .243 with a .684 OPS last season and owns a .712 OPS in the majors, so he’s far from a sure thing to be an upgrade, but the Padres are looking for a spark right now. They entered play tonight ranked last in the majors in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, OPS, and runs scored. Yikes.
Astros center fielder Carlos Gomez sat out the final series of the regular season in order to rest a strained left intercostal muscle, but there was good news coming out of a workout today in advance of Tuesday’s Wild Card game vs. the Yankees.
This has been a lingering issue for Gomez, who missed 13 straight games with the injury last month. He aggravated the strain on a throw to home plate last Wednesday and was forced to sit while the Astros fought to keep their season alive. Astros manager A.J. Hinch told reporters last week that Gomez’s injury would typically take 45-50 days to recover from, so it’s fair to wonder how productive he can be during the postseason.
Gomez mostly struggled after coming over from the Brewers at the trade deadline, batting .242 with four home runs and a .670 OPS over 41 games.
Nathan Eovaldi hasn’t pitched in a month due to right elbow inflammation, but he told Chad Jennings of the Journal News today that he expects to pitch out of the bullpen if the Yankees advance to the ALDS against the Royals.
Eovaldi was originally expected to throw a 35-pitch bullpen session today, but the Yankees moved up his timetable after the news that CC Sabathia was checking into alcohol rehab. Instead, he threw 10 pitches in a bullpen session before facing hitters for the first time since his injury.
There isn’t enough time for Eovaldi to get stretched out to start during the ALDS, but he could still play an important role for the Yankees, especially with Adam Warren looking like the most likely option to replace Sabathia in the rotation.