Sam Fuld has been playing since crashing into the outfield wall last Friday, but this morning he woke up with a severe headache and the Twins have placed him on the seven-day concussion disabled list.
Fuld has been starting in center field for the Twins because the normal starter, Aaron Hicks, was placed on the seven-day concussion disabled list last week. And in addition to Hicks and now Fuld the Twins have also used the concussion DL for Joe Mauer, Ryan Doumit, Trevor Plouffe, and Wilkin Ramirez within the past year. And before that Justin Morneau’s career was nearly ruined by a concussion.
As for who’ll play center field for the Twins now … well, today it’s Eduardo Escobar, a career-long infielder with zero center field experience who looked terrible in left field yesterday and misplayed a ball that probably cost Minnesota a game. Eduardo Nunez is another option, but he’s also a career-long infielder. And to think, not so long ago the Twins felt they had so much organizational center field depth that they traded Denard Span and Ben Revere in the same offseason.
Diamondbacks pitcher Shelby Miller left Sunday’s start against the Dodgers after four-plus innings due to tightness in his right forearm, the team announced. He’ll be reevaluated tomorrow. Needless to say, though, a forearm injury is very concerning. In his four innings, Miller gave up three runs on four hits and five walks with three strikeouts, raising his ERA to 4.09.
Miller, 26, has had a nightmare of a time since joining the Diamondbacks in December 2015. Last year, he made 20 starts and posted a 6.15 ERA. He suffered a finger injury suffered from scraping his hand on the pitcher’s mound with his follow-through, and he was also demoted to Triple-A during the summer as well.
Pirates starter Ivan Nova has been outstanding in his first three starts of the 2017 season. He yielded only five earned runs in 20 innings for a tidy 2.25 ERA. But even more impressively, Nova didn’t issue a walk in any of those starts.
That changed on Sunday afternoon against the Yankees, but in a most peculiar way. Nova had struck out the side in the first inning, notched a 1-2-3 frame in the second, and got two quick ground outs to begin the third inning, bringing up Yankees pitcher Jordan Montgomery for his first major league at-bat. Montgomery never batted in the minor leagues, either, so Sunday’s AB against Nova was his first since his senior year of high school in 2011. Montgomery took the first two pitches for balls, then a called strike, a ball, and another called strike to even the count. Nova came in with his sixth consecutive fastball but it missed low, walking the Yankees’ pitcher for his first free pass of the 2017 season.
Nova got out of the inning without any further issue. He wound up going seven innings, giving up a lone run on four hits and a walk with seven strikeouts, lowering his ERA to an even 2.00.