Rangers outfielder Alex Rios left before taking the field for the bottom half of the fourth inning in Sunday’s series finale against the Rangers. In the top half, Rios had doubled in a run with no outs. After the Astros retired two Rangers consecutively, Adam Rosales weakly lined a single into the hole between shortstop and third base. The ball skipped away from Marwin Gonzalez, and Rios was sent home after rounding the third base bag. Rios slid foot-first into catcher Carlos Corporan’s mitt, kicking the ball out but injuring his ankle in the process. Jim Adducci took his place in right field after the frame.
Rios was making his first start since Wednesday due to reaggravating his right ankle. He suffered the initial injury in July, missing a few games shortly after the All-Star break. Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the Houston Chronicle reports that Rios will be reevaluated on Monday.
Rios, 33, was having a great season, but his numbers have fallen as of late, posting a .486 OPS since returning from the All-Star break. Including today’s limited action, Rios has a .294/.324/.415 slash line with four home runs, 46 RBI, and 16 stolen bases.
Despite dealing with back trouble for five years, Adrian Gonzalez of the Dodgers recently made his first ever trip to the disabled list. Then he made another trip there. All of it has him contemplating his future. As he tells Bill Plunkett of the OC Register, his baseball future may be a short one if his health doesn’t improve:
“I want to get back this year to help the team and for me to be healthy,” Gonzalez said. “But I’m thinking more long-term about being able to play more years.
“Because if I have to deal with this next year again? That’ll probably be it. My contract will be over, that’ll probably be it. I won’t play any more. If I can heal it and my body feels good? Now I can go out there and do the things I can do. Then I’ll keep playing.”
Backs are one of those things that don’t get better as you get older. At least not without a lot of work and effort and good luck. Gonzalez is 35 now, so he’ll need all of that to keep playing beyond his current deal.
Kyle Schwarber broke into the bigs in 2015 with a big bat. After missing almost all of the last season with an injury, he reemerged as a postseason hero, posting a .971 OPS in the World Series. As 2017 began he was supposed to be one of the key parts of a potent Cubs offense.
Then the baseball games actually started and he has hit a mere .171/.295/.378. Indeed, he has the lowest batting average among qualified MLB hitters in 2017. Given that he has very little if any defensive value, he has been a significant drag on the Cubs, who are just a single game over .500.
The Cubs are also putting Jason Heyward on the disabled list, so the outfield is a bit of a mess these days. Lucky for them, they’re only trailing the Brewers by a game and a half.