While looking at the schedule for last week I noticed that the Dodgers face the Padres today. Obviously Clayton Kershaw gets the Opening Day nod for Los Angeles.
It seems rather cruel, actually. Like, we’re really gonna let a fully-rested Clayton Kershaw pitch against the 2017 San Diego Padres? Can’t someone step in to stop this? The carnage may be unspeakable.
Eh, it’s baseball. For all we know the Padres will rap eight hits in a row off of him to start the game and leave him in a six-run hole before the Dodgers even get to bat. That’s the beauty of this game. You never know what’s gonna happen in a single one of ’em. Even if I’m betting on carnage.
But no matter what happens, we’ll still have a major mismatch. In payroll. From Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times:
Kershaw, the Dodgers’ ace and three-time National League Cy Young Award winner, will earn $33 million this season, the highest salary of any player in the major leagues.
The Padres, in a season that might best be described as “extreme tanking,” have committed to pay $28 million to the 25 players on Monday’s active roster.
USA Today has the salaries of every single player on Opening Day rosters this year if you’re into that sort of thing.
Godspeed, Padres batters.
Giants’ right-hander Mark Melancon is considering surgery for an undisclosed injury, the pitcher told reporters prior to Friday’s game against the Phillies. Melancon did not divulge the exact location of the injury, but revealed that it had been plaguing him off and on since the 2012 season and was a separate issue from the right pronator strain that kept him sidelined through much of July and August. Giants’ head athletic trainer Dave Groeschner called the injury day-to-day and has not revealed a timetable for the right-hander’s return, should surgery become necessary.
Melancon, 32, has struggled to replicate the sparkling pitching line he produced with the Pirates and Nationals in 2016. He’s toting a 3.80 ERA through 25 appearances with San Francisco, flanked by a 1.1 BB/9 and 7.6 SO/9 over 23 2/3 innings. His season has been significantly shortened after multiple trips to the disabled list for a right forearm strain, and while he looked to be in line to resume his closing duties this week, the Giants will likely play it safe with the veteran righty to keep him from compromising his health in 2018.
Although the injury doesn’t appear to be severe in nature, it’s clearly intensified over the last few months. Per MLB.com’s Chris Haft, Melancon said he’s “had discomfort every day this season,” though he hopes to continue pitching through the remainder of 2017. The Giants aren’t on the verge of contending by any stretch of the imagination, but a solid end to the 2017 season could help Melancon make some headway as he looks to reclaim his status as the team’s closer next spring.
What happens when an irresistible force meets an immovable object? Just ask Javier Baez, who tracked down a sizzling 106-MPH ground ball from Jose Bautista on Friday afternoon. The defensive gem helped preserve the Cubs’ three-run lead in the top of the ninth inning, paving the way for Wade Davis‘ 25th save of the season.
Baez also impressed at the plate, collecting an RBI single in the second inning before getting tagged out at home by Miguel Montero on a convoluted 9-6-3-6-2 putout. He returned in the eighth inning to pester Tim Mayza and cleared the left field hedge with a 409-foot, two-run blast for his 20th home run of the year. With the win, the Cubs improved to 64-57 and now hold a scant 1.5-game lead over the Brewers in the NL Central.