Getty Images

Phillies trade Howie Kendrick to the Nationals

3 Comments

The Phillies traded infielder/outfielder Howie Kendrick to the Nationals in exchange for minor league left-hander McKenzie Mills and international amateur signing bonus pool space, per a team announcement. The Nationals will also receive cash in the deal.

Kendrick, 34, was halfway through his first season in Philadelphia. When healthy, he showed promise, exhibiting a .340/.397/.454 batting line with 11 extra-base hits, eight stolen bases and an .851 OPS through 156 PA in 2017. It hasn’t been the smoothest run for the veteran infielder/outfielder, however, as he sustained a strained oblique muscle in early April and returned from the 10-day disabled list last week after rehabbing a right hamstring strain. He was benched during Friday’s series opener against the Braves after getting plunked on his left hand during Wednesday’s 9-0 shutout over the Astros.

The deal still appears to be a win-win for both Kendrick and the Phillies, with the former getting a potential shot at the playoffs and the latter shedding some infield/outfield depth in exchange for a solid lefty prospect. Mills, 21, was ranked No. 18 in the Nationals’ system this season and has impressed during his first Single-A run in 2017. He went 12-2 in 18 starts for Single-A Hagerstown and delivered a pristine 3.01 ERA, 1.9 BB/9 and 10.1 SO/9 through 104 2/3 innings this season. While he reportedly profiles as a back-end starter, he’s still developing a well-rounded pitch repertoire and recent struggles in short-season ball suggest that his command could use some refinement before he reaches the majors.

Clayton Kershaw could return on September 1

Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw has been out since July 24 with a lower back strain. He’s slated to throw a three-inning simulated game in Pittsburgh on Monday, per Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register. Plunkett adds that if all goes well, the earliest Kershaw could return is August 31 against the Diamondbacks, but September 1 is more likely against the Padres.

Kershaw, 29, hit the disabled list on a pace to win his fourth Cy Young Award. He’s 15-2 with a 2.04 ERA and a 168/24 K/BB ratio in 141 1/3 innings.

The Dodgers have managed just fine without Kershaw. The club is 19-4 since July 24. At 87-35, the Dodgers own baseball’s best record, well ahead of the second-best Astros at 76-48.

Ian Kinsler was fined for ripping umpires publicly. Brad Ausmus says it’s the largest fine he’s seen in 25 years.

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
6 Comments

Last week, Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler was ejected from a game against the Rangers after giving home plate umpire Angel Hernandez a look after a pitch was thrown outside for a ball. Kinsler was apparently unhappy with calls Hernandez had made earlier. Manager Brad Ausmus, too, was ejected.

After the game, Kinsler said that Hernandez “needs to find another job.” He added, “…he needs to stop ruining baseball games.”

Kinsler was fined by Major League Baseball for his remarks, Mlive’s Evan Woodbery reports. According to Ausmus, the fine levied on Kinsler was the largest one he’s seen in nearly 25 years in baseball. Kinsler said, “I said what I felt and what I thought. If they take offense to that, then that’s their problem.” Ausmus said, “To single out one player as a union is completely uncalled for.”

As Ashley noted on Saturday, the umpires wore white wristbands to protest “escalating attacks on umpires.” The umpires agreed to drop their protest on Sunday after commissioner Rob Manfred agreed to meet with the umpire union’s governing board, Gabe Lacques of USA TODAY Sports reports.